6 steps to creating a super powerful direct mail campaign

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Kerry Brind

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 in her free Facebook Group: She Writes to Win Business.

 

Ideal Clients: Why They are Important

Last week I ran a workshop at the University of East Anglia on ideal clients which covered what people mean by the term ‘ideal clients’, how you can identify yours, and how this can make an impact to your marketing.

Today I stepped in to talk at our Central Norfolk group after the other speaker couldn’t attend, so I took a small section of this workshop and talked about how you can categorise your ideal client, for example by age, gender, marital status, parental status, job income… even down to things like values.

People then drew their ‘ideal client’ and gave them a name.

Some people find this activity a little awkward, some don’t think there’s any point, and others totally embrace the challenge.

Now this is not about your ability to draw, stick-people are absolutely fine, it’s about identifying that one person you’d like to work with the most, the person who wants what you offer and can afford to pay for it, it’s about building knowledge.

The more you refine who your ideal client might be (and yes it’s fine to have several ideal clients in mind, especially so if you offer different products or services), the more you can get to know them. The more you can identify their needs, address their problems and find them to market to as well.

Getting to know your ideal clients allows you to use the language they use in your social media posts, email newsletters, adverts, on your website, flyers or packaging. To use colours or styles that you know resonate with them, and to promote what you do in the places they are. I mean there’s no point spending £2k on a radio ad campaign if your ideal clients don’t listen to the radio!

There are no hard and fast rules here, and things may change over time so it’s worth reviewing this every year or two, or as your business evolves.

Understanding your ideal clients inside out will help you better market to them, resulting in more sales, and will enable you to address their needs more fully, creating loyal customers who refer others your way too. Win win!

Email Marketing: How to create a Mailchimp Campaign if you are stuck at square one

Are you stuck at square one when it comes to email marketing?

Don’t even have an email marketing account set up, let alone a list to send your e-shots to?

From my workshop session last month at Her Business Brew central meeting, it became evident that many seem to be stuck at square one when it comes to email marketing.

There seems so much information about what to write in your email marketing, or how to build your mailing list, however this can put many people off who don’t even know where to start!

So, if you are stuck at the starting blocks when it comes to email marketing, this blog will give you the basics to creating a campaign in the mostly used email marketing programme Mailchimp!

How to simply create a mailout campaign on Mailchimp

Once you have set up a Mailchimp account and imported your mailing list (which is very easy by using my MailChimp Masterclass – How to Guide) you can create a campaign using the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the campaigns page and click Create Campaign in the upper-right corner of the screen to create a Regular Campaign.  To create a Plain-Text Campaign, A/B Testing Campaign, or RSS campaign, click the drop-down menu and select that option.
  2. On the Recipients step, choose a list from the drop-down menu, and click Entire list, or pick a segmentation option. Click Next or Setup in the progress bar.
  3. On the Setup step, input your Email subject, From name, and From email address and click Next in the progress bar.
  4. On the Template step, the easiest option is to click on Themes to select from Mailchimp’s predesigned layouts.
  5. In the Design step, you then input and customize your campaign content.
  6. Once you’re satisfied with your design, click Next or Confirm in the progress bar.
  7. Review the Pre-Delivery Checklist on the Confirm step. Click Resolve to navigate directly to the step to fix any errors that may appear.  To make other changes, click the Edit button to return to a step.
  8. When you’ve finished testing your campaign, you can either send the campaign immediately, or schedule it to go out at another time.
  9. If you’re ready to send the campaign to your subscribers, click the Send button. The Prepare for launch modal will appear, and when you confirm your send by clicking Send Now your campaign will be on its way to your mailing list!
Things to consider

When using Mailchimp to send your Campaign it is important to consider the following:

  • Each recipient on your MailChimp list is hidden from all the other recipients.
  • Test your campaign before you send to your entire list. You can use the preview and test function in Mailchimp to do this.
  • MailChimp automatically includes both an HTML version and a plain-text alternative version for each of your subscribers. This ensures your subscribers view your content as expected, regardless of the email client or program they use.
  • MailChimp is designed to send email campaigns that contain HTML code and plain-text content. Due to this Mailchimp advises against using other code to create campaigns.
Your campaign content

Once you have mastered ‘how to’ send a Mailchimp campaign, then it is then important to write your campaigns in a way that appeals to your audience and ensures that they actually open and read your email once it hits their inbox!

Some advice and guidance on creating amazing email campaign content can be found at…

What to put in an email newsletter when you don’t know what to write

 

Serena Fordham is known as “Norfolk’s Admin Super Woman”, and owns and manages Serena Fordham’s PA Services.  They assist clients across Norfolk and the surrounding areas with administration, bookkeeping, event management, project management, and writing tasks.

Serena is also a published author, founder and host of a women’s networking group called ‘Her Business Brew’, and founder and coordinator of the ‘An Hour or So’ initiative; which brings together businesses to raise funds for charitable causes. 

If you have enjoyed reading about how to create a Mailchimp campaign, sign up for her blog here.