This post is written by Peter Tardif, the Senior Manager, External Marketing at Vistaprint with responsibility for all offline marketing channels. He has specialized in direct marketing for more than 15 years with specific expertise in direct mail, print and television.
As we mentioned yesterday, direct mail is an excellent medium for reaching new customers and connecting with existing customers. But do you really know what makes a campaign a success or failure? The key to success in direct mail can be summarized in one simple statement: make the right offer, to the right person, at the right time. Sounds easy, right? Our first post focused on 10 tips for postcard marketing, but now, here are a few more detailed tips to make sure you push all the right buttons in your next direct mail campaign.
1. Make the right offer.
Quite simply, if you don’t make an offer, you won’t get a response. So how do you make the right offer? The right offer is clear and simple, gets attention, creates interest and desire, and most importantly, generates an action. To be clear and simple, focus on the one or two main benefits that your product or service delivers to customers that differentiates your product or service from others. Generate a concise one- or two-sentence statement that highlights the most relevant and important benefits that you seek to deliver, and make sure the messaging in your mail piece communicates this clearly. If you can’t state your position in one or two sentences, then it’s not clear or simple.
Get attention and create interest by using exclusive offers, expiration dates, discounts and other tactics that create urgency. Personalize your message and speak one-to-one to the customer as much as possible. Acknowledge your existing customers with different messaging than prospects. To generate the action, ask for it! Direct your customers and prospects to a website, ask them to return a coupon, drop by to receive a special gift, send a text message, or call a special number. Make it impossible to say no!
2. To the Right Person.
In direct mail, most businesses would be elated with a 5% response rate to their campaign, and would consider that an overwhelming success. But a result of 5% means that 95% of your mail was wasted. If you could, you would just send your direct mail promotions to the 5% of those who responded right? Easier said than done. The key to mailing to the right person is segmentation. Think as much about those you don’t want to mail as those you do want to mail to. Develop clear profiles of your best customers, both in terms of demographics and lifestyle. Where do they live? Are they married? Do they have kids? What are their ages? Do they live in urban or rural areas? Do they own homes or rent? Are they travelers? Do they read? Do they like sports or watch movies? These are some of the things to look for to create profiles, or segments. Use these profiles to identify lists to rent where you can find new customers. Just as important, use these profiles to identify those not to mail. If they don’t match your profile, exclude them from your mailing. Use RFM – recency of purchase, frequency of purchases, and monetary value of purchase – to segment and select the best prospects to mail. Use the RFM approach to segment and select your existing customers also.
3. At the Right Time.
When is the right time to make the right offer to the right person? When demand for your product or service is highest. To identify timing, look for triggers that create demand. Your product or service may be seasonal so the timing of your offer may occur at fixed times throughout the year. Or perhaps demand is triggered by a lifestyle change or event such as a birth or a wedding or relocation. Perhaps age is a factor. Or maybe it’s triggered by the purchase of a different product or a replenishment schedule. A tighter definition of these windows of peak demand will lead to greater response rates and less wasted mail. Learn as much as you can about the purchase patterns of your prospects and customers to optimize timing.
So to ensure the success of your next direct mail campaign, be sure to send the right offer, to the right person, at the right time.
If you’re interested in starting a direct mail campaign, click here for a special deal.