Good Old-Fashioned Letter Campaigns
Last month, I had the chance to hear one of my favorite historians, David McCullough, give a talk to a couple thousand of his best friends in Pittsburgh. One of his decade-long laments is that people don’t write letters anymore, reducing the ability to inform and influence others in an intimate, thought-provoking way.
Mr. McCullough’s grievance is a marketer’s opportunity. Once an everyday business communication device, individual and small batch customized business letters are dramatically declining in use. This unfortunate trend for the masses represents an opportunity for differentiated relationship building for you. Unlike promotional e-mails with open and click-through rates in the toilet, well-constructed, customized letters stand out from the promotional clutter.
Call me a contrarian, but I’m a big believer in doing more of what everyone else is doing less of, primarily because it’s less crowded. In the words of Dr. Seuss,
"It's opener, out there, in the wide, open air."
Consider using letters to augment your lead-generation campaigns. My consultancy has used letter campaigns for graphic arts clients to:
- Win-back lost or "wandering" customers
- Create awareness among design firms
- Acquire businesses
- Build strategic partnerships
- Extoll the benefits of new equipment purchases
- Influence the buying decisions of a competitor’s former customers after going out of business
Should you over use letters? Certainly not. Like anything, the novelty of receiving a letter goes away with frequency. I can’t think of a case in the past decade where we’ve contacted any client’s customer by letter more than one or at most two times a year. That seems enough to me.
Consider giving letter campaigns a role in your coordinated "prospect nurture program." Weave in the occasional letter to your outreach plans that include an intelligent mix of e-mail, telesales, direct mail and direct sales efforts. Recipients will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your marketing approach and will likely be more inclined to undertake your intended actions.
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Join me next week as we define content marketing and show its sales growth benefits when put into practice.