Many business owners sneer when marketers bring up direct mail.
Comments range from “Isn’t it expensive?” to “Does anybody even read their mail anymore?”
The answers: Direct mail costs more than email, but the opportunity for ROI is also greater. This is largely because, yes, the vast majority of people do still read their mail.
Direct mail yields an average ROI of 15% to 17%, according to the Direct Marketing Association, and the opportunity is only growing with the advent of digital marketing.
Here are 8 tips to make your direct mail marketing programs smarter.
8 Tips for Smarter Postcard Marketing
- Go multi-channel. Direct mail works best as an arm of multi-channel campaigns. This is why we’re busy at Inkit building integrations with top CRMs. Many Inkit users can power direct mail with their CRMs, using data-driven targeting and triggers. Pro tip: Prioritize multi-channel engagement by sending warm-up emails telling customers to watch their mailboxes. Then, make sure your postcard asks the consumer to engage online.
- Trigger direct mail for loyalty rewards. Take a cue from Starbucks’ multi-channel approach to building loyalty. The company powers its loyalty program through its mobile app, but it still sends postcards to customers who’ve attained certain status levels.
- Focus on the customer. Direct mail is more memorable than digital communications because customers can immerse themselves in the material. Don’t miss out on this creative opportunity by focusing the content solely on your business. Customers want to see themselves reflected in ads. Make sure your postcards are relevant by creating postcards for specific, targeted segments rather than sending generic ads to suit large batch sizes. (We don’t have batch minimums at Inkit).
- Get personal. Today’s savvy consumers expect personalization and this is possible with modern direct mail. Use dynamic content to personalize your postcards just as you do with email. The NatureBox postcard below is personalized with each customer’s unique store credit balance.
- Make it measurable. One of the most powerful things about direct mail in the digital era is that smart tools can track results and collect data from your mailers. Be sure to include special links, discount codes, QR codes or even trackable phone numbers on each piece of mail you send.
- Test before you invest. Direct mail is a more expensive channel than some of the digital options at your fingertips, however with that comes a significant opportunity for ROI. To get the biggest bang for your buck, run digital tests before you send direct mail. Ensure you’re targeting the right people with the right messaging by sending out your offer via email before formatting it for print. We also recommend you run direct mail A/B tests to continually improve the response rates on your mailers.
- Deliver Value. Direct mail has at least one thing digital just doesn’t: staying power. Postcards are printed, tangible assets. You can maximize the longevity and impact of your postcard by delivering value. This doesn’t mean you need to send an expensive, multi-page catalog that sits on the coffee table for weeks. Mail a postcard with a valuable nugget of information, directing customers to your social channels or a landing page for more information. And set up your destination page to capture data and continually refine customer targeting.
- Automate it. Direct mail automation is the future of direct mail marketing. One you’ve done the work of testing and proving your ideas, set direct mail campaigns on autopilot. When you integrate Inkit with your CRM, you can plug direct mail triggers right into your marketing workflows. But, don’t simply set it and forget it. Of course, you should continue to monitor and test direct mail performance, and iterate to continually improve results.
Do you have questions about making direct mail automation work for your business? Ask us in the comments. We’re happy to help brainstorm solutions!