Direct mail marketing is an excellent choice for businesses looking to expand their customer base, improve customer retention or win back customers who have drifted away. It’s an excellent choice for small businesses with tight budgets, and also for larger companies who want to augment a multi-faceted marketing campaign or reach a niche audience.
The more you learn about direct mail marketing best practices, the better equipped you’ll be to develop campaigns that generate outstanding customer response and convert those individuals into buyers.
Direct mail marketing can be highly productive on its own or as part of a multi-media campaign. And postcards have instant impact. The recipient can immediately see what you have to offer, without having to decide if it’s worth their while to open an envelope.
Start by knowing what you want to accomplish.
That might be introducing a new store or product line, inviting people to an open house, or building name recognition for your business over time. You can generate new leads, boost your sales and build customer loyalty. You can target new prospects or existing customers. You can create a “we want you back” campaign aimed at lapsed customers.
Grab their attention with eye-catching visuals.
Direct mail has to instantly catch the eye and tell the reader whether your offer is relevant for them. Do that with creative use of color, a great image or photo and a stand-out headline that announces your offer – save 15%, free gift, etc. If it’s valuable and timely for them, they’ll respond – first by reading the rest of your postcard, and second by following your call to action.
Give them content they can’t ignore.
Your creative design should consider everything from paper stock, size and shape to graphic elements, use of color and placement of key information. And your text should be brief but compelling. Less is more, especially with today’s super-busy consumers. We’ve all become skimmers and scanners, so too much content will go unread. If you have a lot to say, consider using a brochure you can mail without an envelope.
But remember what you really want is for people to respond, so you can engage them one-on-one. You’ll attract the greatest response by telling your reader how they’ll benefit from your offer, rather than listing product features. Will they save time? Save money? Improve their life or their business by consulting with you?
Give them a clear call to action, and make it timely. Tell them to “call now,” rather than simply printing your phone number on your postcard. And put an expiration date on your offer.
Your goal is increased sales. To get there, your direct mail marketing has to stand out in the mailbox and build rapport and trust with potential customers. Consistency is important to reinforce your branding, and so is repetition because successful marketing is rarely a one-shot effort.
Businesses have found that sending the same mailing to the same targeted mailing list on a regular basis – monthly is good – can generate increasingly strong results. Eventually, response may level off, but that just gives you an opportunity to create a fresh new mailing that will attract new or renewed interest.
Study your results.
Tracking your direct mail is important for two reasons. Naturally, you want to know how well it’s working, but even more importantly, you want to know how much revenue you’re generating. Comparing those two shows your return on investment. You can expect to be pleased, because postcard marketing typically demonstrates higher ROI than other marketing media.
Direct mail marketing is as popular as ever. And why not? It’s affordable and it can be highly effective. Put these best practices to work and see what direct mail marketing can do for your business.