We’ve had plenty of conversations with clients in marketing departments up and down the country on what 2021 may look like for Direct Mail. In order to summarise those discussions, in this weeks blog we’ve compiled our top 5 tips for your marketing campaigns this year:
“Have clear objectives and target your data”
In order to fully maximise your direct mail campaigns, it’s essential you have clear objectives for what you want your communications to achieve. Perhaps your immediate focus is promoting a new product or service or you’d simply like to drive online sales… whatever your objectives it’s vital you have complete clarity on not only what you are prepared to invest in your marketing but also how you will measure your ROI.
Just as importantly, you also need an intrinsic understanding of your target audience and the challenges they face. Are you looking to ‘warm up’ a cold audience who are unfamiliar with your business or brand or will you be contacting your existing customer base? Depending on who you are looking to contact, your approach will likely be very different. By posing these questions at brief stage it will help you strike the right balance for your campaign – are you looking to introduce your business and tell your story or are you pushing a product or service to those familiar with your business already?
“Know your Direct Mail Options”
Direct mail has evolved over the last few years and a campaign no longer has to consist of simply enclosing an item in an envelope. What’s paramount when sending any Direct Mail campaign however is the target audience should always dictate the method with which you communicate with them. Very broadly, Direct Mail methods can be categorised as such:
Direct Mail: Put simply, Direct Mail is personally addressed to a recipient. Its this personalisation element that has proved so popular in establishing a connection with a brand and enables the sender to tailor the content to personal buying habits or trends. This individualised approach is one of the reasons Direct Mail reportedly has an engagement rate as high as 96%.
The Door Drop: This method is particularly useful for engaging a colder audience. Relatively cost effective, it enables you to mail to a Nationwide audience of circa 30 million households by using less personalised data – just an address essentially.
Partially addressed mail: Somewhere inbetween direct mail and a door drop sits partially addressed mail. This enables you to group together segments of your target audience based on shared behaviours or demographics. By using just the postcode data as your indicator, you are able to address your mail to recipients in the Peak District for example with a ‘Good morning Rambler’… this is far more likely to capture attention than a generic ‘Dear Homeowner’. Obviously the message changes with the behaviour or postcode you are looking to target but the you see the point – If there are area’s where you have customers and you’d like more or similarly area’s where you don’t have as much exposure, you can target these accordingly.
“Take the time to get your message right”
As touched on previously, Direct Mail allows you to tailor your message so it’s really important that you’re hitting the spot. Research shows that personalised mail is as much as 35% more likely to lead to an actual purchase than non-personalised campaigns. It clearly works, so once you have their attention with the personalisation, make sure your message is understood and your call to action is clear. If your DM piece includes a barcode that links to a PURL, ensure the instructions are easy to follow. Alternatively, if you opt for a simple letter in an envelope, be careful not to dilute the message with too much text. In 2021 attention spans are shorter than ever so be straight to the point and if you need some context to elaborate further, link to a web address or landing page.
“Direct Mail and Digital often go hand in hand”
The most effective way to reach your target audience is through multiple touch points on a joined up campaign. Of course marketing channels alone can prove successful, but often the channels complement each other and fill in the gaps. Perhaps somewhere along the journey customer engagement has lapsed? Are you able to trigger that customers interest with a direct mail campaign off the back of a targeted email shot? In today’s world it’s vital marketing approaches are joined up and every element of the customer journey is considered and curated.
“Your target audience will always drive your communication – Don’t overcomplicate things”
Having been in the Direct Mail industry for almost 30 years, we’ve seen most things from creative pieces that smell of a certain product to QR codes and image scanning methods that link straight to your customers Ipad. They look great but if the message isn’t clear and the call to action isn’t right, they can be an expensive exercise. Many of these ideas are scrapped at the briefing stage in favour of a simple message that cuts straight to the point. Don’t get too bogged down in trying to create something no-one else has seen before, just keep focusing on the initial objectives and the targets you want to achieve and let those dictate the design process. Of course the ‘fancier’ and more creative methods may well work for your target audience, that’s fine as long as the initial research and data supports that. In short, be driven by what the data and the research dictates, not by what looks the most visually appealing.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, if you require any assistance or would like to discuss your own direct mail campaigns, we’d be happy to help.