Posted By Seamus Barton
5 Tips to Connect with Your Customer Using Direct Mail
Direct mail is a form of marketing that involves sending promotional material via Canada Post, United States Postal Service (USPS) or another postal delivery service. Direct mail is very effective at attracting new customers if done correctly. If done ineffectively, some people may regard your piece as uninvited ‘junk mail’.
The most common types of direct mail include:
Because direct mail arrives unannounced, it’s important that your recipients find interest toward the products and services being pitched. Otherwise, you’ll have wasted your resources on a campaign that has not managed to inspire a handful of people. To avoid this outcome, there are 5 tips to help you connect with your customer using direct mail. Please follow this advice for a successful direct marketing campaign that nets a substantial return for your efforts.
Tip #1: Define your target audience
Customized direct mail marketing can be more efficient than general advertising, which throws a message to everyone in the hopes that consumers in the target market will happen to notice it. Direct mail is only successful when a message lands in the mailbox of someone who actually wants to read it. This means that it is crucial for you to accurately define your target audience before sending out those pieces. Who are the right customers? That answer depends on your business and what you offer.
Here are some of the factors to consider when defining who your customers might be:
- What is their age range and gender?
- What are their income and education levels?
- Do they have children?
- Do they own homes or rent?
- Where do they like to go on vacation?
Aside from the last question, these are some basic questions you should be able to answer when describing your customers. The more specific you get, the more successful direct mail marketing will be. For example, do your clients have hardwood floors, own stocks or have a specific medical condition? Try to narrow down their habits and lifestyles as much as possible.
Tip #2: Design high-quality materials
Flyers that look like they were produced in a high school computer lab may not stand out from the competition. Hire a professional to design your marketing materials using high-quality graphics and well-written text. Although it may seem like a lot of money to spend up front, you will see a return on your investment when customers begin to take notice. Organize the information effectively by including highlights so that prospects can scan for the most essential details.
Some people are so used to getting flooded with flyers that they immediately toss them without taking a peek. To avoid this, consider sending letters as well. Some recipients may be more open to reading a letter because it feels more genuine. Sign all letters with a printed signature, even in blue ink to give them a personal touch.
Tip #3: Provide tangible incentives
The goal of direct mail is to get your target customer to respond. Instead of sending out flyers with just your business details — attach coupons, samples and free trial offers as well. When your recipients use these incentives, you’re creating an opportunity for interaction and a chance to impress them with outstanding customer service. People love receiving things of value, even if they know companies are luring them into buying more products. Satisfaction promises and full money back guarantees are also good ways to build trust. This way, new customers can feel comfortable with their initial investment.
Tip #4: Craft an effective follow-up plan
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not following up after their first direct mail campaign. Many companies will send out one postcard, and then their recipients will never hear from them again. To crush the competition, you must continue reaching out to your target customers multiple times. Until someone asks you to take them off their mailing list, you should assume every recipient is still a potential customer. To ensure effectiveness, reference the previous materials you have sent. Where possible, avoid mailing out the same flyer or postcard over and over again.
As long as each mailout you do is successful, you should continue the sequence until the last follow-up is no longer profitable. Once this happens, reassess your marketing campaign and target customer — then start the mailing sequence all over again.
Tip #5: Direct mailing requires a digital component
For consumers, the path to purchasing is no longer linear and clear-cut. Yes it’s true that you can send out direct mail and a prospect will reach out via the call-to-action stated in your marketing material. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your mailer was the only thing that drove that prospect to contact you. These days, people will check up on your business using additional mediums. For example, after receiving your mailer he/she may have looked up your website to assess your company’s professionalism. And then searched for your business on Google Reviews to see what other people are saying about your services. Given these new trends in consumer behaviour, it’s crucial your direct mail campaigns have a strong digital presence as well. Follow-up materials can be distributed online by sending out e-newsletters or posting groupon discounts on social media. Traditionally, direct mail was considered a standalone project. Nowadays to be successful, you must take a well-rounded approach and enhance those tangible materials with strong digital components as well.