6 Ways to Stop Mail Anonymous-ness!
Despite direct mail being a so-called "traditional" marketing approach, it has had its own technological advances of late—advances that fundamentally change the way prospects engage with your message. The advances come in the form of unique ways to customize your piece, and even the ability to personalize your piece with data about the recipient. I'll look at both topics in more depth ...
Putting the 'Personal' Back in Personalized Mailings
If you are interested in new ways to capture attention with your mailings, consider one of these cool add-ons:
- Sticky Notes: I love this one. You can add yellow sticky notes to your mail piece! Sticky notes come loaded with connotations: "This message is important," "This message is urgent," "This message is personal," etc. You can use a handwritten font to up the personal value, too.
- Yellow Letters: Why send a prototypical direct mail letter when you can send a letter that looks freshly torn from someone's personal legal pad and delivered right to you? Well, it's totally possible to turn your standard letter into a personal communication that's printed on yellow paper that imitates the look of a legal pad. Plus, you can customize your yellow letter even further by using a handwritten font to really pump up the personal factor. If you have an offer that doesn't require a ton of explaining (i.e. "Hey, I wanna buy your house!"), these are an awesome option.
- Handwritten/Stamped Envelopes: Want something equally sweet to pair with your personal legal pad letter? Why not continue the personal theme with a hand addressed (really done by hand) envelope with a real stamp on it? Yes, there are direct mail companies that offer this, and, yes, it is a fantastic idea.
- Scratch-off Stickers: Without significantly upping the cost of your mailing (no effect on postage), you can add scratch-off stickers to your piece. Let's be real—scratch-offs have an almost irresistible appeal, don't they? Even if you KNOW you're not going to win, you still have to scratch, just in case. That fact alone makes this upgrade worth it, because you attract much more attention, and keep that attention for a longer period of time. Additionally, when you put a special offer underneath the sticker, people are more likely to redeem it, because it has an exclusive feel to it (even if the offer isn't exclusive).
- Magnets: Why not go ahead and turn a postcard into something of value the prospect can hang on their refrigerator? You can add a little magnet to the back of a postcard mailing without increasing the postage rate. Include a recipe or a local sports schedule on your card and suddenly your brand and message can be staring your prospect in the face, day after day. I love this option—so simple, but so brilliant!
Bonus: 6. Personalizing Your Mailing
Okay, now for the game-changer: There is a (relatively) new technology that allows you to customize each piece based on the profile of the person it is going to. It is called "Variable Data Printing" (VDP), and essentially it can pull information about the prospect from the mailing list and incorporate it into the design. (It's really not that new, but it's finally affordable! And we don't tout anything as amazing until it gets results and is affordable to small businesses.)
For example, say an insurance company wants to target homeowners in a specific neighborhood to advertise exactly how much money they could be saving over their current provider. They don't have to buy several campaigns to get this message across, the same design can produce a multitude of different postcards, all with personalized information specific to each recipient ...
See the examples n the media player in the upper right, The campaign's variable components are marked by the yellow tags. The VDP software pulls the prospect's name and information and prints it automatically. Brilliant? Way!
Relevance is the name of the game with marketing. The more relevant you can make your advertisement to your prospects, the more likely they are to read it and respond. That is exactly what personalization does for your mailing: It makes every single postcard more relevant than it would have been before.
So if you're already a direct mail believer (I hope you are!), why not give the options above a try and see what they can do for your results? If you are still not on board with direct mail, my advice is to give it a shot (as long as you don't have the wrong type of business for postcard success). Nothing convinces like money in the bank.