Why Direct Mail Should Be Part of Your Strategy
As more and more of our lives shift into the digital realm, it can be easy to overlook the importance of direct mail marketing. However, this is a mistake that could wind up hurting your business. As customer inboxes become cluttered with deals, offers and spam, it can be difficult to rise above all that noise.
And relying on email alone can be problematic because younger consumers are drifting away from email. Email and online surfing are slowly being replaced by Instagram and SnapChat as sources for new product discovery. This generation trusts what their friends are buying or sharing, and they follow the smaller, more authentic brands.
And what about the 30- to 50-year-old cohorts? Yes, they still use email, but they are migrating to Amazon for purchases. And when they start buying your products on Amazon instead of your website, your brand loses the ability to communicate to them via email.
When you put a physical piece of mail in a customer’s hands, though, they are more likely to engage with it. This makes direct mail an effective marketing strategy, even today in the digital era.
Here’s why you should use direct mail marketing throughout all stages of your campaign, along with tips for making the most of direct mail in each stage.
Some campaigns can benefit from a direct mail pre-launch strategy that builds awareness, creates excitement, or generates new product buzz. This way, your customers will be aware of the campaign and ready to take advantage of the special offers or limited-edition products when they launch.
“Join us for our annual event!”
You can also use this type of mailer to announce the upcoming grand opening of a new retail store, or a temporary pop-up store, giving customers the chance to put the date on their calendars in advance of the big day.
For example, when Stance, a high-end sock company, opened a new store in Las Vegas in 2018, the brand sent out mailers to customers, offering them a free pair of socks for visiting the new store. Of course, these free socks would only have limited availability, creating a sense of urgency to bring customers into the store in its earliest days. Be sure to employ this same tactic in your own mailers to entice customers to take advantage early to avoid missing out.
Once your campaign is in full swing, you don’t want your customers to forget about it. This is the perfect time to send out a reminder. For example, restaurants can send out mailers to local residents to let them know about seasonal menu items. Because these items are only available for a limited time, encourage customers to come in sooner rather than later.
You can use this strategy to promote special deals as well. Many fitness centers, for example, offer waived or discounted enrollment fees during particular months, especially at the beginning of the year when people are focused on their New Year’s resolutions. EOS Fitness sends out high-quality mailers touting their services and enrollment specials.
Using high-quality cardstock signals to customers that your business pays attention to the details so don’t skimp in this area. If the quality of your mailers is poor, it can give prospective customers a poor impression of your business as a whole as well.
At the end of a campaign, the goal of direct mail is to let customers know that this is their last chance to take advantage of a particular offer. Be sure to reflect this in your wording to instill a sense of urgency. Wording like “last chance,” “ending soon,” or “don’t miss out,” can go a long way towards pushing your customers into action.
“Hurry in and buy your seasonal Pumpkin Spice tea before it’s gone until next fall!”
When customers are worried about missing out, they are more likely to make impulse purchases that they might not have otherwise.
Other Direct Mail Campaigns
There are numerous direct mail programs out there that can be used for customer acquisition. Mailing catalogs to co-op prospects has been around for over two decades. Many brands find this to be a good resource, although some have experienced list fatigue and declining response rates.
Shared mail campaigns are gaining in popularity and are worth exploring if you are a premium brand.
It’s a good idea to set aside a small part of your marketing budget each year to test other prospecting options because when one of your tried-and-true methods stops working, or gets a lot more expensive, your business will suffer if acquisition starts to decrease. Be prepared by testing other sources of customer acquisition in advance while business is thriving.
Whether you’re interested in adding direct mail postcards or catalogs to your marketing strategy, or wish to optimize an existing direct mail program, contact us today to set up a quick discovery call. We’ll be happy to chat about catalog circulation planning, direct mail strategy, attribution tests, catalog audits, or other direct mail topics.
Hansel Group Marketing is here to help support your team.