Must Love Mustaches

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SLIDESHOW:

Love is in the air

Recipe for social media marketing success:

  • 1 pair wax lips
  • 1 wax mustache
  • direct mail postcard
  • Facebook integration
  • simple instructions
  • fun theme
  • share and serve

While not every social media promotion requires wax lips and mustaches (although maybe they should), simplicity and a sense of fun are pretty much de rigueur if you want anyone to share or care.

PostcardMania knows how to work it. Last year the full-service DM company raked in the engagement—and the dollars—with its frankly adorable Valentine's Day campaign, and this year it aims to do the same.

The inspiration for PostcardMania's 2012 Valentine's Day campaign came when company CMO Sarah Kicinski was browsing for sweets online. She happened to come across packages of big red wax lips and barbershop quartet-inspired black candy mustaches and she thought, “How can we use that in our marketing?”

PostcardMania ended up mailing the toy lips and mustaches to its top 500 clients accompanied by a postcard with simple, clear-cut directions: 1) take a photo wearing the deliciously waxy accessories; 2) post it on PostcardMania's Facebook page; 3) win a copy of PostcardMania CEO Joy Gendusa's book.

“It's like with any marketing,” Kicinski says. “If someone has to take an additional step, you're probably going to lose them.”

Kicinski was also very aware of who comprised the audience: small business owners with a minimal amount of social media experience. “We didn't want to assume that everyone's really savvy with posting things to Facebook or Instagram or any other site,” she says. “We wanted them to do something, so we told them exactly what to click on to do it.”

By keeping the tone light, PostcardMania was able to get its customers to loosen up, and change its own perspective in the process.

“We sell to businesses, so sometimes we feel like we have to be serious or very professional, but they're individuals just like us, and anything we've ever done that's silly or fun gets more interaction than when we do things that feel corporate,” says Kicinski.

Ultimately, last year's Valentine's Day campaign generated 68 new orders, resulting in more than $120,000 in additional revenue. But making money wasn't the original object of the campaign, according to Kicinski, who says the extra profits were only a happy byproduct of PostcardMania's primary goal: having fun, being silly, and spreading the word that PostcardMania's a cool company to work with.

Fact: “Everyone loves mustaches,” Kicinski says.

This year PostcardMania has another totally sweet Valentine's Day campaign up its sleeve—custom printed candy hearts featuring words like “true love,” “PostcardMania,” “fantastic,” and “DirectMail2.0,” one of PostcardMania's production services. Recipients are tasked with devising funny phrases out of the words—a kind of kooky candy magnetic poetry without the magnets—and sharing photos of their creations on Facebook for the chance to win a series of prizes, including Amazon gift cards and $250 worth of printing credit.

The moral of the story is that direct mail deserves some love. It's an uncluttered channel and if you want to get your prospects to take notice, there's clear value in integrating DM into your marketing mix.

“People are so inundated with digital and email and social,” says Kicinski. “If I really want them to notice me, spending a little more money doing direct mail is well worth it.”

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