Direct Mail Strategy: Stretch Your Postal Dollars
The new year is a good time to review your direct mail efforts and look for opportunities to get more from your investment. Whenever you're paying for postage, you want your mail piece to work as hard as possible to achieve your marketing goals.
With that in mind, here are 15 suggestions to help you maximize your direct mail investment in 2006.
1. Ask customers for referrals. Customer-referred prospects generally convert at a much higher rate than other prospects. Request referrals on your order form, a blow-in response card, bounce-back package insert, or anywhere else it's appropriate. Referral programs work well for both B-to-B and B-to-C marketers.
2. Use dot-whacks. Dot-whacks are problem-solvers and inexpensive creative tools used to focus attention on your offer; add versioned messages to base letter copy; promote deadlines or your Web site; and much more. Apply dot-whacks to outer envelopes, letters, order forms, catalog covers, statements, even packing slips and shipping boxes.
3. Extend your mailing's response cycle. Add a component such as a peel-off label reminder or static-cling decal to extend the response cycle of your mail piece.
4. Generate Web traffic. Show-case your URL on every piece of mail you send—letters, order forms, brochures, postcards, shipping boxes, etc. Don't just give the address; give specific reasons to visit the site, and measure the traffic and sales generated.
5. Test free samples. If you think this isn't an appropriate offer for your product, think again. This concept is a proven winner for eliminating one of the most common buying objections—"I don't believe it!" You may be surprised how quickly this offer more than pays for itself.
6. Transform account statements and invoices into relationship-builders. Since you're already paying the postage to mail the statement, use it as an opportunity to build customer loyalty. Include a thank-you message, make a special "preferred customer" offer, cross-sell a product or service related to the one most recently purchased by the customer. One of my favorite department stores includes a 20 percent-off coupon at the bottom of its statements. It's an added benefit for using the store's credit card.