Want a successful direct marketing campaign? Here are the best 5 ways to do it
Direct mail may be old, but it isn’t dying any time soon. It is the best possible way to reach your clients directly, even today. With the advances in digital marketing, one would think direct mail isn’t what is used to be. Even though it may have lost favor with most marketers today, many still use it effectively to reach their prospects and loyal customers. It can be used effectively to enhance the connect your brand has with prospects.
The United States Post Office says that 78% of all consumers read every piece of mail they get in their mailbox. That is a higher engagement rate than email and social combined. Why wouldn’t anyone use direct mail then?
This engagement increases exponentially when there is a digital call to action inserted into the direct mail, such as a coupon. There are multiple formats that a direct marketer can use while trying out direct mail. Letters, post cards, brochures, catalogs to name a few. The thing with direct mail is that it increases brand recall. It is mostly within the sight of the customer most of the times and this increases brand retention. The best part of direct mail? Personalization! You can personalize the hell out of your campaigns with the demographic information you have collected. With email, there are a 100 other emails within reach of your prospects, just like your email. With direct mail, readers read your mail with singular attention more often than not.
Why direct mail is successful
Direct mail utilizes segmentation extremely well. You may be running a grocery store or an online pharmacy. If you understand the purchasing patterns of a particular geographical area, you could give customized services to them that persuade customers to make the same purchase again. Free delivery is a start. Understanding customer behavior allows marketing teams to create direct mail content that connects well with the demographic of choice, allowing for higher engagement and better response rates.
We have come up with 5 steps that you need to check off your list before sending out a direct marketing campaign. These are easy to do and they ensure higher returns if followed.
1) Target market and data
Your target market has to be clearly defined. It doesn’t matter how attractive the mailer is, if you are sending it to the wrong audience, it is not going to work at all. Sending honeymoon vacation packages to senior citizens or unmarried households looks bad not just to them, but to your brand. We could say that it can be considered rude! Know who your target audience is. Build your way backwards. Most times, marketers fail to understand that it is not the content that comes first, but who reads the content is what matters.
Your data is the most important aspect of your campaign. It needs to be segmented based on your customer or prospect base. Set the parameters carefully. One thing that marketers have learnt is that your next customer is a clone of your previous customer. See historical data to understand trends. Isolate these trends and create your marketing road map around them. There isn’t going to be vast difference between the choices your customers make. Figure these out through research and use this research to create buyer personas.
2) What are you selling that they would need?
Your value proposition is essential to the existence of your product or brand. Why should your prospect buy from you and not your competitor? If you aren’t a coke or Pepsi, then this differentiation is essential. If you are, then go ahead and build your brand spending millions on celebrities and branding. That’s the only way it works for them, not necessarily for you. Come up with that one strong point that will shatter the competition. That is going to be your beacon, your strong point. Capitalize on it and use it as the guideline for all campaigns.
It is essential today to have that big crazy idea, why you ask? The average purchasing individual is bombarded with over 3000 advertising messages per day. It’s an overwhelming number and your big idea is going to differentiate you from the 2999. Gone are the days when saying you are the best of the best of the best just doesn’t cut it.
You need to solve customer issues. Their pain points need to be addressed and sorted out. If your product is doing that, then you have a good chance of a sale. Use this well within your direct marketing pieces. More often than not, the problems customers face stay on their mind longer and when your catalogue keeps telling them you have the solution, they are gonna wanna pick that brochure and give you a call.
Make an offer they cannot refuse. It is important to make the offer an integral part of the campaign.
3) The content of it
Eventually, you’ll come around to designing the direct marketing piece. Now, there are specific points you need to consider while doing so. Don’t cheap out. Using low-quality materials to decrease costs is only going to back fire. Use high quality material, stuff that will stand the test of being thrown around in a suburban house. High quality images are essential to hold the interest of the person. Use the big idea in the content. Create content that solves problems; don’t just beat your drum.
The Call To Action is the highlight of your piece. Engaging CTAs allow the user the liberty to follow through with you. This is essential in converting readers into customers. Spend ample amounts of time on creating it. Since direct marketing does not entail a clickable URL, you need to be smart with this. It should be something that is easy for the reader to do. Creating urgency is the best way to maximize the effect of the CTA. Time bound CTAs work magic. Ask them to call between or within a certain time frame to avail offers.
Font on your marketing piece is as important as on an email. It should be extremely legible, easy to read from a distance and eye catching. This is because your mailer will be lying around the house and if it catches attention often, the chances of conversion are higher. Go risky. Use bold strategies. Context is everything. Connect with the prospect. Numbers are attractive, savings are attractive. Use these as hooks.
4) Test it to maximize your offer
Creating test groups is a good way of understanding the pulse of the market. Create sub groups and roll out small test campaigns with variations of your offer. See the results. The data that you collect will help you immensely with your main campaign. American Express spends 15% of their marketing budget on testing. That runs into millions. We think that it is proof enough to get you serious about testing your campaigns.
5) Consistency and branding
These are essential to keep the interested folks, interested. If they have been excited by one offer you sent, then they will be looking forward to more. Do not disappoint them. Terminal brand disappointment not only chases away a good customer, the monster that is word of mouth gets to work immediately. All your direct marketing pieces need to be having consistent design elements. They need to be easily recognizable as your brand, even before the reading begins. This is how you breed brand fans.
If you want to be anywhere close to successful in direct marketing, credibility is essential. Delivering on your promises is as essential as creating them. If you do not, your brochure will be used as the centre piece of failure and will be mocked at.
Moderation and smart marketing are important to ace direct marketing. It is a different beast today. You need to be on top of your game to tame it. Direct marketing has progressed over the years and customers are vary of mail. You need to build the trust as you go.