The effects of this era’s digital innovations on the expectations of consumers in no secret by now. People who are now entering adulthood were raised alongside the immediacy and convenience of the internet, digital storefronts, social media networks and on-demand entertainment. These kinds of services that were novel in the last two decades have developed our current standard of quality – namely in having quick, effort-free, 24/7 access to food, products, news and entertainment.
Our newfound standards have come alongside an intolerance for messages that take too long to comprehend and processes that involve too many steps. Hence why the average human attention span has seen a significant drop since the year 2000 from twelve seconds to the current eight. So, as the advertiser, how do you utilize those mere eight seconds to captivate your audience and convince them to look at what you are offering?
With the tremendous volume of advertising that the average consumer is exposed to every day, many have developed a general indifference toward digital marketing efforts. Banner ads, pop-ups and commercials are viewed as intruders upon the content people are trying to access – and subsequently ignored more often than not. Therefore, in order to draw and retain a person’s attention, you need to start with a media vehicle that doesn’t frustrate its audience by interrupting their activities. Instead, you should select a medium that weaves itself naturally into a familiar ritual.
Fortunately, no matter what other aspects of life become digitized, physical mail has never lost its relevance, and is still beloved by all. The act of opening mail is not only a ritual of familiarity, but one of necessity. Few people neglect their mail deliveries because they often contain important letters and packages that warrant their attention. Utilizing this time of undivided attention is the first step towards making a real impact with your marketing message. This is why direct mail is the ideal medium for reaching your target market.
So, the question now becomes – how do you best utilize the medium of direct mail to capture the interest of your audience?
Ensure You Mail to the Right People
When anyone looks through their mail what they are really searching for is value. They are looking for things that are of personal value or importance to them – like letters, cards, gifts, magazines, newsletters or coupons. Anything that doesn’t have clear value or importance to the recipient is subject to the waste bin – which is why it is vital to mail your pieces to a relevant audience.
Before determining the parameters for your mailing list, you have to carefully consider who you are targeting with your message. More simply put, ask yourself who the message is for and why it is relevant to them. Use this information as the foundation for your list. Some common targeting strategies include:
- Geographically targeting people who live near your company’s physical location
- Targeting a list of previous customers to encourage additional purchases
- Mailing based on demographics that mirror your primary clientele
- Mailing to a new demographic that you think is likely to buy from you
You’ll need to perform your own research to determine what demographics would be the best for your business to target and develop a strategy from those findings.
Design a Piece That Proves Its Relevance Visually
Of course, mailing to the right audience is essential but as previously mentioned if your mail piece doesn’t communicate any value to its recipient it will end up discarded. Your piece has no more than eight seconds to capture the interest of its reader.
Postcards easily stand out from other kinds of mail, and don’t burden the audience with the tedium of reading through paragraphs of information to interpret their message. A postcard ought to be designed in such a way that it only takes the reader a glance to understand what it’s about. People need to see graphics and copy that communicate the relevance of your piece to them in an instant. When designing your piece, you will need to consider your target demographics and what they are likely to react to. Some possible attention-grabbing elements you can employ include:
- Graphics of your product or service that instantly relay the purpose of your piece
- Headlines about the benefits of your products or services
- Visuals and stylization that appeal to your demographic and prove the piece has personal relevance
- Callouts about special offers to intrigue the reader
The more immediately you can prove your direct mailer has value to the consumer, the more likely they are to look further into what you are offering.
It may be clear by now that creating a direct mail postcard capable of beating the 8-second attention span is a complex process. It would be wise to team up with an expert that can help with organizing relevant mailing lists and designing attention-grabbing visuals for your piece. Cactus Mailing has over 20 years of direct mail experience and can walk you through the campaign process step-by-step from list acquisition to design to print and mail. We’ve already helped more than 20,000 companies develop their campaigns and get results. Fill out the form below or give us a call to get started – you’ll be at the finish line in no time!