Posted By Seamus Barton
6 Best Practices for More Effective Direct Mail Campaigns
Engaging customers in a way that’s convenient for them can improve your response rates. With an increased focus on digital marketing and less attention to the competencies of direct mail, there is a higher chance that customers will be receptive to relevant and well-executed direct mail messages, as your competitors exhaust digital tactics. Contrary to the opinions of some, direct mail is definitely not dead. It’s true that there may have been a decline in the number of direct mail pieces in your mailbox, but for a savvy market, less mail means better visibility.
So, how can you benefit from direct marketing? Here are 6 best practices you can use to grow your customer base and optimize your efforts.
- Target and personalize the campaign experience
Your customers are unique; therefore, the best way to engage them is to treat them that way. Make an effort to understand prospects by gathering information from various sources such as your CRM and external sources. Just like any other form of marketing, you should also design your direct mail campaign based on accurate data. This will assist you when segmenting customers in order to personalize offers. By defining narrow segments and sending personalized promotions, your offers are more likely to resonate with customers. Personalization should go beyond addressing recipients by their names. It should focus on delivering content that connects with your prospects.
That said, you don’t have to rewrite your mailer to customize the offers for each prospect. Small tweaks will go a long way in helping to deliver personalized direct mail messages. These tweaks could be as simple as adding opening hours and an address of the closest store or pointing out the section of the catalogue that has relevant products. These changes should be based on declared interest or behaviour of your prospects.
On top of this, you can use predictive modelling to fine-tune your mailing campaigns. Tracking response rates will also help understand customers’ interests, as well as help you to update your list to reflect the current profile of the prospects.
- Make direct mail an integral part of your marketing plan
Direct mail marketing will be more effective if it is integrated with other marketing strategies. You should align your direct mail campaigns with your social media promotions, email campaigns, online ads and other marketing campaigns. Integrating mail with other marketing channels will build synergy and enhance the omnichannel experience. Potential ways to integrate include offering coupon codes that can be redeemed online, using graphics that are similar to what you use on social ads and on your website, and capturing email addresses to use for email promotions.
As with digital marketing, be prepared to do A/B testing and send multiple waves to get the best out of your direct mailing list. Persistence is key in marketing. Keep in mind that you may not get to cast your net wide enough to reach out to a potential customer if you adopt a one-and-done approach.
- Create a simple and direct call to action
Like any other marketing channel, the goal of direct mail campaigns is to convince a prospect to take action. The best calls to action (CTAs) are compelling, clear, varied, and repeated. In most cases, best direct mails use three calls to action. The direct mail message should be compelling, but you should be able to divert the attention of prospect to take action.
In most cases, recipients skim through your mailer, so, you should make your calls to action big and bold to allow them to stop reading and act. It must tell the recipient what you expect them to do. You can also improve response rates by using sidebars and P.S. section to reiterate your CTA and offer.
- Offer multiple ways to respond
Providing more ways for the recipients to get back to you is one of the best practices you can use to ensure you accommodate varied preference and to minimize friction. Today’s consumers demand more convenience from businesses. Among your recipients, some prefer to talk to you, some like texting, while others may prefer to communicate through website or email. Millennials consumers, specifically, love their tech, so providing a way to get to your website might serve them well. Older recipients may prefer picking up a phone to call you.
With this in mind, you should simplify your response channels.
- Test, measure, and optimize
Direct mail marketing is an iterative process; you should continuously test and tweak as necessary. As you get any data on the performance of your campaign, analyze it and optimize your offering. To achieve this, you need put in place a mechanism to track the results. You should know what metrics you will use to measure success. You can even create a picture of what success should look like, so as to have something to base your comparison on.
As you set up your campaign, make sure you have simplified ways of tracking outcome. Here are some of the metrics you may consider tracking in your next mailer:
- Cost per mail
- Campaign audience size
- Response or conversion rates
- The campaign budget
- Average value per customer
- Total number of purchases
- Profits from the campaign
- Timing is important
Timing is an influential factor in virtually all marketing campaigns. As with digital marketing, timing is also an important consideration in direct mail marketing. As such, you should ensure your mailer connects with the right prospects at the right time. Timing also involves taking into account the stage of your prospects in their buying journey. Knowing the stage will help you create an direct mail offer that suits that prospect.