Established brands have big budgets to pursue all sorts of marketing channels. They can mix and match promotional strategies to ensure maximum brand awareness. Meanwhile, small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) have to make do with limited funds for advertising. That’s why it’s crucial to zero in on the most viable marketing options so that your efforts yield the desired ROI.
The goal of reaching your target audience does not have to eat too much into your available capital or target profit margin. There are cost-effective marketing channels at your disposal. Think direct mail marketing.
Direct mail marketing is a promotional approach that engages existing or potential customers by sending physical items such as printed mailers, corporate merch, perishable items, and the like. Compared to email marketing, it scores 30 times higher in terms of response rate. It can help boost marketing ROI by 29% if done right.
Best Practices in Direct Mail Marketing
The success of your direct mail campaign depends on the strategies you employ. It’s crucial to adopt tried-and-tested tactics, such as the following.
Research the Market
First, you need to find and research your target audience. You need not commission a market research firm to do this on your behalf, especially if that’s not allowed by your limited budget. If you manage social media pages dedicated to your brand, you are privy to consumer information via analytics tools offered by platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Referring to this data allows you to get to know your market better. You’ll be equipped to send them something they’re sure to resonate with.
Customers want to feel like you know them. And you can express that via personalized direct mailers. This can be as simple as a handwritten note. Or freebies that your recipient is sure to appreciate. The goal is to build rapport with your target audience.
Do not get into direct mail marketing blind. It’s best to test the waters first before pursuing a full-blown campaign. That way you won’t be wasting precious investment. Try sending out mailers to 10 recipients, and see how they respond. From there, plot your next moves.
Sending out direct mails and tracking their progress will require sufficient resources, including time and manpower. Alternatively, you can choose to automate the process through relevant software or platforms. They’ll prepare, send, and track mailers on your behalf. You can then focus on other business aspects that require you to be hands-on.
Call to Action
Direct mailers should have a compelling call to action. You do not want to send something vague in terms of what it expects from a customer. An effective call to action should be clear and precise and answers the question typically asked by a customer: What’s in it for me?
The most obvious selling point of direct mailers is the fact that they’re tactile. Your target audience will have something to hold and experience. Make the most of this value proposition. Don’t just send a flat letter in a flat envelope. Think outside the box.
No matter how perfectly you’ve composed a message if your recipients do not bother to open your direct mails, the whole effort’s pointless. So make sure your direct mailers are unmissable. Their aesthetic quality should be on point.
You can run wild with your imagination when it comes to direct mailers. The only thing that limits you is your budget. Otherwise, you can explore all sorts of intriguing concepts.
Consider what the Dallas-based agency, The Shop, sent to their clients one holiday season. While most people are used to receiving holiday greeting cards, The Shop surprised recipients with miniature-sized cards. Now that’s unmissable. Anyone who opens their mailbox and sees a tiny card will want to read what’s inside.
Meanwhile, RCI Financial Services, a business that deals with auto manufacturers, took personalization to the next level. They sent brochures that bear each recipient’s name, town, and car model. The goal is to get the recipients to sign up for an online account with the company.
Land Rover’s miniature car that doubles as a keyboard “Escape” key is another genius concept. It looks like a toy. But it’s practical too. And once it’s on a customer’s keyboard, every time they use their laptop, they will be reminded of Land Rover.
These are just a few direct mail success stories. With a little creativity, surely you can also come up with an idea that’s uniquely yours.
Direct mail is less saturated compared to other marketing channels. That means you have a better shot at gaining your target audience’s undivided attention. You can get as creative as allowed by your budget and ensure that the marketing collateral you send out is as memorable as they come. Once you hit that sweet spot where your direct mail recipients connect with your message, expect improved conversion rates.