What is your marketing strategy?
In this day of increasing social media, email marketing and a strong online presence, have you pushed more traditional marketing – such as direct mail – to the wayside?
Perhaps you should reconsider. Direct mail continues to be a bargain and should have a place in any small business marketing plan.
While email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with customers and prospects, there is a downside. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), only about 19% of targeted customers open them and this includes opt-in house lists.
The CMO Council reports that 35% of marketers are using direct mail to encourage sales, while 29% use it to drive traffic online. 14% of marketers use direct mail to support offers or other content.
Here are some tips for creating a successful direct mail campaign:
- Segment lists and create targeted messages. Try breaking down your list by current customers, inactive customers and prospects. Tailor a message specific to each group. You could also mail to vertical markets such as local businesses with over 250 employees, household demographics such as head of household over 35 years old. The possibilities are endless. Any reputable list vendor should be able to help you define and refine your lists.
- Use direct mail strategically. Focus on very specific messages to targeted markets or mailing lists and mail less often. Receiving a postcard or flyer from you once every three months may be more efficient than a flyer every week. After a period, the recipient may just toss it away if they see it too often.
- Use compelling content. Your message should be succinct and have a clear call to action. Whenever possible, your message should be specific to that individual or target market.
- Consider giveaways. Pens, Post-It Notes, magnets, personalized note pads are just a few inexpensive items you could include. A three dimensional mailpiece sticks out and who doesn’t love a freebie?
- Use other forms of marketing along with direct mail. Don’t give up on email marketing, blogging, LinkedIn or Facebook. They are all great companions to direct mail, helping you to define your product or service and how it will be of benefit to your audience. They all should have a place in your marketing plan.
- Measure response rates. Keep track of what messages, lists, or methods generated the best responses for you. Refine future efforts based on past performance.
Response rates for direct mail have remained steady for the past four years. Especially for small businesses trying to connect with a local market, postcards, flyers and newsletters can be quite effective.