Why Direct Mail is the business’s new best friend (Again)
You may think that Direct Mail has no place in today’s digital marketing world – and if it doesn’t fit in 140 characters then won’t work for you. However some of the most innovative companies around are reembracing Direct Mail to make a great first impression and start a conversation.
It’s true, digital marketing is cheap and quick, and certainly isn’t going anywhere, but it’s not always the only answer. It could be worth investing a little love and attention on the more tangible things in life.
How many emails do you get every day? And how many of them do you open? Mailchimp alone sends over a billion emails a day on behalf of companies trying to get your attention. It was reported over a year ago that the average office worker gets on average 121 emails a day – and if my inbox is anything to go by, it’s considerably higher now.
And when was the last time you received something lovely in the post? Apart from the odd letter from the revenue and a pizza menu, hardly anything comes by post these days.
People are wise to personalised emails, and clever tags and custom fields. However, there is still that childish joy in receiving a beautiful envelope, hand written and addressed to you.
Why not take advantage of that? If you want to make an impression, land on the doormat, not in the inbox.
So here are our top 5 tips for making Direct Marketing work for you
1. Be Selective
Mass mailings are expensive and often miss the target. Far better to really hone in on who you want to court. Is there a sector you are particularly trying to target? Are you looking for more clients locally or in a specific area? The tighter you can define your audience, the more you can send something perfectly tailored to them. Hand writing 50 quality envelopes to people you really want to work with, could well bring greater rewards than a printed mass mail out to thousands.
Spend some time whipping your list into shape, making sure contact details and addresses are all up to date, and you have the correct job titles and names.
2. Call to Action
Direct Mail does have costs attached, in both design, print and postage, so it’s vital that you know exactly what you want it to achieve, and that your customers know what you want them to do. Is it to visit your website? Phone? Make a purchase?
According to Royal Mail, more than 92% of direct mail is opened and 48% of UK adults took action after receiving direct mail last year:
• 14.2m bought something
• 10.5m used a voucher or coupon
• 2.8m tried a new product or service
• 3m made an enquiry by phone
Make sure your copy is clear and snappy, and that it compels your customer to take action. They are physically holding your message in their hands. Don’t waste the opportunity.
3. Be Useful
It’s no longer enough to stick a catalogue in the post. Take a leaf out of digital marketers books and make sure your Direct Mail will be gratefully received by being as useful as you can. Businesses booked to exhibit at a local trade show, recently received this package containing a handy guide to Exhibitions, some little treats to get you through the day and yes – a catalogue slipped in there as well. However, you could tell that it had been thoughtfully put together and was unlikely to go straight in the bin.
4. Be Creative
94% of Direct Mail gets opened on average (compared to about 34% for Email) but you need to make sure it gets remembered.
This candle was sent to key business people by the WWF, to encourage them to turn the lights out during earth hour. Simple, but effective and memorable.
Even if your budget doesn’t stretch to gifts, then a creative approach to design and layout goes a long way. Here’s a mail out I sent recently which I wanted to be eyecatching, show my expertise and hopefully make people smile along the way. This was one of my most successful marketing campaigns and gained me two large clients from a mail out of just 200.
5. Get Personal
Think about your client, and your customer. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you want them to feel about your company.
You want them to feel like you understand them, and no what they want.
This piece of marketing from Loaf was subtle but effective. I asked for some sample swatches. However, instead of just sticking them in brown envelope, they put them in this beautifully designed packet, complete with sachet of Hot Chocolate. Instantly I had that warm and cosy feeling and could instantly see myself curling up on the fabric sofa, as well as the subconscious thought that they would take love and care over any product I bought for them.
Another client designed some fun ‘reward stickers’ for recipients to hand out. “I didn’t shout at my printer today” being my personal favourite.
6. Don’t forget digital
Even though you are targeting a small group of customers, you can still amplify this message on your other marketing channels. Make sure your branding and messaging is reflected in your other materials, whether print, web or social. Take photographs and share them on your social media channels to show others just how creative you are, or prompt people to tag you on their social media when they receive it.
7. Track your results
Whatever your objective, you need to work out your return on investment. How many sales or enquiries does it need to achieve. Once you have worked on that, then build in ways to measure it. Some can be very direct, such as this voucher booklet sent out to potential customers. Otherwise, custom website urls to visit, or emails to contact can be an easy way to track where enquiries have come from – or you can just ask.
8. Include a letter.
Certain experts in direct marketing believe that no matter what you are sending through the post, including a personalised letter is vital. I tend to agree with them. The letter is like the silent salesmen for your creative piece. Imagine what a waste it would be if you sent something fun through the post, but missed the opportunity to explain why you have sent it?
9. Some other bits and pieces to remember
• Spend some time whipping your list into shape, making sure contact details
and addresses are all up to date, and you have the names of the people you
want to engage with, not just their job title.
• Don’t forget that large letter sizes and small packet sizes vary in price,
so think about the dimensions you are sending. Objects such as coasters,
keyrings, brochures and pens will cost less to send than bulkier boxes
• Make sure your marketing falls within Data Protection Act on Junk mail.
• Think about postage times, especially if it’s something perishable.
Close to holiday periods are probably best avoided. Or during hot weather.
I’ve plenty more examples, so if you’d like to consider Direct Marketing to connect with your customers, then get in touch. We can help you work out your objectives and come up some creative ideas that will work with your budget.
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