These are times like no other and as small business owners we are all trying to navigate around the most extreme circumstances. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill and the pressure is on to keep everyone safe and well, rearrange business logistics, work remotely, keep up to date with ever changing guidelines, keep a super-keen eye on finances and also keep your business afloat. Your staff, family (and the British economy) needs your business to be there on the other side of this!
The pressure is huge and so, it’s easy to make rash business decisions, like “lets just stop advertising. It’s a cost we can cut and surely it’s not worth it right now”. But is this the right thing to do? Websmart chief executive and founder Simon Biltcliffe would disagree. In a recent article by Print Week he told “What you tend to find is that in moments of crisis, the brands that come out the other side really strong are those that advertise through it, and those that hold back on their advertising spend are the ones that weaken themselves.”
So the answer is no - do not stop advertising, instead you must adapt.
In these most uncertain times we have ever experienced, there is one thing we know for certain – people are at home. With this in mind, the usual spread of advertising is now reduced. Billboards and shop windows are no longer seen, instead it’s access to the home that’s needed. So let’s look at options:
TV advertising during coronavirus
We are all watching A LOT of TV right now. If you want mass exposure then TV is your guaranteed bet. The down side? It’s damn expensive, so for those big (and I mean BIG) budget marketing departments, your time is now. For the majority of small and medium size businesses, this probably isn’t a winner.
Online advertising during coronavirus
It’s no secret that Google is king. If you’re a small business that previously hasn’t taken the plunge into Ad-words (or other PPC) then this is an opportunity to reach people when they are online the most. But you need to know your stuff. If you’ve no training or knowledge of such, you’ll possibly need a little expert advice (which doesn’t come cheap). But if it’s a basic campaign then there’s no reason you can’t set this up yourself. You’ll need to gen-up of course, but right now you have lots of time to do that!
Direct mail during coronavirus
If everyone is at home then it makes total and complete sense to give direct mail a try. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, stats proved an average direct mail response rate of 4.4% (compared to 0.12% for email). Now consider that these are stats based on ‘business as usual’. Think back to a month ago and how busy your life was, with little time to open a letter. Things are a lot slower right now and with little physical contact with the outside world, it’s a welcome break to receive something through the post at the moment.
Referring back to Simon Biltcliffe’s words in Print Week and his thoughts on direct mail right now, he told “[Direct mail] will certainly have more attention now from people than it's ever had in the past. People are at home and if something comes through their letterbox, they will look at it. Print will be a really strong medium for people to build their brand and build their awareness.
“If they can serve people in their houses, that's fantastic, and even if they can't, they can build their brand so that when normality does come back, in however many months that may be, then they've taken the offensive.”
Another big plus of direct mail is the ‘trust’ element. While the masses are currently of a ‘lets look out for each other’ mentality, it’s no secret that email inboxes are also inundated with corona-based scams and social sites flooded with fake news. People trust the physical.
Cost wise, direct mail is extremely scalable too. A well considered, targeted campaign can have huge impact at low cost and so you can easily adapt to suit your budget.
The trick is to get it right. We’ve been in the direct mail game a long time now, so here’s our hot tip….
USE COLOURED ENVELOPES
It’s tried and tested and tested again. On average a coloured envelope is 9 TIMES more likely to be opened than a white one! Plus, right now, it might just brighten up someone’s day (be that the recipient, the post man or the sorting office staff).
We are happy to say it’s ‘business as usual’ here at All Colour Envelopes and so if you would like any tips or guidance on selecting the right envelopes for your direct mail campaign, then we are here and happy to help! Call 01273 486026 or email email@example.com
Small businesses – do not let this virus beat you! Yes absolutely take stock and prioritise your health and family. That’s a given. But when we get through this (and we will) your business will bounce back, so keep going and don’t be afraid to adapt to these times we are facing.
Stop. Take stock. Adapt.
Finally, stay safe and stay home everyone!