Tips for Higher Conversion With Direct Mailing
Is direct mail worth considering when you can arrange to have almost any form of paper communication delivered electronically instead? Well, Google certainly seems to think so. Despite its colossal status as a leader in technology, Google still embraces strategic mailing for some of its ad campaigns. If it works for a technology leader like Google, imagine what optimizing your direct mail marketing strategy can do for you!
Surprising Tips to Boost Online and Offline Conversion
Direct mail has the unique advantage of being able to drive traffic to both your door and your Web page. Many businesses are jumping on the digital-only bandwagon, giving you more room to stand out in the mailbox. The top-of-mind awareness created by physical mail means that more recipients than you expect will be likely to give your website a look. With that in mind, make sure you take the following steps to make your direct mail campaign as effective as possible:
- Design your mailers to match your existing brand image, social media accounts, your website and in-store.
- Use address databases to compile a highly targeted mailing list of the demographic you cater to.
- To get more people to look at your mailer instead of throwing it away immediately, go for an extremely simple, accessible format (like a postcard) or an unusual, creative one (like a uniquely shaped package).
- Include a QR code so smartphone users can access your landing page with a quick scan, rather than having to remember and type out your URL.
- Keep the URL too, but make it simple and memorable. After all, not everyone uses QR codes.
- Let the mailer work like a coupon for an in-store discount.
Don't limit yourself to thinking that e-advertising just drives Web traffic, and direct mail just brings in live customers. Expect and prepare for increased traffic at either venue. All parts of a strong omni-channel strategy should complement each other.
How to Optimize Your Direct Marketing Strategy
There will always be naysayers who scoff at the relatively low response rate of direct mail. However, regarding cost per lead generated, direct mail marketing is hard to beat, and the response quality is often very good. Many consumers are also more open to receiving mailed advertisements than marketers think they are.
There are several ways you can optimize your direct mail campaign:
- Clarify your call to action—from "check out our site" to "buy this item today!"
- Time your mailings strategically to coincide with real events. For example, if an outdoor festival is coming up in your town, send a mail piece that works as a coupon for one free item at your booth.
- Keep making cumulative efforts. One or two mail blasts may not be enough to spur identifiable change in your business. Continue building the public's brand awareness of your company, and don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away.
- Look for opportunities for personal connection. If you can customize your mail pieces, putting in the addressee's name (instead of "Current Resident"), or including a little handwritten note, are simple ways to stand out.
Every mailer you send should work toward building your brand. Use words and images that people already associate with you, building consumer trust. As you select these elements, make sure the pictures will do most of the talking, so you can keep your text brief and dedicated to essential information.
Though it can be tempting to try to reach every customer you can, it would be wise to target specifically those who already want or need your services. That way, you can focus on sending a message that appeals directly to them, instead of being too vague (for example, a pediatric dentist should focus on families with children, not childless adults). With specific targeting like that, your word-of-mouth will reach far beyond your initial mailings.
How Campaigns Can Benefit From Direct Mail
What are the benefits of using this strategy? The answer is pretty simple: it works. Consumers will have your physical ad in their hands, which prompts them to look at your promotion more carefully than if it were a website where they could jump from page to page. Direct mail worked so well for one company in 2014 that their response rate was outrunning the sales savvy of their personnel—leading to a temporary drop in profits.
Knowing the power of direct mail can certainly give you an advantage over your competitors. Nonetheless, you may wish to compare the pros and cons of mailers with other forms of direct advertising to see which one makes the best sense for your business. Go ahead and take direct mail for a test drive, and let us know the results!
Katherine Halek is the lead advertising and print strategy adviser at Dallas, Texas-based Signazon, a leading online printer that provides marketing collateral for thousands of marketers around the United States.