Some say direct mail is dead. The truth is, about half of marketers are reducing their direct mail spend in 2013. However, there isn’t a need to do so if your business invests in more accurate targeting. USPS has a web tool that helps small businesses micro-target direct mail by allowing companies to target customers by neighborhood or zip code — no names or addresses required, but this type of campaign probably won’t yield the greatest bang for your buck. You want to reach the right audience, with the right mail and at the right time. Integrating social media with your direct mail campaigns can help you do this.

Integrate Social Media and CRM Software
If someone is a part of your direct mailing list, chances are you already have some background on the person. Whether it’s just a name and home address or their complete purchase history, your business can use social media to make the information more valuable to your marketing team. While not everyone who connects with your business on Facebook and Twitter are going to be a part of your mailing list, and vice versa, there is bound to be some overlap. You need to make the most of it.

  • When asking someone for their mailing address, ask for their Twitter handle too. You can send out a personal tweet or direct message to build the business-consumer relationship while gathering insight into that customer and your audience in general.
  • If a customer reaches out to your business on social networks, keep track of that in your CRM system. You’ll be able to segment your content depending on what their needs are and where they will see value in communications from your business.

Cross-Channel Promote Direct Mail and Social Media
Many marketers and business owners may be familiar with cross-promotion strategies where one business promotes another so that the second does the same for the first. This is a great option, so why not take the same strategy and apply it to your direct mail and social media marketing campaigns? Your direct mailing messages need to offer a different value for subscribers than your social media marketing campaigns. Different offers, extra coupons, etc. are great ways to use one channel to promote the value of another.

  • When sending out direct mail, include your social media information and tease customers with any current social media promotions your business has going on. By measuring the results of each campaign, you can see what types of direct mail promotions different audiences respond to for more accurate segmenting with each piece of postage.
  • If you’re looking to expand your direct mailing list, tweet and post status updates that encourage your social media fans to sign-up. Make sure you’re adding a direct-mail only value to the customer, otherwise they won’t see how signing up benefits them directly.

As with everything in marketing, you need to measure your efforts to see what works and what doesn’t. By using social media to collect customer information that is then processed in your CRM software and cross-promoting your direct mail and social media channels, you’ll be able determine your direct mail target audience more accurately. A more accurately segmented direct mail database requires more information and social media integration allows you to collect more of the data you need. Once you do this, you can make sure you’re only sending information to the people who will take action upon receiving the mail. You’ll be able to cut direct mail costs while improving the experience of customers.