How Direct Mail Can Be Used to Trigger Growth
There are several ways you can use direct mail in your business. It’s not all about the direct response – you can also use direct mail to generate new leads, acquire new customers, and retain and service with those customers you already have.
Direct response marketing is perhaps the most recognized form of direct mail. With a direct response piece, you encourage a purchase directly from the mailing, typically with some sort of special offer. Direct response pieces can be in the form of postcards, catalogs, or targeted letters. This can be an effective way to sell your products. A USPS study reports that 58% of households that earn more than $65,000 per year make purchases via direct mail.
Another way you can use direct mail is to generate leads for your salesforce. Lead generation helps to identify qualified prospects, which lets your salespeople better focus their time and energy. Direct mail lead generation is popular among both B2C and B2B companies and can be tied into a dedicated landing page on your company’s website for easier customer responses.
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What about those people who used to be your customers, but haven’t purchased anything recently? Direct mail is a great tool for re-engaging with lapsed customers. You already know a lot about these people and you can use that information to create direct mail campaigns personalized to their needs. Tell these former customers that you miss them by making them an enticing offer to come back into the fold. The effort will be worth it.
Customer acquisition is similar to lead generation but typically results in a direct or delayed sale. Acquiring new customers is essential for any business as its how you keep growing. You typically use direct mail to acquire new customers by utilizing purchased mailing lists. The more targeted the list, the higher the response rate.
You don’t want to lose your loyal customers. Invesp Consulting reports that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Fortunately, you can use direct mail to reward existing customers and encourage additional purchases. You need to create a strong relationship with these customers and make them feel appreciated. You can do this with direct mail campaigns that introduce customers to new products, suggest addons to existing products, or deliver offers exclusively to existing customers
Five Best Practices for Effective Direct Mail
What makes for an effective direct mail campaign? Here are five things you can do to increase your chances of direct mail success.
UNDERSTAND THE 40-40-20 RULE
When it comes to direct marketing, the 40-40-20 Rule rules. This rule says that 40% of a campaign's success comes from list selection, 40% from the offer, and just 20% from creative execution. Therefore, instead of spending all your time on the creative end, you need to spend twice as much effort on selecting the right target audience and crafting an appealing customer offer. Who you mail to and what you offer them are the most important things. How you present that offer, while important, has far less impact.
You can’t expect a just send out a single mailing and expect that to do the job. Successful direct mail marketing involves multiple contacts with customers. The more often you touch the customer, the better response you’ll receive.
Repetition helps build recognition and improve response. You need to get your brand and message in front of customers multiple times to make the most effective impact.
TEST, TEST, AND TEST
With direct mail, you don’t have to guess whether a campaign will work or not. You can test the effectiveness of a piece or offer at a relatively low cost. Just send out a flight of different test pieces to a limited audience and see what works. You can test multiple offers and pieces multiple times. Keep testing until you have the best campaign possible.
PERSONALIZE YOUR CONTENT
The more personalized a direct mail piece, the higher the response. Generic pieces don’t work as well as those that include the customer’s name and other relevant information. Customers want to read about what’s important to them, and direct mail lets you create highly customized offers. Make your customers feel special and you’ll get a better response.
INCLUDE A STRONG CALL TO ACTION – AND MULTIPLE WAYS TO RESPOND
When creating a direct mail campaign, don’t forget the call to action. Ask your customers to do something – visit your website, call a salesperson, or make a purchase. Customers won’t respond if you don’t ask them to. Make it easy for your customers to respond by creating multiple points of contact. Give them a web page address, phone number, and mail-back mechanism. Let them choose their preferred response method.