Guest blog: Twitter Blows Out Direct Mail

By May 14, 2009 December 3rd, 2012 6 Comments

The following is a blog post by Nan Palmero, Chief Inspriation Officer at Sales By 5, a San Antonio firm that helps companies achieve dramatic increases in sales.

Last December, seeking to enhance sales, Gary Vaynerchuk offered free shipping and promoted it three ways. As a result, he said, a direct marketing mailing cost $15,000 and brought in 200 new customers; a billboard ad cost $7,500 and won 300 new customers; and tweeting the promotion on Twitter attracted 1,800 new customers.

Are you using social media to get your story out there? You don’t have to pay for attention anymore.



  • I have to give credit where it’s due. This post was put together by Erik Darmstetter, our fearless leader. I *am* the one in the photo, though. 🙂

  • Doran Peck says:

    Couple things to consider in your claim. The term “direct mail” gets thrown around pretty loosely. Lots of finger pointing to a very general term. Not all direct mail is created equally, nor is it crafted by equally talented people. Technology such as variable data printing coupled with imaginitive campaign ideas can land response rates well above 25% (not a typo) consistently.

    Really though….more important than response rates, are the amount of the purchases, and your ability to keep those customers purchasing again and again. That is where the real work comes in and the big payoff. Too much emphasis is placed on “Response Rate” and the short term sale, and not on the lifetime value of even one responder.

    My company has embraced Twitter and other social media, I echo your enthusiasm for the medium, and support the effort you are trying to make with this research….I just really hate to see direct mail get knocked around. It is a powerful medium when it is done correctly…and its cost is only relevant to the particular vendor used. Its kinda like pitting a Mac against a Compaq then saying “Macs are better than PC’s” …put it up against a Dell, and you get a different results.

    While you can reach people all across the country via Twitter…and really, that is an exciting thing! …there are still some tactical advanages of direct mail. Everyone has a mailbox and everyone goes to it first thing when they get home. That is a pretty captive audience…and you have access to every person in the country. On Twitter, you have access only to the people on twitter.

    Anybody can get themselves a presence on Twitter…just as anybody..even a teenaged kid can put up a super website and come across as a big company. Printed material, and direct mail, put you in another level of legitimacy.

    Ultimately, using a mix of media will get you the best results for your branding, and the more use use those mediums the more astute you will become at using them to your advantage. If you aren’t using social media, I’d suggest getting on board quickly. It can be a valuable supporting element to your marketing. I would also recommend direct mail. The fact is, pizza lovers love getting deals on pizza in the mail…and understanding that concept equates to all direct mail. People go to their mailbox purely out of optimism – they believe or have hope that “today I will get something good in the mail” if collecting the mail were a painful or negative process ( ie: jst to collect bills) then the majority of people would neglect the mailbox for days or weeks at a time.

  • Ryan Kelly says:


    Thanks for the well-thought out response!

    I think the point of the post is that it really boils down to the cost between the two different promotions. I agree that a dimensional mailer will perform much better, and if the cost can be justified (i.e. the cost per acquisition is sitting around 15% of the average LTV of the customer), then this would be simply another channel to market your product or service.

    There are still plenty of folks who are not using Twitter that respond to DM, to your point.

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  • arjona says:

    @Doran Peck are you the fellow who is friends with Jake (bob ross) 9×12 creator ?

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