Direct mail marketing can be a highly effective way to increase foot traffic in your store, generate interest on your website, target customers who are not online, improve customer service and change the public perception of your brand.
With a growing focus on online marketing and advertising, however, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to use meticulous planning to ensure your direct mail campaign is truly effective. If you’re getting ready to start a new campaign or you are just not seeing the expected results from your current efforts, try implementing these helpful tips.
Use proven techniques
While some techniques may work better for certain types of businesses than others, there are some that appear to work for almost any organization. Some of the most effective proven techniques are including a yes/no offer, time-limited offers, free gift offers (rather than discounts) and sending mailers as envelope packages. Consider using a postal meter or mail machine to make the process go more smoothly.
Appeal to emotion
Studies have shown that most consumers make decisions about what to buy using emotion — later justifying the decision with logic. Use this to your advantage by including an appeal to emotion, followed by an appeal to logic, as part of your direct mailing campaign. Try addressing customers’ needs for more time, comfort, money, popularity, praise, prestige, self-confidence and health. Then, follow through by telling your audience members exactly why your products or services are the right choice for them.
Focus on good content
Mailers with a creative design are attractive, but without solid content, they’re unlikely to bring in business. Keep in mind that storytelling is still an effective strategy to incorporate with direct mail, so use the opportunity to your advantage while you have your customers’ attention. Focus on developing strong, persuasive copy and allow your design to develop from that content, rather than the other way around. Remember to answer the reader’s question, “What’s in it for me?”
Provide the right incentives
Direct mail is more effective when it includes tangible incentives. Get your customers to respond to an offer, such as a coupon, free trial, free sample, service guarantee, rebate or other reward for taking action. Incentives don’t have to require spending a lot of money on your part — you might try offering a timesaving offer or special shopping experience instead.
Test and track results
If your business cannot afford market testing, it may still be helpful to conduct an informal survey to get an idea of whether or not your pitch is attractive, informative and appealing. Once mailers are sent out, keep a close eye on the results. Are certain areas or target audiences responding better than others? Focus your efforts more heavily on those areas from now on. You may need to adjust your approach and your marketing messages as time goes on.
Direct mail marketing is still alive and well, and many businesses see some strong results from these types of campaigns. Don’t forget to include direct mail when outlining your marketing strategy for 2014 and beyond.