Many nonprofits I work with are just beginning to dip their toe into e-mail marketing and social media. What I’ve found is that while their new media is lacking, many have a huge direct mail list they’ve built up over the years.
A direct mail asset can be awesome for building an email list or a Facebook fanbase–if you’re smart about using it…
Should You Convert Your Direct Mail List To Email Subscribers or Facebook Fans?
Whether you should convert your direct mail list to e-mail subscribers or Facebook fans depends upon what you’re trying to accomplish in the long run.
The benefit of e-mail is that you know that most of your messages are getting delivered (whether they’re opened or not is another matter). Facebook on the other hand, has a low “delivery rate” but allows you to expand awareness throughout fan networks.
Then there are the hurdles. With e-mail, someone has to enter their name and e-mail into a form, and grant you access into their inbox. With Facebook, all that’s required is a simple click of a mouse, which sometimes allows your content in their newsfeed.
Given that there are less hurdles with Facebook, you might have an easier time converting fans instead of e-mails subscribers from your direct mail list. But simply lowering hurdles is just the beginning.
Here are 6 strategies and tactics to convert Facebook fans from direct mail:
1. Use Your Facebook Username
If you’re thinking at all about promoting your Facebook page in any type of print material, you absolutely have to create a Facebook username.
Once you’ve created one, you’ll realize that “http://www.facebook.com/mypagename” is still fairly long for print.
Make it shorter by printing “fb.com/mypagename” instead. When people enter this address into a browser it will automatically forward to your Facebook page.
2. Convert More With a Custom Tab
One way to convert more fans is to reinforce the message in your direct mail piece with a similar message on a custom tab.
For example, a custom tab with a petition on Facebook would match the emotional content in the direct mail piece, which essentially shepherds the user along in order to sign the petition.
One important point about using custom tabs with direct mail: You’ll need to create a custom short URL using bit.ly or another URL shortening service because custom tab permalinks are way too long for print.
3. Use a QR code
QR codes allows people to go directly to your page using their mobile device to scan the QR code. This eliminates the need to type any URL into a browser on their mobile phone. Keep in mind that this won’t work for custom tabs because custom tabs won’t display in Facebook’s mobile apps.
4. Offer a Carrot
Another way to drive your direct mail recipients to your Facebook page is to offer an incentive. This carrot will need to be more valuable than the cost of becoming a Facebook fan.
You’ll also need to create a custom tab that reinforces the message in your direct mail piece (see #2). If your offer can be downloaded or viewed after they like your page, you may also want to use an app like ShortStack to display hidden content once they become a fan.
5. Conclude a Story
Stories are your most powerful marketing asset.
They’re also one of the most powerful tools that motivate people. This is especially true with unfinished stories. For example, A Reason To Ride (an annual bike ride to raise money for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston) sent out postcards with nothing more then a picture of a man smiling. Below this picture it said “Find out why Tom is smiling…”
6. Let Readers Know What’s New
If you send out a monthly newsletter, make a point of including a paragraph about one of your best Facebook posts and the discussions people have been having.
The Soka Gakkai writes about new content on their Facebook Page in their newspaper (shown above).
We want to hear from you!! How have you converted direct mail recipients into Facebook fans?