Direct mail is one of the most simple, affordable, and trackable types of marketing. Granted, it's always easier said than done, but you'll be well on your way with a few tricks up your direct marketing sleeve. To help you out, we compiled five direct marketing strategies for you to try. These are based on some of the best actual results from our own direct mail case studies, so be prepared to take notes to leverage up your direct mail game.
Direct mail strategy 1: Test your copy!
thredUP is an online, second-hand clothing marketplace stuck with a churn of customers who hadn’t made a purchase within the year. After launching a reactivation campaign with a 45% discount offer made to both email subscribers and unsubscribers, they increased their ROI by 128%.
The key to thredUP’s success: A/B testing copy in its intelligent direct mail.
thredUP created two versions of a postcard with the same front copy but a different back copy. Version A included a letter from the CEO, while Version B highlighted three reasons to shop at thrift stores. The clear winner was the personalized letter. Plus, the unsubscribers had a higher conversion rate than the subscribers for both creatives.
Here are some examples you can try using A/B testing:
- Test direct mail formats: postcard vs. sales letter
- Test direct mail messages: letter from CEO vs. three reasons to shop
No matter the format of direct mail you send or the type of campaign you plan, you should always test your copy. Using Lob’s intelligent direct mail, you can quickly and easily personalize and customize your mailpieces for each recipient.
Direct mail strategy 2: Shift from manual to automated processes
VentureStack was challenged with direct mail campaigns that lacked the personalization and customization required to stand out from the competition. Rather than sticking with the traditional boilerplate templates common in the real estate investment industry, they experimented with various aspects of their mailpieces (e.g., structure, length, content, CTA, and response method). As a result, they saw an 8.3 times return on ad spend from their direct mail — that’s double what’s usually targeted in the field.
The key to VentureStack’s success: shifting from manual to automated direct mail processes.
For your next direct mail campaign, consider some of the approaches VentureStack took:
- Customized letter: Detail the services, benefits, qualifications, and products along with a trackable website link and image of the professional the customer will work with
- Postcard with a QR code: Drive customers to a website form followed by the use of Facebook and website pixels to retarget and capture leads
To get the most out of these direct mail strategies, it pays to implement automated direct mail. Compared to time-consuming processes, like handling mail manually and managing lists with Google Sheets, automation allows you to customize mailpieces and order on-demand while ensuring all addresses are deliverable.
Direct mail strategy 3: A/B test direct mail in B2B space
iExit is a free app designed to help travelers find places to stop along interstate highways (e.g., gas, food, lodging, etc.). However, they were challenged to connect with businesses that would receive 75 times more visibility and engagement by sponsoring an exit listing in the app. After changing their focus from cold calls, emails, and social media, their ROI increased by 150%, and customer support inquiries decreased.
The key to iExit’s success: A/B-testing direct mail formats in its acquisition campaign.
Try some of the following direct mail strategies for A/B testing in the B2B space:
- Direct mail format: letter vs. postcard
- Direct mail length: one-page letter vs. two-page letter
When A/B testing your direct mail, you can maximize your ROI by using hyper-local and personalized direct mail letters as iExit and others did. That way, you can harness the power of data by including personalized information, such as a map with a custom location highlighted, an app preview image, and the number of customers searching the area.
Direct mail strategy 4: Audience segmentation and budget allocation
Marley Spoon, the meal kit delivery service featuring Martha Stewart’s recipes and techniques, sought ways to use their churn data to reactivate customers. They achieved 20% of conversions from direct mail in a single quarter — it only took one quarter to see significant results.
The key to Marley Spoon’s success: audience segmentation.
Try this direct mail strategy by doing the following:
- Segment audiences into a direct mail-only group and another to receive direct mail and email
- Allocate budget toward higher value customers
Ensure that direct mail is part of your marketing mix. You'll save time and money by going the direct mail automation route.
Direct mail strategy 5: Nail campaign timing
NEXT, a Palo Alto-based small business insurance company, was interested in ways to use technology to engage with prospects and customers more efficiently. After integrating direct mail with their search and digital ads, they achieved a 4x increase in their customer acquisition campaign performance.
The key to NEXT’s success: customer data platform (CDP) and intelligent direct mail.
Take a look at these direct mail strategies:
- Collect data on prospect and customer behavior
- Send direct mail to target prospects and customers
Nailing the timing of your direct mail campaign can be a challenge using outdated processes. Intelligent direct mail allows you to automate your direct campaigns. You can even connect to many technologies using Lob’s API to tailor campaigns based on customer and prospect behavior.
Need help automating your direct mail? Lob's got you covered!
One of the best ways to ramp up your marketing efforts is by examining some of the most effective direct mail case studies. You may find many direct mail strategies that you hadn't considered that can help you increase profits and scale your business.
If you’re looking to level up your marketing with intelligent direct mail, we can help. Don’t hesitate to contact Lob to discuss your unique needs and schedule a demo of our automated technology.