In just two short months you’re postal rates are going up… again. Direct response marketing using the United States Post Office is going to cost your school, business or non-profit more.
Express Mail and Priority Mail services are going up in price, not because the services are costing the USPS more but because the USPS knows you’ll pay and wants to use the extra profits it skims to pay for its pensions and other red-ink. Usually when we are charged more for a service we expect to get more… well service, but not in this case.
What is a marketer to do? If you’re marketing is about lead generation, there is an answer. And it’s a great answer. It’s called inbound marketing. Inbound marketing immunizes your lead generation marketing from rate hikes at the USPS.
Your traditional outbound marketing works on the principle that you can create an offer that is attractive to most people in your audience and push that offer to them at the precise moment they are in a purchasing posture to get them to buy from you. Somewhere between 0.5% and 1% of the time your offer actually achieves that goal. That’s what you’ve been accustomed to.
The USPS counts on low conversion rates so that you’ll send our more mail, more postcards and more brochures trying to make 1% meaningful to your business. Ouch!
As any marketer knows, there are all kinds of problems with the outbound approach. Is the offer right? Was the creative well executed? Is the copy compelling? What if I used the blue envelope rather than the white one? And on and on till you get the only question that really matters… why did the people who responded do so and why did the people who threw my offer in the trash do so… you have no idea… which is what your boss knows when you ask for more budget. But don’t feel badly, your prospects are complicated beings, subject to all kinds of influences, who buy for their own reasons... not yours. So how could you know? Precisely. You can’t. And that’s why inbound marketing is so powerful.
Here’s why. The last time you wanted to buy something more consequential than a loaf of bread, what did you do? If you’re like 93% of other folks, you went online, typed some words into a search engine and read about your future purchase. You gathered information, read reviews, checked prices. You got informed and after you were informed, you decided which of the sources that informed you had the best value (a complex combination of price, service, knowledge etc that is unique to each buyer) and you purchased from that source.
So if you wanted to market to your prospects using the inbound marketing approach just described, how would you do it?
- Create killer content
- Make sure prospects could find your content online
- Present offers online so that a prospect can make a choice to buy or learn more
- Continue steps 1 – 3, helping a prospect decide that you offer the greatest value
That’s it. That’s inbound marketing in a nutshell. No mention of special postage rates only offered to huge mailers. No mention of what color envelope is most popular - today. You’ve immunized your lead generation against rate hikes from the USPS!
And the third best part is that because all these things happen online, on your website, you can track behavior and demonstrate to yourself and your boss which offer converts better, what content attracts buyers and what most people are looking for when they want to buy what you offer.
The second best part is that because all this happens online, it works for you 24x7x365 at no additional cost. Any time a prospect uses her own time to look for what you offer, there is your content working for you.
But the best part of inbound marketing is that each one of those new leads cost you 62% less than it used to. So the choice is yours… 3.1% price hikes from the United States Post Office or 62% less for the inbound marketing program you could have up and running in 3 months… what are you waiting for? Get Immunized.