Despite what many people are saying today, direct mail is still remaining, probably the number one marketing campaign that you can utilize in your business. Direct mail can be used for multiple tasks such as branding, customer retention and lead nurturing.
Even in this digital age, there ways to implement direct mail to the benefit of your business. However, just like with any marketing tactic, personalization is key to success. People hate receiving spam and generic letters. Usually, they end up in a trash, the only difference is that it will be an actual trash can.
Direct mail campaign as part of your multi-channel marketing strategy
Engaging customers through multiple channels is the sure way to accelerating your response rates and client retention, simply because you provide more ways and opportunities to remind them about your business. The trick here, of course, is to not overdo it. A well-executed multi-channel campaign should not be copied and paste from one platform to another. Each channel should have an incentive for a customer to engage with. Some of us prefer email others use primarily social media. However, unlike any other channel, direct mail campaign provides something that no digital channel can accomplish – physical things.
Where many people see it as a drawback, that drives costs, since mailing a letter is far more expensive than writing an email, you need to see a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and elevate your business in the eyes of clients.
Personalizing your Direct Mail Campaign
Why do it anyway in direct mail?
This is a fair question, since making changes to your workflow and personalizing campaigns is not only difficult it will also cost you time and resources. But, before you decide to toss this idea away let’s look closely at why personalization works.
- Improved targeting. Personalization is a reverse marketing targeting. Instead of you looking for the right person for your message, you make a message right for the person. Just read it one more time. While the effect is pretty much the same, you actually don’t need to invest in complex new customer acquisition campaigns.
- Reputational marketing. To be 100% honest, in the eyes of regular people, there aren’t many differences between you and your competition by default. Coca-Cola is red, Pepsi is blue everything else is a matter of opinion. But multiple studies have shown that recipients pay more attention to mail pieces that are personalized and tend to remember the attention. This simple thing puts your brand above the competition.
- People tend to respond more. This is simply a result of previous two benefits combined. If people start trusting your brand and engaging with it and you target the right people – you are bound to see an improvement in the response rates.
1. Take a page from the dynamic content
People like to feel special and feel like they are not just another contact on your mail list. A generic letter with “Dear Mr.\Mrs.” is off-putting to most of us. If you don’t care to write their names on the letter, then why would your clients feel like you would care about their needs?
Something as simple as putting a name would make a great impact already. However, you don’t have to stop there. Personalizing offer or product to the person demonstrates the client-first approach. Depending on your business model, the way you will go about it will most definitely change, but there are some useful examples:
- Put the address and operating hours of your nearest location, to them.
- Tailor the offer to specific requirements, based on previous interactions. Use what you know about each person to personalize their offer. If they’ve purchased from you before, then you need to acknowledge that and thank them.
- Reminders of your product or service can create an incentive to buy again. Include a coupon for another purchase, and make sure to have an expiration date to create urgency.
These are just a couple of examples that you can use and if you run through your operation, it’s easy to find more opportunities for personalizing content.
Obviously, the trick here is a good database. You need to be able to collect the information about each and every customer quickly and accurately. Otherwise, you might run into risks of making a simple mistake. Putting someone’s name wrong or messing up information can create a bad reputation. Even worse than if you would simply send out a generic letter.
Start small. Look at the list above and see what you can do with the available data. If pulling out past purchase history is too complex – don’t do it first. Think of all little things you can actually achieve right away.
2. What can you personalize?
There are three key pieces to any direct mail, and each of them can be personalized:
- Image. Personalizing image is not that simple, and surprisingly it is better achieved in B2B marketing. Simply because you can include a corporate logo of your client with a gift card or letter. A simple touch, but appreciated nonetheless. B2C is different and more difficult, but not entirely impossible. Just like with personalized mail, eCommerce stores can send out offers with images of the products that your customer was browsing. That’s actually a 2 for 1 advice since we already gave you an idea on how to personalize your offer in tandem with an image. You are welcome.
- Text (copy). The text is the easiest element to personalize. As we’ve mentioned before, simply putting a recipient’s name is already a step forward. You can go a step further and utilize further customer data to improve your direct mail campaign. Just don’t overdo it, nobody wants to encounter a wall of text, whether it is email or actual physical mail.
- Offer. Using data to optimize offers is the most effective way to achieve a better response rate because at the end of the day it all comes down to what can you give to your client. If you simply know that your client interested in a particular service or product, it becomes easy to personalize direct mail.
One of the best offer personalizations that we’ve encountered was implemented by RCI Financial Services. They are a finance partner to Renault, Nissan, Infiniti and Dacia in the UK. They sent out a brochure that offered to register to the online portal. But the trick was that every Brochure had a page, addressing the customer by name, place of residence and mentioning the model of his or her car. That shows time and effort. And according to RCI Financial Services, the campaign was a success, bringing in more customers, considering that marketing agency in charge of this campaign has also included a prize draw.
3. Incorporating digital in direct mail giveaways
There are actual ways to engage your customers with your website through a direct mail campaign. And probably the easiest way to do so is QR code integration.
Including a QR code can be more than a simple gimmick. Imagine being a customer in an eCommerce store and receiving a personalized mail with a code that says something alongside “Here is our gift for you”. And when you scan it, you are moved to a promotion page with a coupon for a product that you were looking at. It’s like opening a Christmas present. By the way, here is an idea for your black Friday campaign.
Apart from that, you can actually lead your customers to a YouTube video, where you can (almost) personally thank them and express gratitude.
B2B Direct Mail Ideas
Now that we’ve talked about different ideas for a direct mail management in general, we can focus more on a B2B sector, where things are a little bit more complex. Corporate direct mail should be not simple personalized with name and such. It should be tailored to the recipient like an Italian three-piece suite.
Good news, however, is that you probably don’t have that many corporate partners. Certainly, the number is less when compared to the number of customers a webstore has to deal with. So, you can spend a bit more resources into direct mail campaign, especially for long-time customers and most promising prospects.
4. Target your competitor’s customers
If you want to win new business with direct mail campaign, then you might and to consider utilizing it to target your competitor’s existing clients. Look for an opportunity, for example, if your competition announces that they will not be upgrading their existing product or service, you can jump right in.
Show that you are willing to help customers, acknowledge what they will be losing and what they can gain by switching to your product. And if you do it with personalized direct mail campaign, you will have a better chance of persuading people.
It’s also a good idea to include maybe some free samples or welcome bonus to make the offer even more attractive.
5. Direct mail promotional gifts
You can arm your sales reps with ABM direct mail software like Rocket Notes to enhance their sales process. With just a few clicks on any mobile device, a sales rep can send out a gift card or one of the thousands of marketing gifts available. From a box of chocolate to named mug with a corporate logo on it.
Apart from utilizing gifting campaign, as part of your sales strategy, you can also use it to send out gifts to an entire team, department, or division in your company. This will help you maintain good spirit in the workspace, and given that there is a good chance your employees might post this in the social networks, you also engage in a digital marketing at the same time.
Enhance Your Direct Mail Marketing & Go Multi-Channel with OMI
If you are interested in incorporating direct mail as part of your multi-channel marketing campaign, you can always rely on Outsource Management Inc. We are a first-class marketing automation solution provider, specializing in customization and integration services for the world’s top CRM systems.