Direct mail and print marketing was once an effective marketing strategy before the proliferation of email, but recently it’s made somewhat of a comeback. Research has shown that consumers are still receptive to physical mail and that snail mail is more likely to trigger an emotional response. One 2016 study from CompuMail found that almost a quarter of consumers purchased something as a result of direct mail within the past 12 months.
However, because so many companies rely only on email marketing strategies, they often make mistakes when it comes to sending physical mail. If executed correctly, you can have great results. With that in mind, here are five tips you need to know about sending physical mail to your customers:
Have a Goal
Don’t just send mail for the sake of sending mail. Your mail should have a purpose and overarching goal. Is your goal to build awareness? If you’re a new business, this might be the primary goal.
Other goals include boosting social media presence, growing profit, and building customer loyalty. Understanding your foundational goal will set the tone for the entire campaign. As you design your mailer, put your mailing list together, and analyze the results, keep your goal in mind.
Build Your Mailing List
Your mailing list is just as important as your mailer. Who do you plan to target with your direct mail campaign? Of course, your mailing list depends on where you’re starting. Ideally, you already have a house mailing list composed of previous customers or consumers who have provided their mailing addresses.
You can also ask your customers for their mailing addresses if you don’t have them; be sure to offer an incentive if this is the case.
If you’re starting from scratch, you can purchase a mailing list that aligns with your target market. For example, you can buy addresses belonging to new homeowners if you had a product or service that benefited homeowners specifically. If you’re a local company, or are targeting a specific geographic area, you can purchase mailing addresses from specific zip codes.
You can find addresses directly through the United States Postal Service or by working with a list broker who has access to a range of lists. Whenever you purchase a list from a broker, ask how old the list is and when was the last time it was cleaned.
Create an Offer & CTA
Every piece of direct mail needs to have a purpose and needs to provide an incentive to the recipient. If you send out a piece of mail that simply tells people who you are, chances are you won’t stay on their mind long enough. But if they’re getting something out of the mailer, your direct mail might make it on the refrigerator.
Your mail should clearly answer two questions: what is your offer and what action does your recipient need to take in order to receive that offer? Popular offers include discounts, free gifts, consultations, or free samples. Be sure to make your design eye-catching and appealing. Use custom envelopes from companies like the Envelope Superstore (https://www.envelopesuperstore.com/).
Have an Integrated Strategy
It goes without saying that you should have an integrated direct mail strategy. This means there should absolutely be a technological aspect to your mailing strategy, typically with the integration of email marketing and direct mail marketing.
An integrated campaign allows you to boost your return on investment by adding custom landscapes and personalized URLs, which allow you to track the results of your campaign and measure its effectiveness.
Many marketers don’t realize exactly how trackable direct mail campaigns can be. Using a custom URL on your mailers, you’d be able to quickly determine how many of your recipients were promoted to take action and what percentage of those resulted in purchases.
Add a Handwritten Element
One of the biggest pros of sending physical mail is that it allows you to get straight to the consumer and cuts through the crowded clutter of the email inbox.
This allows you to get up close and personal with the consumer. You can take this a step further by adding handwritten elements to your mail.
Customers will appreciate the time you’ve put into infusing personalization into your mail. Whether it’s a thank you card or request for a review, handwriting really hones in on the personalization and human touch that modern marketing campaigns lack.