Direct Mail, A Tool To Reach Customers
inside a direct mail campaign
Direct Mail is a tried and true strategy for keeping up with current customers and reaching out to prospective ones. Unlike its digital counterpart, the email campaign, direct mail is a bit harder to ignore, and often a lot more interesting to put together. Some of our clients in the Portland/Vancouver area use direct mail exclusively to reach out to prospective clients in communities they’re interested in. They compile lists of residences and commit to a routine schedule of mailings. A good mailer has three characteristics:
A Clear, Branded Identity
It's important that prospective customers be able to immediately determine who the mailer is from. Not only does the branded design of the mailer lend it a level of credibility, but done well, should create a level of intrigue. It also reiterates that they're receiving mail from a legitimate business.
A Clear Call-To-Action
Unless your mailer is meant to merely update existing customers about your business, it should have a clear call-to-action. This call-to-action can amount to almost anything, depending on how your business works. Some of our clients use their direct mail campaigns to guide potential customers to websites set up to introduce them to their company. In lie of a website, your direct mail campaign could potential customers to a web page on your current website, or to a social media channel. You could always invite customers to respond via mail to your mailing or call a certain phone line. This not only begins engagement with a potential customer but creates a metric by which to measure the value of the direct mail campaign.
Finally, beyond clear branding, a successful mailer is one that is well designed. This is true of both its aesthetic and the choice of material used to create it. The texture of the mailer, the quality of the ink, and embellishments, such as embossing text, or the addition of foil, all aide in delivering the mailer as a perceivably intriguing item worthy of a person's time.
the key to evaluating your investment is to track the response rate
Your call-to-action should create a metric by which you can measure how effective your direct mail campaign is. What you're looking for is called a response rate. It's the percentage of responses you receive from your campaign. If you're mailing to a list of established clients, you can fairly anticipate a double-digit response rate. For direct mail campaigns going to potential customers who may or may be familiar with your brand, a successful rate is in the single digits, often under 5%. Don't be discouraged by this. Direct mail campaigns, by their nature, cast a wide net.
Ready to launch a campaign of your own? Tell us about it.