There are so many arguments for why direct mail is irrelevant in today’s marketing and advertising mix. It’s too expensive. All my customers are online. It just gets thrown away. My lists are inaccurate. It’s difficult to track. And so on.
Many brands are forgoing direct mail in favor of seemingly cheaper, faster and more direct mediums like email marketing and social media. Yes, these are definitely effective, fluid and flexible. They can even be more cost effective, but it can be difficult to overcome the digital clutter.
The further we get away from mailbox marketing, the greater the impact it seems to have. And going with a very creative direct mail piece is sure to turn a few heads. Boom – customers. Here are a few fresh ideas to help you kick up your direct mail game:
- Offer a ridiculous discount. It’s no secret that coupons on direct mail postcards can bring in new customers, whether you are a new business in town or just looking to remind your neighbors that you’re there. But that coupon really has to make it worth their while. So try something crazy and clever – give them 77% off if they come in on 7/7. Offer $50 off any purchase for the first 50 people to bring their postcard to the store. You get the idea.
- Give them half of something FREE. If specialty items are in your budget, send them half of something for free and promise to give them the other half when they come to you for business. Send them a fountain pen, then give them the coordinating ink or letter opener when they come in. Or send them a gift card for music downloads, then promise them an iPad when they do business with you.
- Make it POP. There isn’t much that excites me more than getting a really awesome 3D or interactive piece in the mail. There are so many vendors today that offer mail solutions that ship flat (read: inexpensively) but turn into something really cool, like a pop-up cube, a piece of origami or an elaborate system of pockets & fold-outs. Check out the direct mail work at Structural Graphics, and prepare to be amazed.
- Play along with your online initiatives. Social media, email marketing and direct content marketing are all important for your online presence today. So let’s bridge the old and the new! Let your online mediums interact with traditional ones. Perhaps some kind of digital scavenger hunt that requires your customer to key in codes from a postcard, a social post and an e-blast to win a prize. Even something as simple as teasing your direct mailer with social posts or eblasts can generate interest with your audience and create something really effective.
However you speak to your audience, the most important thing to remember is that tracking is everything. If you are sending a direct mail piece, always be sure to include a custom call tracking number or a unique URL for a landing page. You won’t know how effective your marketing dollars are until you know who is seeing them and what their actions were afterwards.