People are tuning out traditional marketing efforts at an alarming rate. The big television networks are painfully aware that we’re ignoring or fast-forwarding through commercials. Even worse for them, we’re getting more and more of our entertainment from online-streaming services and less from traditional cable or satellite television.
The unsubscribe rate from emails increases every year and a good portion of direct mail goes unopened. What happened? These were sure-fire ways to get the customers attention in the past, but the reality is the only reason they were so solid is because nothing else was in their way.
The disruptive nature of the internet on information and entertainment has led to the very disruptive nature of inbound marketing. How to make this work in your favor?
- PERSONALIZED EMAILS – Emails start your customer-centric approach. The inexpensive nature of this medium lets you change tactics at a moment’s notice.
- RESPONSIVE DESIGN -Your emails, landing page, and other media are tailored for desktop and mobile viewing. This is hardly news but it’s infuriating how many websites don’t bother with even trying to make this happen.
- SOCIAL MEDIA – It will help drive customers and prospects to your landing pages. Make your posts timely and on-topic. If prospects have to scratch their heads over what they’re reading, then either the post doesn’t make sense or they can’t remember the last time they received a post or tweet from you.
- BLOGS – (a favorite topic of mine) should be on the same schedule as social media and follow the same rules regarding punctuality and subject. If not blogs, then video and audio materials can work for the right campaigns.
- DIRECT MAIL – While I (lightly) bashed direct mail at the beginning, it’s still a relatively quick and inexpensive way to connect. For all that snail mail has going against it, you can do some good A/B testing to improve your results. Direct mail can add a personal touch when done correctly as part of an integrated campaign.
- DATA – Without analytics, all of this is just hot air. Inbound marketing is so customer-centric you need to read and absorb the data being fed to you. No more “Well, we sent out some emails, now let’s wait for the orders to come rolling in!” Use the information provided by your analytics to constantly improve and reach your customers.
To underscore the steps above, ask yourself this: when was the last time you watched television and weren’t encouraged to visit a network’s website or get tweets from them about one of their shows? Even the big dogs know they need inbound marketing to stay in business.