Despite the growth of online marketing and social media, direct mail campaigns are still a vital part of the content marketing mix. Particularly for local bricks and mortar businesses with an audience limited to a certain geographical area.
In fact, for some of my locally based clients I’ve found a simple leaflet campaign to be several more times effective than online marketing or advertising.
From raising awareness with potential new customers to informing your regular clientele of new products and services or advertising an exclusive discount or special offer, a direct mail campaign offers one-to-one contact with potential customers and – done right – can result in some pretty impressive conversion rates.
Here’s how to get it right.
Plan at least a few weeks ahead
When it comes to creating and running direct mail, it pays to plan ahead. The further the better!
The needs and wants of your customers vary throughout the year and you’ll achieve a better response rate if you connect with their immediate requirements. Planning also gives you more time to create the look and feel of your campaign with your design and content team.
For example, if you’re a beauty business, there’s not much point in offering a spray tan discount in the middle of winter. But a skin rejuvenating facial or a January pamper and products discount might be much better received.
Theme your campaigns with the seasonal needs of your customers, offering a discount on your most relevant services.
Keep it super simple
If you’re mailing out a postcard or flyer, then your creative space will be limited. Less is definitely more for a direct mail campaign; in fact, trying to oversell a product can often have the opposite effect.
Your mailing should communicate what is necessary to compel the customer to buy, nothing more. A great headline, a brief explanation of your news, services or offer, a client quote to boost credibility and contact details are usually all you need.
Consider your branding
Online or off, your brand should always be at the centre of your communications. A direct mail campaign should be eye-catching – it needs to stand out in a crowded post box – but the design should always reflect your wider brand strategy.
Include a sample
People LOVE free stuff! Selling products over the Internet can be challenging as consumers are often unable to touch and feel the product before buying. A direct mail campaign provides you with the opportunity to get your product right into the customer’s hands. Include a small sample with your campaign so the customer can try before they buy.
Think green – because your customers might!
Many consumers are now conscious of environmental issues. Most people recycle and they expect companies they do business with to take a responsible view on how their day-to-day business affects the world around them. Developing an eye-catching flyer that is also environmentally friendly could boost your campaign conversion rate.
Consider your direct mail campaign an investment
When it comes to content creation there’s a lot you can DIY these days. Canva and PicMonkey allow entrepreneurs to create their own flyers, posters and rack cards for free or at minimal cost and provide a PDF download option that can then be passed onto a printer. Investing in a good quality print service will appeal to consumers’ belief that they are buying something of value.
Remember, your campaign represents your brand and business, so if the perceived value is low based on how the communication looks, consumers are unlikely to make a purchase. If you need help, bring in the experts. A professional designer or copywriter may require an initial outlay, but you’ve got a much better chance of making your money back (and then some) with a first-class campaign.
About the author:
Kerry Brind is a Content Marketing Coach and SEO Stylist. Founder of Write to Win Business, she works with fabulous female entrepreneurs, teaching them how to attract, compel and convert more clients with amazing content and SEO. A frequent HBB speaker, Kerry can be found dispensing daily content advice on social media.