In the age of digital everything, direct mail marketing remains something of a contested topic. Should you use postcards, flyers, or catalogs to communicate with your customers or are you annoying them by handing them a piece of garbage they’ll just have to throw away.
The truth is the answer can ultimately go both ways, as you’ve no doubt noticed whenever you get a piece of direct mail. A lot of what a person does with physical media comes down to what kind of list they ended up on.
If you don’t know what your target demographic is looking for, you won’t see nearly the kinds of returns you need to justify the investment. It’s why Conversion Marketing has a few tips on how to get more from your direct mail campaigns.
First Things First: Why Direct Mail?
It’s fairly simple: people still want to get things in the mail. Seeing things on a screen might be faster and more ubiquitous, but it’s also commonplace and ultimately pretty easy to ignore. With direct mail, you have a lot of space to get creative, which might be why some surveys show that these campaigns have higher ROIs than paid search ads.
There’s just something about being able to hold something in your hands, magnetize it to the fridge, or redeem it for an exclusive offer (that your online customers will never see). It makes people think of some of the other exciting reasons they might get something in their mailbox, like an invite to a birthday party or a wedding.
#1: Make It Memorable for Your Audience
Your mailing lists should have something in common, so you know who you’re trying to target. Are you selling something silly or practical? Are you trying to appeal to people with teenagers or 2-year-olds at home? You’re not necessarily trying to forge an undying loyalty with your customers, but you can spark their interest and get them to take action.
Whatever it is you’re doing, just make sure that it fits with your brand identity. For instance, if you’re all about environmental conservation, maybe take your customers on a little trip by describing where the material in their hands came from before making it to their mailbox.
#2: Segment When You Can
Today, segmentation is at the heart of marketing strategies. It’s no longer good enough to group people by age and income. These factors can certainly help, but the nuances between your lists can drive business like you might never have imagined.
The motivating factor here is that there’s not as much competition when it comes to direct mailers. Because so many people believe that print is dead, it’s opening up major opportunities for business owners who realize that not everyone wants to see ads on Facebook anymore. If you can reach out to your customers via physical medium, you can really speak to them on a different level.
#3: Run the Tests
Ok, we admit it. Testing can be a double-edged sword, particularly if the first few are duds. Still, tracking customer engagement is the best way to ensure you’re not wasting your money. If you’ve segmented your lists before you run the experiments, you should get an accurate picture of how well your promotions are working.
There are a few ways that you can track your responses, including setting up a phone number solely for a direct mail campaign or using a specific code to run a coupon or other promotional item. This is also a good time to ask your test audience what exactly drew them to the offer. Their answer — particularly if it had very little to do with the story you told or the appeal you made — can help you figure out how to map out future strategies.
#4: Get to the Point
Direct mail might be special in a lot of ways, but it loses its appeal rather quickly if there’s too much going on. Here are a few tips to make every piece you send as clean and appealing as possible:
- CTA: Your call-to-action should leave no room for ambiguity. If you want people to stop by your store for something free, this should be spelled out (probably at least a couple of times).
- Market differentiation: Whether you’re cheaper, better, or just a fixture in the community, don’t shy away from why you’re different with your direct mailing lists.
- Mix it up: Make sure that you’re not always advertising the exact same things. If you’re constantly offering 5% off through direct mail, people will wonder why you don’t just lower your prices by 5% for good.
Of course, this is not to say that there aren’t exceptions to this rule. Plenty of customers might be drawn in by an anecdote or touching story. As long as it’s relevant, you’ve got some room to play here.
#5: Talk to Someone Who Knows
Even for businesses with niche audiences, it helps to talk to someone who knows direct marketing. Conversion Marketing was built on the principle. Our data lists are specific, making it possible for you to see who your customers are and why they might care about what you can offer them.
From first contact to the final follow-up, it’s easy for business owners to come at the problem from their perspective, even if it has nothing to do with the perspective of their customers. Better direct mailing lists can solve some of these issues, ensuring customers that you’re meeting them where they are.
If you’re interested in learning more about why conversion is the only word we really care about, contact us today. We can help you take your direct mailing lists to a new dimension, allowing you to not just connect with existing customers but really reach out to people who might not know anything about you.