There have been many articles lately about direct mail’s big comeback, and it makes sense why. People are burnt out by digital marketing. We see thousands of advertisements a day-but how many do you really remember? Your customers, or prospective customers, may ‘see’ you but they don’t actually hear what you’re saying.

Impressions don’t mean a thing if there isn’t an action associated with it. Now snail mail may be seen as “outdated” or “traditional”, but you can’t argue that when people go to their mailbox and receive a tangible piece of marketing that they can physically interact with it’s not overlooked. It’s different because it’s not the digital noise they have been deafened by all day.

Unlike digital, you can’t just ‘click’ on the piece of paper that links to your website. You need people to take an extra step, or two.

That’s where hashtags come in. Originally known as a pound sign, a hashtag gives you the ability to connect print to digital. People generally share commercial hashtags for one of two reasons: 1) they like the creativity of your marketing piece so much, they want to share it or 2) there is a direct incentive (coupon, freebie, contest).

For example, EarthColor recently did a direct mail campaign for an upcoming conference, PharmaForce. We wanted people to learn more about our company but also start engaging with us before the conference even began. Our direct mail piece had a call-to-action, we asked readers to find three hidden words using a pair of 3D glasses that we provided them with in the mailer. Then, they were asked to Tweet the three words with the hashtag #EC3DMessage. EarthColor then randomly selected a winner who received a brand new tablet.

Using hashtags is an effective way to not only foster engagement with potential customers, but also drive traffic to your website. All you have to do is add a #hashtag.

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