“Four-fifths (79 per cent) of consumers will act on direct mail immediately compared to only 45 per cent who say they deal with email straightaway.”
- CMO Council, October 2013
The number above may come as a surprise because it illustrates the effectiveness of direct mail marketing versus using email. Although many industries use email as a primary way to communicate with potential and current customers, it isn’t the only way to build customer rapport. Small businesses such as dentist offices, home cleaning services, and real estate brokerages still find a lot of value in sending letters and offers to interested residents.
They understand that not everyone will take the time to read their email. Whereas, people usually do take time to check their physical mailbox.
As a small business owner, here’s the basics on what you need to do to get started with a successful direct mail campaign:
Acquire a targeted mailing list
The first step is to get a targeted mailing list to acquire new customers. Some people prefer to rent mailing lists from companies such as www.directmail.com and choose from a selection of consumer, business, and real estate related mailing lists. In addition, there is the option to customize the list to certain demographics like age, income, magazine subscribers, and etc. But, the huge con of list rentals are that they cannot be “bought out” completely.
An alternative to the traditional mail list rentals is BOOST’s feature of building your list from individuals who have already found your site and are already interested in your products and services. This type of lead list is based on customer intent, and will not cost you additional fees other than the monthly subscription fee.
Getting inside your Customer’s shoes
After you have obtained your rolodex of names and addresses, you should think about:
- What it is that you can provide them?
- What do they need?
- What can you offer them that they would value?
Most of all, write in away that connects with your audience. Not necessarily ad copy, but perhaps a softer sell with editorial style writing containing elements of stories and testimonials.
Enlist the help of a Print company
Even if the content of the direct mail piece is perfect, the presentation of it has to be just as visually appealing. Think of how you can make things easy to read, understand, and enjoyable for the customer. It could be little things from the pictures chosen to the font to the line spacing that have an impact.
In this case, if you have the budget, go ahead with a company who can help you design the perfect collateral for your campaign.
Experiment with multiple offers
It makes sense to not just make one offer on the direct mailer piece but rather a couple different offers. These come in the form of coupons, special codes, and alternate placements in the direct mailer. For example, the ADT mailer below placed an offer at the top, and made sure to include two extra coupons along the right hand side. This gives the consumer the power to choose whichever promotion that would be most relevant to them.
You want to make it easy to say yes. So along with putting offers in multiple places in the direct mailer, make sure you throw in a testimonial or two.
Even when you complete your first direct mail campaign, the work is never done. Goals should be measured to see if they were achieved or not. Some ways to track response rates could be through: 1) the number of coupons / codes used, 2) surveying people on the phone or online, 3) profit from conversions compared to cost of campaign, and 4) if they continued to become repeat customers.
If your mail campaign did not work the first time, it would be time to reassess: 1) if you approached the right demographic for your services, 2) type of offer you provided, and 3) marketing collateral you used. These things can be tweaked with some effort, and it is better to do so than to keep running an ineffective campaign.
In the end, it comes down to positive ROI in your campaign.
We would like to know what worked for your business and what didn’t work for your businesses when you got started with direct mail campaigning?
BOOST from Epic Playground provides patent pending technology to generate the perfect mailing list and measure the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns. See how geolocation can help BOOST your direct mail sales!