Direct Mail Given ICO Boost – Our Top 10 Tips for Success
The direct mail industry has been handed a boost after the Information Commissioner’s Office finally confirmed that companies will be able to use legitimate interests – and not have to gain explicit consent – under GDPR to contact consumers by post.
This is great news for the industry and as such I have put together 10 tips to help with your campaign:
Preparation is Key
I’m sure you all know an analogy of some sort regarding this – the 6 P’s, Fail to prepare … etc. However, it really is true that if you don’t do your prep work, all your efforts could be in vain. Knowing your target audience allows you to target that audience with your direct mail. This will save you a lot of wasted money and increase your return on investment. Building your own list is great, though it can take a lot of time. For this reason, consider purchasing a targeted list from a reputable source such as Data Bubble – you can always dedupe your existing contacts, ensuring you don’t buy records you already hold. A reputable company will take you through a process to ensure you get the right prospects, such as our 5-Step Data Bubble Process.
Know Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
Know what makes your product or service stand out from the competition and communicate this in your direct mailer. Ask yourself what makes you unique, or different from the competition. Even better, ask your customers why they choose you (and maybe include a direct quote). This will give you a good insight into your USP and help you to communicate it in your copy. Plus it will give you examples / testimonials and there’s nothing more convincing than a proven track record to build confidence.
Get personal and empathise with your prospect
Get your customer’s attention by making the direct mail personal. Use their name and start sentences with “You”, not “We” – this helps them read the mailing from their own position, allowing them to see the benefits to themselves. Empathise with your prospect, let them know you understand their problems and show them that your product or service is the perfect solution to their problem. Make sure your solution stands out from the rest so you become the trusted supplier.
Use existing purchase history to time for perfection
Your existing sales databases offers a wealth of information about your customers and timing is key. It makes business sense to review what your customers have purchased and when, then you can anticipate when they might need your services.
Look for opportunities, such as a peak season, new budgets or change in circumstances that offer an opportunity for multiple sales and add-ons. Whether it’s seasonal or necessity-based, getting the timing right is key to a successful campaign.
Use a “one stop shop” for your printing and mailing campaign
Use a reputable printer who can handle your printing requirements and the direct mailing campaign. Pricing is important, but should not necessarily be the deciding factor. You often get what you pay for and your brand will suffer from sending out a shoddy or poor-quality mailing piece.
Getting the printer to deliver your direct mail can save time and money, because your mailing list can be printed and addressed at the same time. Also, you won’t have the extra costs of shipping your materials from one place to another. Finally, they could get you savings of up to 50% off standard postage costs due to bulk mailings (ask us for more details).
Integrate with your other marketing activity
So many small businesses miss out on the chance to tie in their direct mail campaigns with other marketing efforts. In today’s world it can be appropriate to use direct mail to drive people to a Web site, blog, Facebook page, Twitter page, etc. Creating a consistent message across multiple channels not only builds trust and confidence, it also increases brand awareness and sales.
Call to action
So often missed in a campaign is a Call to Action. You explain all the bells and whistles, but don’t include a call to action. It’s like running the race until you get to within 5 yards of the finish line, then stopping …
Tell your prospect what you want them to do next. It doesn’t have to be pushy or salesy, just make sure you leave them in no doubt as to how they move to the next step – “Visit this website” … “Call now” …
Don’t be a “one hit wonder”
Don’t waste your time or money sending out only one direct mail shot and expecting huge results. Some people may not be ready to take advantage of your offer now, but might be in a few weeks. People are fickle creatures and often the one who strikes at the right time is the one chosen. Multiple mailings not only give you the best opportunity to be that one, but also act as a reminder, which builds confidence and brand awareness. Therefore, create a direct mail calendar and plan out campaigns over the year so your direct mail can become part of your overall marketing effort.
Test, test, and test again
Frequent and repeated direct mailings are the best way to understand what works best for your prospects and customers. See which works better – a postcard, letter or flyer. Perhaps try different offers to see which works best, or change your wording slightly.
Before launching a full on direct mailing campaign, make sure you have the basics because if you can’t make sales from a small portion of your target audience, you’re not likely to have more success with a larger demographic.
Following up with your prospects can pay huge dividends. Try following up a postcard with a brochure or sales letter. A follow up phone call can be very effective as not only do you have something to refer to, but it can allow you to gather more information for future campaigns and build a pipeline of customers and prospects.
There are plenty more things you can do to ensure your mailing campaign goes with a bang, but we hope these few tips help you along the way. If you have any queries, or would like to discuss an upcoming or future campaign, why not give us a call on 01274 965411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org