I continue to harp on the Renaissance of direct mail and how it’s alive and kicking! Apparently Google thinks so to, putting some of their money into direct mail to attract business. For the past 24 months or so, I’ve received direct mail from this granddaddy of all things digital. Here is arguably the world’s most prolific producer of everything virtual, electronic, and cyber-driven, sending me a printed card in an envelope on a regular basis promoting their AdWords program. You may have received one or two of these as well.
In the envelope is a very simply designed and worded introduction to what AdWords is, how it can help my business, and how to contact Google to get started. These pieces always typically include an attached card with an introductory offer to encourage me to try AdWords for free for a specified dollar value. The card includes an offer code for their research guys to measure effectiveness.
Some instances of these mailings have arrived to me with my company name in the body copy to add a more personal touch; as if speaking to “me”. All-in-all very simple, easy and quick to read and I’m assuming quite effective considering they continue to arrive in my mailbox to this day.
So what is Google doing right with these campaigns? Essentially, all the basics.
- List: I don’t know who comprises their mailing list but they found me – a local small business and a good prospect for this product. A relevant and current mailing list is vital to a successful direct mail campaign.
- Creative: The design and content is simple, not pushy, and easy to read and decide on; whether to pick up the phone to call them, or to go to their website to learn more, or to decide not to buy.
- The Offer: Their offer is again simple, straight forward, and valued to encourage me to take action. A hundred bucks in free advertising? Awfully enticing! Google has all the money in the world to make generous offers (a pretty safe assumption). Your offer would be a balance between a worthy incentive yet not damaging to your business. It’s a good idea to consider a limited time offer to get someone to act and not let them procrastinate or fade away.
- Cross-Channel Marketing: This campaigns starts with a direct mail piece which then encourages the recipient to go online to learn more or buy. This is how people generally like to be buy – comfortably approached and informed up front, followed by an easy way to take the next step. Directing a prospect online also allows for capturing an email address for lead nurturing and future approaches.
- Measurement: This entire campaign has measurement tools built in so Google knows exactly what their response rate, conversion rate, and ROI is. They didn’t get as big as they are by guessing.
So why does Google send me direct mail? Because it works.