Direct mail is unquestionably effective, has fantastic returns, and can easily dovetail into your existing marketing campaign. Here’s how a put together a great direct mail automation campaign to squeeze every last drop of value from your budget.
The Benefits of Omni-Channel Marketing
Almost three billion emails get sent every day, and people are getting better at filtering them out. Even with the best, target-specific digital advertising the odds are stacked against you. The trick is diversification. While it may seem contrary to the digital world that we inhabit, customers still love direct mail. And automated mailing systems make getting your message to a wider audience easier (and cheaper) than ever!
Develop Your List, Check It Twice
When you are running a direct mail campaign, it is vital to start with a clean list of contacts.
Direct-mail experts like to cite the 40/40/20 model: 40% of success comes from having the right mailing list, 40% comes from the value of your offer, and 20% is your writing and visuals. So, whether you are developing your own list or buying a list, give the list a thorough review before sending direct mail.
Bad addresses, changed addresses, updates that somehow never made it into the system; these can result in undeliverable or returned mail that will cost you money. If you are sourcing your mailing list from a third party, always check when the last time the list was updated. More than thirty days and you are at risk of out of date information.
As a side note, something to consider as an addition to your campaign is inbound marketing. While it sometimes seems like a distant cousin to direct mail, when paired together they can increase chatter about your business and generate traffic on your website. As an added bonus, this strategy creates a steady flow of new leads into the funnel to fuel your automated campaign.
Designing Your Mailer
For every project, there is a direct mail option to suit your budget. Studies show that oversized envelopes and postcards receive the most interest, at 5% and 4.25%respectively. In addition, postcards come in several sizes and different finishes, and can be embellished for a more unique look.
Whatever your budget, it is advisable to get the highest quality paper and inks for your mailers that you can afford. There are definitely areas of your project that permit cutting corners, but the materials of your mailers isn’t one of them. Direct mail articles are called tactile marketing for a reason. Thin, flimsy paper and cheap inks detract from the quality of your campaign. By using a basic mailer design that is less expensive, you can dedicate more of your budget to higher quality paper, better inks, and more finishes or coatings.
If there is more room in your budget, you can opt for more elaborate mailers. Specialty shapes, folds, die-cuts, inserts, or more visuals can increase appeal. Additionally, you can bring your omni-channel campaign full circle by making your mailers a truly holistic asset.
A Limited Time Offer
As we mentioned earlier, a combined 80% of your success comes from sending to the right prospects and the value of your offer. The acquisition of new customers costs 5 to 25 times more than existing customers. With that in mind, the perceived value of the offer must be significant enough to arouse curiosity and draw in your new targets. So, don’t skimp on this incredible detail. Make them a great offer, add an alluring CTA, and watch your numbers rise.
Admittedly, one of the major appeals of contracting out the nitty-gritty of your digital and direct mail marketing to a third party is that they already have a system in place to handle the gathering, tracking, coordinating, and distribution of your information. They have the benefit of experience in handling large amounts of data; such as your tracking your mailings, the responses and website hits, and the follow up. They can not only help you develop a professional looking campaign, but also manufacture, coordinate, and distribute your marketing materials, be it digital or physical.
And let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather put your budget towards a professional campaign that takes care of itself and allows you to dedicate more of your time and resources towards improving your brand value and client satisfaction, than licking postage stamps?
Remember, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes for a successful marketing campaign. And after your mailers go out, there is even more work to do for the follow up. Most automated marketing systems can take a few months before you start to see real growth. During that time, response and increased traffic data must be collected and analyzed. By batch coding your mailings and tracking the individual responses to your campaign, areas of effectiveness can be tracked and address the weak points. But all of this takes significant time and effort. Ultimately, a coordinated charge between your digital and your direct mail campaigns is more thorough, leaves less room for missed opportunities, and captures more high-quality data. Contracting a professional company to handle your campaign increases the likelihood for success and squeezes more value out of your budget for your ROI.
Whether digital or direct, your marketing campaign will require regular and steady effort. There is no single process that will bring in new prospects, stimulate lost leads, and returning customers in one go. Direct mail automation is only the first of many steps to build a successful brand. But fortunately, you won’t have to start over every time The more that you automate and the more steps that you take, the easier it will be and the more successful you will become.