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October 18, 2022

Be Like Frankenstein: Bring Your Direct Mail Strategy Back to Life

by 
Stephanie Donelson

It’s alive! 

Well, it will be when you’re done reading this blog, and the it in question is your direct mail marketing strategy. 

A spark of electricity gave Dr. Frankenstein’s monster a new life, and it almost feels like we couldn’t live our lives without electricity - mostly as it powers our favorite internet-enabled devices. We do a lot of things online, so it only makes sense that marketers spend a lot of time focusing on campaigns that take place in the digital space, but it’s not the only thing marketers should focus on. It takes a well-rounded and multi-channel approach to reach today’s consumers. 

In this post, we’re going to share some tips so you can spark new life in your direct mail strategy, as well as cover some best practices for raising the dead with your direct mail. 

How to give your direct mail strategy a new life

Direct mail is a key component of any winning marketing strategy as it can effectively bring your digital campaigns to life in the real world and give your customers and prospects something physical to hold, besides their phones. 

Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Omnichannel Marketing

Now, let’s get into the good stuff: Here are some tips for bringing your direct mail strategy to life.

Audit and analyze

Run an audit of your best campaigns and see what channels performed well for them and what channels aren’t delivering the best results. It might be time to swap one of those channels with direct mail, or further improve your campaign’s performance by adding direct mail to the mix as an additional touchpoint. 

Perhaps you have a welcome email nurture campaign but are seeing high unsubscribe rates after the third email; it might be time to turn that third email into a piece of direct mail to change the communication channel and move the conversation offline. 

Or, let’s say you’re analyzing a winback campaign and noticing less than stellar results through PPC or paid social media. If you already have your customers’ mailing addresses, reach them at home with a personalized piece of mail. 

Segment further

Segmentation is the name of the game for any marketing campaign as you don’t want to target the wrong audience with the wrong message and alienate them. Dive deep into your marketing database to pull out key attributes for even more personalization in your direct mail messages. 

Let’s say you work for a pet food and supplies company. You could run a winter preparedness campaign where you comb your database for customers that buy puppy food and live in northern states that could be impacted by severe winter weather. Showcase the specific brand of food they buy and encourage them to stock up on puppy chow before winter weather hits their specific state and their deliveries could be delayed, and maybe offer a free toy or product with their purchase. 

Get creative

You don’t have to bring a monster to life, but you should take a page out of Dr. Frankenstein’s book and be open to experimentation with your marketing creative. Test new looks for QR codes, add some more color, make your font bigger and cut down on copy. 

Automate the process

Treat direct mail marketing like your breathing – something you don’t even have to think about. With APIs, you can create direct mail marketing assets that practically run themselves when the right data comes through. This isn’t just a win for your marketing team, it’s a win for your customers as they get timely and relevant messages based on their behaviors instead of waiting for a batch send that may not be as relevant to them anymore.

Update personalization variables

Consumers want personalized marketing messages. In fact, our State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights report revealed that 52% of consumers expect direct mail to be personalized. It’s time to run A/B tests on your variables that are personalized or add some eye-catching personalized elements. 

Some items to personalize in your direct mail:

  • Name
  • Images
  • Past purchase information
  • Personalized Variable Maps 
  • QR codes or personalized URLs (pURLs)

Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Personalization

Reporting process

Lastly, take a closer look at your reporting process and attribution model. Are you giving your direct mail enough time for consumers to take action? Are you accurately giving direct mail its credit for contributing to conversions? Reporting and analysis is a critical part of the marketing process so you better understand what’s working and where opportunities are.

Now, let’s reverse it and talk about how you can use direct mail to raise the dead and reactivate your churned customers.

How to raise the dead with direct mail

In our Drive Retention & Reactivation Success Using Intelligent Direct Mail webinar, our speakers noted that there’s up to a 70% success rate in converting a customer through reactivation versus acquisition. Another amazing stat that was dropped into the conversation was that loyal customers spend 67% more than prospective ones. But, how do you win those churned customers back to your brand? Here are a few ways you can use direct mail to reactivate customers. 

Source: Who's Mailing What!

Send a “we missed you” campaign

Create a specific timeframe, such as three to six months, to trigger a “Hello, we missed you” postcard campaign. Tell this former customer how much you value your relationship and encourage them to make a repeat purchase or re-start a subscription. 

Source: Who's Mailing What!

Offer an exclusive discount

Use the data you have available and send churned customers a special offer or exclusive discount. You know what they like already, so send a personalized offer based on their buying history. 

Get a free gift with Bath & Body Works! Source: Who's Mailing What!

Throw ‘em a bone

Offer former customers a free gift, complimentary add-on, or free shipping on their next purchase. Make this offer exclusive to your direct mail channel to better measure its impact on your reactivation campaigns.

Yankee Candle wants recipients to join the Fragrance Family rewards program. Source: Who's Mailing What!

Loyalty programs

Have a loyalty program in place? Send out a postcard or letter that details your loyalty program and its perks to winback former customers and keep current customers engaged and making repeat purchases to get their next reward or take advantage of the benefits. 

You can also automate statements for your loyalty program to keep your customers aware of their current status and promote any new benefits or sales they should know about.

Interested in learning more about customer winback via direct mail? Download a copy of The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Reactivating Customers with Direct Mail.

Bring your direct mail marketing to life

Are you ready to bring your direct mail strategy back to life? Schedule some time with our direct mail experts to see just how easy it is to automate direct mail with Lob. 

This blog provides general information and discussion about direct mail marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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