Today’s digital landscape has become increasingly competitive. Businesses from around the world are looking for effective ways to not only acquire and retain customers but also provide them with a unique, personalized experience. Whether you’re running a brick and mortar or online store, you need to have a marketing strategy. With so many marketing channels to utilize in today’s digital age, it can be easy to overlook and ignore a valuable traditional marketing method that can help your business stand out from the competition.
Direct mail might seem like an old-school marketing strategy but, when done right, can work with other marketing channels and have a huge positive impact on your prospects and your bottom line. Direct mail marketing refers to any physical correspondence—catalogs, classy 5×7 envelopes with postcards, brochures, flyers, and physical letters—that you send to your prospects’ and/or current customers’ mailbox through the U.S Postal Service or any other delivery service.
According to a 2017 survey, direct mail campaigns have a greater ROI than online display ads and paid search. In addition, 76% of customers trust the marketing material they receive in the mailbox. Direct mail has also been shown to have better response rates and extensive personalization capabilities than email. That said, here’s how you can launch your own direct mail marketing campaign.
Define Your Goals
Before you invest your valuable time and money into direct mail marketing, you need to establish your objectives first. Think about what you want to accomplish with your campaign. Are you looking to spread the word about your current offers? Do you want to attract new customers? Or you’re hoping to increase brand awareness? Every other decision you make is dependent on the goal(s) you want to achieve.
Understand Your Target Audience
Once you’ve established your objectives, you need to define and understand your target audience. You need to identify their unique problems and needs and figure out how your business can help solve them. To better reach your prospects and customers, you need their behavioral, demographic, and psychographic data.
Psychographic information includes your customers’ opinions, lifestyle habits, attitudes, values, and hobbies while demographic information includes their income, ethnic background, age, gender, and marital status. You can gather customer data by looking at your social media sites, reviewing site content, and checking previous email promotions to determine what might have prompted customers to take action.
You could also interview some of your customers and find out about their preferences, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and any other relevant information as well. Understanding your target audience can help you tailor your direct mail campaign to suit their unique needs. Think about how your set of goals fit into your customers’ needs.
Create Your Mailing List
Now that you have a clear goal you want to achieve and have identified the customer segments you’ll be targeting, it’s time to determine how you’re going to reach them. Use the customer data you’ve gathered to build a targeted direct mailing list of potential leads. You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money sending mail to everyone out there. Your goal should be to target potential new leads who will buy your products or services.
Chances are you already have house mailing lists—the addresses and names of prospective and existing customers. Focus your efforts on those as they already know your brand. Now, you may not have any mailing lists at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t launch your direct mail campaign. Go ahead and encourage your prospects and customers to share their contact information with you online- whether in a newsletter signup form, as a way of signing up for coupons and promotional emails in the future, or to gain access to some of your gated content.
Consider segmenting your mailing list based on customer behavioral, demographic, and psychographic information. This will help you create personalized content that speaks directly to your customers’ unique needs.
Create Your Mailer
When creating your direct mail piece, keep in mind the goal of your campaign and your CTA. Your messaging should be engaging, attention-grabbing, and memorable to each customer segment. Consider the type of content your prospects and customers are consuming and your competitors’ offerings, and then create a compelling piece of mail with a strong offer that will compel your recipient to act. The message should communicate who and what you are as a brand. As such, the direct mail piece should be consistent with your product offerings.
Make Sure you Have a Compelling CTA
Think about what you want your prospects and/or customers to do next once they open the mail. Remember you’re not creating a direct-mail piece to entertain or inform people about your business. You want action. You want the recipient to respond to the offer. And that means you have to take your time to craft a compelling call-to-action (CTA). If you can’t create a good CTA yourself, consider hiring a copywriter to help.
Schedule Your Mail and Track Response
Once you’re done designing your mail piece and it has been printed, it’s time to send your mail out. But that doesn’t mean your job is finished. You need to track your mail and test how well your direct mail campaign is working. You can track mail responses using offer codes or coupons. Alternatively, you can have your marketing team casually ask prospective customers how they came across your brand or simply ask prospects and/or customers to follow your brand on social media. This will help you figure out whether or not your campaign is making a difference.