The holiday season can make or break a company's year — especially in retail. For some retailers, the holidays can account for as much as 30% of annual sales.
So, if you haven't started doubling down on your marketing tactics, now is the time to do so.
You may have sent out an email blast or two, are active on social media, and even started dabbling in SMS marketing, but what about direct mail? Considering that 67% of marketers say direct mail delivers the best ROI of any channel, can you afford to leave this channel out of your overall marketing campaign?
Whether you're new to direct mail or are eager to step up your direct mail game this holiday season, here's how to unleash the power of scalable, connected, personalized, and measurable mail — starting today!
Direct mail scheduling
When considering your holiday direct mail strategy, timing is one of the most crucial variables. If your goal is to target consumers during or directly after the holidays, and your mail arrives weeks late, your ROI will significantly suffer. Also, the sooner you get your message out during the holiday season, the greater your chances of attracting new customers, which could become repeat customers.
An influx of holiday in-store and online shopping begins as early as October. Depending on the message you wish to convey, the earlier you send your first piece of holiday direct mail, the better. Research shows that 55% of holiday shoppers plan to buy before Thanksgiving. So, beat your competitors to the punch. Deliver targeted mail to your audience before those who think Black Friday is the best time to start sending promotions.
To make sure your mail hits consumers' mailboxes on time, you'll need to invest in the power of automated direct mail. What used to take three months now takes less than a week with Lob. Hyper personalized, measurable mail can get your mail in-house in as little as four days. Plus, when leveraging address verification, you'll ensure that the addresses on your list are deliverable and everything you send arrives at the right place, at the right time. We’ve found that without address validation, the industry average return to sender rate is 5-10%, but our customers see an average of 2% or less when using address verification.
Another way to make sure your holiday marketing campaign hits at the right time is to use Lob’s target delivery date feature. This feature allows you to create your campaign and select when you want it to arrive in mailboxes so your messaging across all channels can be aligned on the campaign launch date. [Please note that this feature is currently in beta testing for our enterprise customers].
Post-holiday shoppers + gift cards
Targeting specific customers before the holidays is imperative based on where they are in the buying journey. However, don't neglect the after-holiday spenders. Consumers are still purchasing after the holiday season ends, especially those with gift cards. Use this to your advantage, as it's an excellent time to engage with customers.
For example, when processing a new customer's gift card, you can provide them the option to receive a promotional offer to use on their next purchase. They would then be asked to create an account, adding their address. One way to effectively grab their attention via direct mail is to create a well-design customer loyalty postcard. The goal is to get that new customer to make another purchase and become a repeat customer to increase their lifetime value.
Tip: You can also offer your customer the ability to purchase holiday gift cards using Lob's Simple Print Service API. Each card will have a unique promo code, allowing you to analyze your marketing campaign. The idea here is to automate and refine your marketing program so you can make data-driven decisions.
Incorporating holiday direct mail into your omnichannel strategy
Direct mail is effective on its own. However, it becomes even more impactful when combined with other campaigns — online or offline. When combining digital channels with your direct mail strategy, research shows you can:
- Boost conversion rates by 40%
- Increase website visits by 68%
- Grow ROI by 60%
- Improve physical in-store traffic by 39%
Undoubtedly, your holiday marketing campaign incorporates at least a couple of digital channels, such as social media and email. These channels will work with your holiday direct mail strategy, ensuring a more holistic approach.
For example, you could create an impactful social media post, followed by a customer email, and then send a piece of direct mail. Your social media post could showcase the release of your gift guide, the email could highlight your top picks, and the direct mail campaign could include a personalized offer. The direct mail offer would be incentive enough for some shoppers. However, by reaching customers throughout the entire buying journey, you could ensure greater compounding results.
Related: 21 Festive Holiday Marketing Ideas That Drive Revenue
What holidays to send direct mail over
While November and December are the go-tos when thinking of the holidays, it's not the only time of year you can tap into the power of holiday marketing.
Think of the classic retail sales dates:
- New Year’s Eve + New Year’s Day
- Presidents’ Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving (Black Friday and Cyber Monday)
- Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa
But you don't have to send out sales promos around the same holidays your competition is! Have fun with more obscure holidays that are specific to your industry or your customers based on demographics, purchase behavior, or other segmentation strategies. There's practically a national holiday for everything these days, it's just up to your brand to get creative with your marketing around it.
Here are some fun holidays that might fit different marketing campaigns by industry:
Restaurants and dining
- California Restaurant Month (January)
- National Buffet Day (January 2)
- National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (February 4)
- National Moscow Mule Day (March 3)
- National Bubbly Day (June 3)
- National Doughnut Week (July 10)
- National Eye Care Month (January)
- Women’s Heart Week (February)
- Hearing Awareness Week (March)
- National Dentist’s Day (March 6)
- Arthritis Awareness Month (May)
- National Men’s Health Week (June 12)
Pet care or pet supplies
- National Pet Travel Safety Day (January 2)
- National Golden Retriever Day (February 3)
- National Love Your Pet Day (February 20)
- Canine Fitness Month (April)
- National Pet Week (May 7)
- National Pet Health Insurance Day (April 7)
- National Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 23)
Retail, eCommerce, special interest, fashion, and beauty
- National Reading Month (March)
- National Quilting Day (March 18)
- National Woodworking Month (April)
- National Gardening Day (April 14)
- Nail Day (May 5)
- National Small Business Week (May 7)
- National Camping Month (June)
- Made in the USA Day (July 2)
Financial or insurance
- Car Insurance Day (February 1)
- Financial Aid Awareness Month (February)
- National Credit Education Month (March)
- National Life Insurance Day (May 2)
- Take a Cruise Day (February 3)
- National Tourism Day (May 7)
- National Road Trip Day (May 26)
- Cheap Flight Day (August 23)
Of course there are other holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, etc. Many brands are starting to put the power of holiday marketing messaging in their customers’ hands by allowing them to opt out of holiday campaigns that may be triggering for them. By having a mix of major holidays and more out-of-the-box ones tied to your marketing campaigns, you can have your brand stay top-of-mind year-round.
Lob can help supercharge your holiday marketing campaign
Direct mail can help boost conversion rates and supercharge your ROI — and Lob is your ticket to success.
Over 11,000 innovative companies rely on Lob to ignite the possibilities of direct mail. From startups to Fortune 500s, Lob is helping modern businesses create new growth opportunities. You can read customer stories to dive deeper into real-world applications or request a demo to learn more.
Prefer to chat about your specific needs? Contact us to discuss your options today!