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Lobcast Podcast: Timeless Tactics & Tequila Sunrises

We may still be welcoming a new year and getting ready to execute new marketing campaigns, but let’s take a second to talk about marketing tactics that are timeless. From direct mail to word-of-mouth marketing, these are tactics that have adapted to the times to continue to drive results.

Listen to podcast

On this episode of the Lobcast Podcast, we’re talking about timeless marketing tactics while sipping on some tequila sunrises.

Some key highlights include:

  • Word-of-mouth marketing: How marketers can use today’s word-of-mouth marketing, such as testimonials, in campaigns
  • Public relations: Learn when to invest in PR or place sponsored content
  • SMS marketing: Build trust with prospects and customers with SMS marketing or push notifications
  • Direct mail marketing: Learn where direct mail fits in the marketing funnel

Meet the Speakers

Stephanie Donelson

Senior Content Marketing Manager

Julie Ginn

VP of Demand Generation

STEPHANIE: Hello, and welcome to the Lobcast Podcast. I'm Stephanie Donelson, your hostess with the marketing mostess. And I'm the senior content marketing manager here at Lob. I'm thrilled to be joined with our vice president of demand generation, Julie Ginn. Julie, do you mind telling the listeners a bit about yourself and your marketing experience?

JULIE: Yeah, absolutely, Stephanie. First of all, thanks for inviting me to join you today on this conversation. It's really nice to actually get some time to sit down and talk to you as you just mentioned, I am the VP of demand generation at Lob. So I joined Lob about a year and a half ago. Now, after finishing up an 8 year stint at my last software company where I was in a similar position before that. And I've got almost 25 years of experience in marketing. So I've done the IBM event, field marketing, go to market strategy, just about any area of marketing, you name it. I've seen it and I've got the gray hair to prove it.

STEPHANIE: Oh, you do not. I mean, I feel like our backgrounds are very similar. I started and got my degree in public relations and then kind of fell into digital. And I was like, oh, I like writing. Ooh, I like social media. Ooh, let's try email, let's do PPC writing. So I have done the gambit as well.

JULIE: So that makes you a very well-rounded marketer, right?


JULIE: Right those are the people that end up being the best leaders. Right because they have experience in all the different areas and they realize how hard each job really is.

STEPHANIE: You know, Jill of all trades over here. All right, listeners, today we're sipping on some tequila sunrises as we talk timeless tactics, those that continue to prove our way and adapt to today's technology. If you want to make the complimentary cocktail, you'll need two ounces of tequila, 4 ounces of OJ and 1/2 ounce of grenadine. Pour your tequila and OJ into a chilled glass and then add the grenadine down the side, which will sink to the bottom, creating that nice tequila sunrise effect. All right. So Cheers. And again, welcome to the show, Julie.

JULIE: That looks so beautiful and way more exciting than my cup of hot tea, I have to tell you. But what is relevant?

STEPHANIE: I'm pretending I'm in the tropics right now.

JULIE: Nice we need it with its topic. Whether whether

STEPHANIE: You're telling me! I see snow outside my house. All right, so let's just dive right into it and talk about timeless tactics. So when I think of timeless tactics, word-of-mouth marketing is the first one that comes to mind. Just think of that kind of thing. It's the oldest form of marketing, but like any tactic, it's adapted to how we communicate via digital channels. So now when I think of today's version of word-of-mouth marketing, I think of online review sites and testimonials. What about you, Julie?

JULIE: Well, I think there's actually two different kinds of word-of-mouth marketing going on right now. So there's that just that good old fashioned organic word of a word-of-mouth marketing. Right so I use that where it works really well. I'm talking to my friends over a drink. I recommend it. And they go and they seek it out. Right that's almost like the gold standard, right? Because you get a direct reference from somebody that you respect. Yeah but then it's also what I think of as like an amplified word of mouth marketing. So those on online review sites, you mentioned social media, all those influencers that tell me on Instagram should be doing marketing one or the other. They're all really good at that as well.

STEPHANIE: So looking at that, where in the marketing funnel do you think marketers should start using reviews or testimonials? I mean, I've seen it done all kinds of ways with some brands coming right out the gate and sharing a customer testimonial, letting their customers do the storytelling or some of them wait in the bottom of the funnel stage. What are your thoughts on where reviews belong?

JULIE: So I think that gets back to understanding your buyer journey, right? So if you really want to know how to best use reviews or testimonials, the question you have to ask is, at what point in the buying process are my buyers looking for that kind of validation in their decision process? So it's typically after they've already recognized they've had a problem that maybe looked at multiple vendors, they've narrowed down their options to you and maybe one or other vendor. That's usually a really good time to hit them with a testimonial, but only by spending the time to understand where your customers are looking for information. We'll help you understand when you should probably use your testimonials.

STEPHANIE: No, and that's a great point, too. I mean, I think, you know, I've been in industries before where yeah, we do start sharing that story upfront. We do let people know about us. And then there are other times where especially I feel like if it's a high dollar amount of a purchase or high value, you really come out or you end your story strong using customer testimonials and telling people why their peers and why their peers have invested in your product and the value that those customers are finding. I also think back to when we released our direct mail buck slips, we did a blog post that rounded up some creative uses or use cases and ways brands are utilizing them in direct mail marketing. And one that I actually love, and that was because I am a customer of theirs, was from discover, where they featured star ratings and quotes to sell their product in their little letter inserts. It was a great use of extra real estate, but that's not the only option for marketing customer reviews, right? What other channels come to mind for using testimonials and marketing campaigns to you, Julie?

JULIE: Well, there's a lot of ways you can use it. That's a really great example, by the way. You know, props to Discover. Let's say we have used them in basically high traffic campaigns and landing pages. Sometimes they'll be where we send email marketing campaigns. I've seen them used during sales presentations really well. Right I've seen them in videos. Anytime you can use them in social media marketing to humanize a brand. You know, one of the most successful things I've done in a previous company was use them on trade shows to get people's attention when they're watching. So, yeah, I think you think about digital, you think about in real life touches of and where you think they're going to have the best impact. But basically their goal right there, a really quick way to build trust, credibility, social proof. It makes people feel more comfortable with their decision making process. Right safety in numbers. If somebody like me is making this decision that it must be a good decision and there's lots of ways to use them.

STEPHANIE: Yeah, I think the social proof aspect is so true. I mean, I'm a little biased because I've been a social media manager for years and years, so I always default to thinking of social media channels for sharing testimonials or reviews because it's so easy to link out to other review sites, you know, make it cute, graphic, pull in videos, have that influencer marketing or even that user generated content that comes in. But you should also definitely test a variety of content across your channels. Since we're kind of talking about testing already. Have you ever done A/B testing with it, such as seeing if a testimonial video works better than a written case study?

JULIE: Yeah, sure. Yeah and previous companies, we've tested all kinds of different formats. Right? long form reports, short form infographics, case video, case studies and not. And it's very funny because it's like video work really well in one channel, it'll pop on another or you'll find that one audience absolutely loves to read case studies and the other doesn't have the attention span of a gnat and prefers video content. And so you have to test, right? You can't go off your own assumptions. A lot of people think, since I'm a marketer, I would prefer video content when in fact, I like to sit with my cup of hot tea and read case studies quietly after, you know, my kid has gone to sleep. So in that case, right, sending me video content, I never get around to watching it.

STEPHANIE: No, I am honestly the same way. I will sit at night and watch a three-hour YouTube video, but marketing content, I'm like, can I just get the written copy of this? Can you send this to me in a blog or even like I'll take an infographic. I don't want to watch your video testimonial, but then people like my husband, he's like, I just want to actually see someone using it and see how it works. I don't want to read about it. So just very funny how different people can be. And even depending on if you're in the B2B space, B2C space, anything like that can make a huge difference as well.

JULIE: Yeah, it's true. Yeah, absolutely. And then again, it goes back to knowing your customer.

STEPHANIE: Right? OK so now let's say you have that customer, you won your prospect's business. I think word-of-mouth marketing kind of transitions into a refer a friend campaign. Julie, do any brands stick out in your mind that do refer a friend marketing really well?

JULIE: Oh yeah. So you know who's really doing this? Well, lots and lots of online retailers are just knocking it out of the park, right? Every time I seem to make a purchase online, they offer me a special code to incentivize me to distribute it to my friends. I'll tell you, the company that I really respect that's doing this very well is thredUp, an online consignment shop, and they have this always ask approach.

Recommended reading: Increased ROI is always in fashion - How thredUp increased ROI 128% by A/B testing intelligent direct mail

JULIE: Every single time that I interact with them, they say, would you be willing to refer a friend? Here's an extra, you know, X amount of dollars if you do so.

STEPHANIE: That's awesome and I love that too. I think that is such a good best practice. I get a lot of stuff from Stitch Fix and they constantly follow up like, hey, refer a man to our services or refer a friend and we'll give them 50 and we'll give you 25. That way the incentive is really good for me to do it and I'm still getting a kickback where as not going to name names cause I don't want to shame but a food subscription company I go with they're constantly sending me emails like hey do you want to tell your friends about us? And I'm like, well, what's in it for me? Like, do I get a free box? Do I get a discount on my next order? Whereas Stitch Fix, I'm a lot more likely to send that out because they're giving me something in return. They're rewarding me for my loyalty while hopefully converting a friend who probably has some of the same interests or shopping behaviors that I do.

JULIE: I know it's brilliant, right? How do we that's direct to consumer? How do we translate that to B2B marketing?

STEPHANIE: Right? All right. So lastly, I'd love to talk about out of home advertising as we talk about word-of-mouth marketing. So such as billboards, I mean, we're getting back to a world where we can actually leave our homes again and go places and we're driving. So Julie, what are your thoughts on using out-of-home advertising in lead generation campaigns?

JULIE: Oh, yeah. So we've been talking a lot about billboards, believe it or not, which surprises me. It's been so long since I've talked about billboards, and I think it's because we need to create connected experiences for buyers now. And like online and in real life, people expect the experience to be completely seamless, whether it's an email, their opening from your business or a web page, a TikTok video, right, or an ad inside of a cab, which I saw recently that I thought was brilliant. So, I mean, I think if we want these out of at home advertising tactics to be the lead generation, we have to think of them as a touchpoint and a larger omnichannel campaign. A billboard zone is not going to be generating if it's on the side of a freeway. It's very good for brand awareness. If you spend some time thinking, I'm going to do digital touchpoints to raise awareness, top of the funnel. And then as I see key accounts engaging, I want to touch them using out of home advertising, like maybe a billboard near the company that you want to actually convert to a customer. Then they work very well. Lead generation, that takes a lot of strategy and integrating into all of the ways that you're communicating with a buyer.

STEPHANIE: Oh, for sure. And I think we talk a lot at Lob about the omnichannel marketing, making sure that all of your channels are working together to achieve the same goal, because at the end of the day, marketing kind of is that big circle, right? We're incorporating digital channels, then we're getting them offline and then we're sending them back to an online space. They engage with us online, we retouch them with an offline campaign. So just this constant merry-go-round of making sure that we're reaching them with the right message at the right time. And as all marketers know: on the right channel.

JULIE: Yeah, you know, I'll tell you another really great example that I experienced recently. I was shopping for new shoes. Right and it's kind of an expensive purchase. Went to the website and didn't want to try it up, didn't want to buy them without trying them on. Drove over to the Nordstrom, tried them on, and the signage matched exactly to what the website looked like. Oh, cool. Right and then what? I didn't buy them there, by the way. A week later, I got a postcard in the mail for a discount.


JULIE:  And I went back to the website and I purchased the shoes, and my entire experience was seamless.

STEPHANIE: That is amazing. I mean, we talk about that on the blog a lot, too. I think even Sam and I talked about this in episode five, just making sure that offline to online or vice versa experience is seamless. You want your colors match, you want your fonts to match, you want that person to recognize that, oh, yep, I've seen this before. Hits this brand. Here's now what they're offering me.

JULIE: Yeah, I mean, and think about how smart that was, right? I had those visuals in the back of my head from the website. And then when I went to the store, I looked for it quickly. I was like, oh, there they are, right me identify it. So I think that that's a great guided customer experience. And it worked in the end.

STEPHANIE: Well, it did. And let's say you had bought the shoes there and they still trigger that direct mail campaign. You probably would have gone back and like I really like these. Maybe I'll get them in another color because I try them on. They're comfortable, I like them. They just got repeat business from you.

JULIE: Yeah I mean, and I've seen more and more of in real life touches after like abandoned shopping cart experiences, right? If you stick something in your shopping cart, you forget about it. And, you know, a few days later, you get a postcard, says, hey, do you remember this item? Right that's a really powerful connection and it drives people back to your properties. And that is that's cool, too. That's a brilliant idea.

STEPHANIE: Oh, for sure. I love that. I've talked about an example that I'm really hoping eventually Southwest Airlines listens to me and send me a postcard with those free drink coupons I want to use.

JULIE: Oh nice!

STEPHANIE: But since we are talking about, you know, offline, online, well, let's also talk about one tactic that has adapted well to both spheres, public relations. So, again, this is a specialty that's near and dear to my heart as I got my college degree in it. I'm obviously putting it to great use as I sit here as the content marketing manager and social media manager. But I would love your perspective from the demand gen side of marketing. What kinds of campaigns do you think are really good fit for PR efforts?

JULIE: So let's see for us we use PR when it comes to announcing our very large research reports, right? So we do annual reports like actually next week. Quick plug PR the State of Direct Mail report is coming up!

Recommended reading: The 2023 State of Direct Mail report

JULIE: The second is just new product launches. So that's a good reason to reach back out to churn customers or those who were close last by sales or similar report. I'd say, you know, sometimes events are conferences that are hosted by your brand. Right so, you know, PR is all about getting your message delivered, like we keep saying, right to the right audience, the right publication, making people feel like they have exclusive access, early access. So whenever you have something that is a unique angle, that's when it's best used.

STEPHANIE: Excellent so taking PR to the next level, I think of advertorials or sponsored content, they're in the same wheelhouse as PR, but you can have a bit of a harder sales message compared to public relations as well as you have complete control over how that story looks compared to pitching a story and then seeing what the journalist ends up doing with it. So, what kind of campaigns do you think are a good fit for sponsored content?

JULIE: So that's basically the same wheelhouse, right? But I'd say product launches, service offerings, anything that you can put this educational twist to it, right? Sponsored content. When you say something like three reasons to partner with a marketing agency and lo and behold, your company does just that. So like you said, the messages in our brand's control. So you can make it as salesy as you want.

STEPHANIE: Oh, definitely. So looking at that sales and maybe doing a softer pitch, let's also address the media trend that's been on the rise the last few years: influencer marketing. I mean, I'm a sucker for dog Instagram accounts, so anytime Doug the Pug has something to sell, I've probably already bought it. I absolutely died when they partnered with a coffee subscription brand that I already used. They started selling a Doug the Pug themed coffee. Now, it wasn't dog flavored, but donut flavored. And to be honest, it wasn't my favorite that I had gotten from them. But I continued to buy it because I wanted to support Doug the Pug. I wanted to support that coffee company. So their influencer marketing was a match made in heaven for a customer like me. Do you think influencer marketing is going to stand the test of time based on stories like this?

JULIE: Oh man, if I'm telling you, if I had $1 back for every bad color lipstick I purchased because they told me I needed it.

STEPHANIE: You'd be living on an island?

JULIE: Yeah, exactly. Like, as long as humans have been around, we've been influencing each other to take action. That it's not going anywhere. Right what we see now with TikTok and Instagram celebrities is that we're just giving more people a platform to influence more people at once. So I think what we've done is just build on and expanded the idea of what a brand spokesperson is. And now we've got kind of like an army of micro influencers instead. And I do think it's around to say, right, it's look how powerful it is. You've got your own donut-flavored coffee by pugs. And I'm going to continue to apply things that I probably don't need at 10:00 at night when I see somebody, people telling me I need it.

STEPHANIE: Definitely. And I agree. I think there is that rise of the micro influencer, right? Like we all know that a celebrity could endorse something, but I also think you recognize like, ooh, that person is definitely being paid for that endorsement where a micro influencer, someone that you trust in your industry, you're more likely to take their opinion for it or their word for it because you trust that they've probably vetted the solution that they're selling or that they're partnering with, or at least that's the hope, right?

JULIE: Right!

STEPHANIE: So thinking through that, if you were to start looking at working with an influencer or placing advertorial content, what's some of the criteria that marketers should think through when deciding if a marketing message or campaign should be placed by public relations, or if it should be sponsored content, or if it's time to bring in the big guns and bring in a celebrity or micro influencer.

JULIE: Well, I mean, with any marketing campaign, it comes back to what your goals are. Right and quite often your budget. But I mean, what are you trying to accomplish as a brand awareness? Is it, you know, PR is it a partnership with us? If it's PR partner, it might be a partnership with a celebrity influencer that you meet. Right but if it's brand loyalty, sometimes, you know, sponsored content in a publication is a really good way to do that. So as to think about have to think about the ROI, which is why I mentioned budget, right? PR can be expensive in partnering with an agency. Celebrities cost a lot of money. You know, any big time influencer ow is pulling in a lot of dollar signs. So, you know, sometimes it's just cheaper to go with sponsored content because of your ROI assessment.

STEPHANIE: No, definitely. So looking on that, especially talking about our why, what are some other metrics that marketers should be tracking to measure the performance of media mentions for sponsored content?

JULIE: Oh my gosh. I used to work with this great gentleman who was so fantastic explaining all of the important KPIs. So I'm going to rattle off what he taught me. So the first one, and he always I was reaching visibility. How many people saw the media mention or the sponsored content? So that includes things like impressions, page views, visitors, things like that, right? Then there's engagement, like how they're interacting with that media mention of their content. So clicks if you can, comments, shares, anything that shows engagement. Yeah and then you get down a little bit to the conversion level. Right so that include things like leads, sales, customer acquisition. And then some of the stuff that's more difficult is measuring brand sentiment. Right so sometimes that can be measured by looking at the sentiment and analysis of social media posts, online reviews and sometimes actually forms of customer feedback. That's another good way of measuring brand sentiment. And then I can't say this enough because I think about this all the time, but return on investment, right? I mean, can you actually go back and calculate the net revenue generated by the campaign, you know, minus the total cost of what it took to get you there.

STEPHANIE: I think every marketer knows that measuring ROI is so important, especially if that campaign or channel is performing well and you want budget allocated to it next year. So being able to prove that, no, no, this channel is doing really well, these types of campaigns are well matched for it, it really does help make sure that you get that money again.

JULIE: Yeah I mean, we're all living in a world where for every dollar spent, we're asked what it's generating and everything is included in that now.

STEPHANIE: Yeah all right, let's pivot a little bit. And instead of looking at deep, in-depth content, potentially through like PR or advertorials, let's talk about phone or SMS marketing. So, in my opinion, today's phone marketing is a lot more targeted and is used for customer retention or reactivation via SMS marketing. But before we dive deeper into that topic, let's quickly address another type of marketing that can be done via the phone: push notifications. Julie, how effective do you think push notifications are as a channel for marketing messages?

JULIE: Man whenever I talk about push notifications as a channel, it divides an audience like you wouldn't believe. Right? Half of the people always tell me they're great. They work really well for X, Y, Z, use case. The other half say it's a complete intrusion on people's personal space, right? And so I think that the most effective use of these Push notifications is when they're explicitly permission based. So I'm going to give you an example from a previous company where we used SMS notifications in a really successful way. So the goal was to just basically increase the percentage of people that were attending our webinars. We had good registration numbers, but we were dipping below the attendance number and we wanted to get it up to about 50%. So we asked people right after they registered online if they wanted to be reminded that the event was starting 30 minutes before with a text message. So we got explicit permission. And I think what we did right is that we I mean, it worked, right? We increased the webinar attendance. Ultimately, we were able to show that there was an increase in pipeline and bookings because we did this. OK so, yeah, I mean, so that's that our piece again. Right but what we did right was we never used the number for anything else because we didn't have explicit permission to use that. And I think that's when it is most effective. And one, it works really well.

STEPHANIE: No, that's such a good point because I mean, even in my role creating content, one of the major components is expertise, authority, and trust. And I think that is a fantastic example of building that trust with your customers or those prospects who have given you their phone number. They trust that you're only using it for that one thing if they trust you on that. OK I'm going to continue to opt into other messages from you. I'm going to follow you on social media because I want to see what you're doing. You've already earned their trust, so they're more likely to follow you and continue to give you more information. So you can push them further down. That lead gen campaign.

JULIE: Right. Yeah. Trust is big, right? It's really important.

STEPHANIE: Is there anything else that comes to mind that's a good fit for us in as marketing?

JULIE: Oh, yeah. OK so if I had my druthers, we would try in a lot of different ways, right? So I think if you do it sparingly, sending promotional messages is a good way to use it. Know, one of the ways that I don't think software companies do very often, but I think you could would be just conducting surveys, right? Like gathering customer feedback. That would be a good way to do it. I know I have seen some companies actually providing customer support, using notifications. But I think what we should look at is just setting personalized recommendations based on previous purchases.

STEPHANIE: Oh, that's cool.

JULIE: Another way we could do it, I just I think the tricky part is getting permission. Making it personalized and relevant to the person so they don't feel like you're. You know, I hate using this word, but spamming them on their phone.

STEPHANIE: No spam is delicious but nobody likes it, you know?

JULIE: And also just not overusing the channel. Right this is why you cannot hit them with constantly.

STEPHANIE: No and I think that applies to any marketing channel. You know, we all get excited about the new cool thing. We all get on it and then it just gets oversaturated. It's about making sure that you are spreading your campaigns across multiple channels. So you're not making people feel like they're getting spammed, which is kind of a nice segue to our last discussion topic for today, as it's one that's been seen as junk in the past but is now sophisticated and personalized. It's direct mail. I mean, come on, we knew it was coming as this is the area we specialize in.

JULIE: Of course.

STEPHANIE: Going back to our first discussion item, word-of-mouth marketing. Like the discovery example, I think we've seen some creative ways to use testimonials in direct mail, such as on the buckslips or inserts and letters or customer reviews for featured products on postcards. Julie, from your perspective of demand gen, how would you utilize customer testimonials through direct mail marketing?

JULIE: Well, so first, I just recommend choosing a testimonial that is specific and detail. Nice, but general statements like I was very happy with the product or the software are less effective than testimonials that include specific details about how the product or the service actually benefited the customer. Right so the more specific you can get, the better. And then I think this is really important to use testimonials from customers that are similar to the who you are targeting. So if you are targeting right now young, urban, for a professional, for example, right? Don't pick someone that looks like me.

STEPHANIE: You're only 25!

JULIE: That may not be compelling. Right the other thing is, when we're looking at direct mail, it's really important. The more you can make it look human and to humanize it. Right so use not only just using that sort of photo of the customer if possible. Yeah, that's a good tip, right? Seeing a real person saying positive things about your product, it makes the testimonial more relatable. More believable. And then place it in a prominent location. Right so put it in the front of your direct mail piece or above the fold. Produce the temperature flyer. Don't hide it. Live with that. Right like the example you gave earlier with Discover, you saw it right away because it was in a prominent location.

STEPHANIE: Yeah I think another example that we've seen use testimonials really well I think it's on our website is Chase where they had a letter for parents who wanted to set their children up with a bank account. So they could get started. And it had little callout boxes with quotes from the parents and from the kids. And it's a great way to be like, oh, OK, like, here's the actual example of the customers, but the parents are still obviously in charge of it. They want to make sure it's a good quality product, but then they also want their kid to be happy with it. And I thought that was a really unique use case for it, but just those little outs all over the letter instead of just a page of like, here's why people love us. Like after you read the first like to you're like, I get it.

JULIE: Yeah .

STEPHANIE: All right. So, let's step back a second. And instead of just focusing on how to use testimonials, let's talk about bigger, wider marketing campaigns. What kind of campaigns do you think are a good fit for direct mail marketing, just in general?

JULIE: Well, I mean, direct mail can be used basically anywhere across the customer lifecycle, right? Acquisition, retention, upsell, cross-sell, you name it, you can use it exactly as you would use email or any of your other digital marketing channels. And, you know, the nice thing is in just a crazy, noisy, fragmented world and now cookie lists world direct mail still allows you to connect with people in a way that these glowing screens that we stare at all day are no longer working as well. So, you know, I think it's just thinking about what action you want a buyer to take and whether or not they would respond better to a digital or a touch in real life.

STEPHANIE: No, definitely. I think that's really great advice. You know, again, it's really understanding your customers, segmenting them appropriately. I mean, you and I both already talked about the case study this question of like, I want to read that and sort of watching it. And so figuring out, OK, especially as we are moving away from cookies and third-party data making, that first-party data work for you by saying, OK, Julie and Stephanie both belong in this same list because they want written case studies done to them where as maybe John and Tom prefer video testimonials that we can just embed in an email. So really making sure that you're tracking that kind of data as well is very important as we move forward. I think, obviously, you know, my next question is probably going to be, since we are talking about direct mail and we were to talked about it earlier: metrics. So what are some of the metrics that marketers should track to evaluate the effectiveness of direct mail marketing?

JUIE: Oh so you know, whatever a KPIs that you use now for channel objectiveness should apply to direct mail. So there's, you know, activity KPIs, but there's also achievement KPIs. And since I just mentioned email, for example, let's, let's talk about the KPIs for email versus direct mail, right? You can track as long as you have automated software, you can track direct mail just like email, right? So you can choose the exact date you want something to land and you can do A/B testing with images, with text to see which works better. And you can track conversion rates, right? Just like email. So you just need to be sure to use trackable methods. So if you want to track, for example, conversions off of a direct mail, piece your kit and that is your KPI, which I would say always should be right conversions because then you can see a path to pipeline and bookings. You just have to use a trackable method, right? So a QR code, a personalized website, an NFC sticker works really well. You need promo codes, unique phone numbers. Any of these methods would give you clear channel attribution.

STEPHANIE: Awesome. So since we're talking about metrics and measurement, I'd love to pose a question for you that might open a can of worms. But I'm really curious. What are your thoughts on the different attribution models and what do you think is best? Multitouch, last touch, single touch, other, what have you?

JULIE: Attribution models. OK, so there's still one best attribution model, right? The right model is really going to depend on the specific marketing objectives, customer journey, all that stuff. And I'll tell you, in my career, I've had to adapt and recommend different models for different places. And sometimes I've had to experiment even in one company, because, you know, the idea here with attribution model isn't just to give a channel or a team credit, it's to understand what's working and not working. So I would always recommend to do some testing, but if you're going to hold my feet to the fire, I will tell you I would prefer what I call position-based attribution model, which is multitouch, but then you give more credit to, I would say, the value of a conversion, right? First and last touch. So first touch gets a little bit more credit and all the touches in between. Basically, you spread out like peanut butter, give them all a percentage of attribution.

STEPHANIE: No, and I think that's a really cool model because it really does kind of paint that picture of what content or call to action, what piece really drove the most action and getting people into, you know, potentially a nurture campaign. And then what finally forced them to convert? You should know that.

JULIE: Yeah, because it gives a little bit more weight to the last touch before an opportunity opens, but doesn't discount everything that happened before. And I think that seems to be the most accurate model.

STEPHANIE: No, that's really cool. I mean, I even look at that when I run our social media metrics, like I go into Google Analytics, I look at social conversions, and then I also look at last interaction social just because I mean, I'll admit social media is typically seen as an assisting channel. That's how it really is used. It's used to drive engagement and keep people engaged and loyal to your brand. You're not typically using it to drive a lot of conversions or high value sales, but it does impact it. So it is always interesting to see like if a social media campaign was the last thing that tipped somebody over that conversion path.

JULIE: Yeah and there's so much value to what we do that influences the pipeline and we shouldn't lose sight of that, right? And so being able to look back at everything that went into getting one person to take an action, it's humbling, right? It's also completely exhausting to look at how much work it takes, right? But it also it helps you understand where you should put your resources, right, and get your people and your dollars.

STEPHANIE: Definitely cool. So, Julie, before we close out today's episode, are there any other timeless tactics that you think today's modern marketers need to include in their toolkit?

JULIE: Well, you know what? I think we've totally lost the art of sending personal notes or gifts. You bring on new customers. I mean, I think that we have to do a better job at appreciating new buyers and welcoming them with either, like I said, a gift or something like that. Our customers are our lifeblood, and if they take the leap and believe in what we're selling, then that's a powerful compliment. And we should respond in kind. Right I Thank them for joining us.

STEPHANIE: No, that's definitely a great one. I'm not going to volunteer to do any handwriting, so nobody would be able to read it. But that's a great point.

JULIE: I think we're losing the art of handwriting, actually. Let's get to the point where all I can do is sign my name now.

STEPHANIE: I swear it was a couple of years ago that they were like, we don't teach cursive in schools anymore. I'm like, how do children sign their names?

JULIE: That's it. It'll be a paw print.

STEPHANIE: It'll just be the full initials. Handwriting is a lost art, I tell you.

JULIE: For sure. But just think about how special it is when it shows up, right?

STEPHANIE: That is nice. I love when my realtor sends me a handwritten note.

JULIE: Ah, see? That's very smart.

STEPHANIE: All right. Well, again, Julie, thank you so much for joining us. To our listeners as well, thank you for joining us for drinks and a chat about marketing. If you do want to dive deeper into the topic of timeless marketing tactics and how to have them work together, please feel free to download a copy of our e-book, the modern marketer's guide to omnichannel marketing at lobdemo.co/omnichannel that's lobdemo.co/omnichannel. Our next Lobcast Podcast episode will cover how you can slide into a new type of DM direct mail. We'll cover direct mail marketing, best practices and how to get started with this channel to maximize its performance in 2023. As always, you can browse our library of episodes over at lobdemo.co/lobcast. Thanks for listening. And that's all, folks.