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How to Add Direct Mail to Your Customer Retention Program
Direct Mail
April 18, 2024

How to Add Direct Mail to Your Customer Retention Program

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Lob's 2024 State of Direct Mail report reveals that customer retention made up an astonishing 28% of all direct mail campaign sends. That's because direct mail is one of the most effective ways to maintain relationships with existing customers and keep them loyal to your brand.

Quote about using direct mail for retention
See what other predictions Hahnlen has for direct mail in 2024

But how do you retain customers with direct mail? This article outlines several best practices for incorporating direct mail into your retention strategy.

Personalize direct mail campaigns for existing customers

One of the best ways to retain customers is to personalize every piece of direct mail you send them. You should already know how this audience thinks, behaves, and acts — especially if they've been loyal to your brand for a while. So why send out generic direct mail pieces that don't consider their previous interactions with your company? Or deliver mail to the "Current Resident?"

According to Lob's report, 68% percent of marketers already use data for personalization in their direct mail campaigns. But why? Well, customizing direct mail can make a customer feel like you value their business. That can increase customer retention.

There are several ways to personalize direct mail:

  • Referencing a customer's previous purchases or actions
  • Using relevant imagery that relates to those purchases or actions
  • Using a customer's name throughout a direct mail piece — not just on the envelope
  • Including similar offers to those that triggered previous purchasing behaviors, such as free shipping or money off a product
Daily Harvest customer retention direct mail campaign
Daily Harvest uses direct mail in customer retention campaigns

You can also customize calls to action (CTAs) based on a customer's previous behavior. For example, if someone scanned a QR code on a direct mail piece last time, include a QR code on your new mail.

Recommended reading: Key Takeaways From the Data-Driven Direct Mail: Personalization Best Practices Webinar

Integrate direct mail with digital marketing

For a more omnichannel approach to customer retention, combine direct mail with digital marketing methods like email marketing and social media. That can help you target existing customers across online and offline marketing channels and keep your brand at the top of their minds.

Here are some customer retention marketing tips:

Direct mail and custom landing pages

Include a link to a custom landing page on a direct mail piece when trying to retain customers. The page should reference someone's previous interactions with your brand. For example, you can include information about products similar to the ones they've purchased in the past.

Direct mail and email marketing

Instead of just sending out emails to existing customers, you can offset these marketing messages with direct mail. That reduces "email fatigue" and allows you to target this audience when they are away from their screens.

Direct mail and SMS

You can follow up with customers who haven't responded to your direct mail by sending them a quick follow-up text. SMS marketing can also create buzz around an upcoming piece of direct mail, especially if it contains a special offer or coupon code.

Direct mail and social media

Including your social handles in direct mail can increase your online followers and allow recipients to engage directly with your brand. Tell customers your social media accounts feature exclusive content they can't find anywhere else.

Direct mail and retargeting ads

Existing customers might land on your website after receiving your direct mail but decide not to take action. Retargeting ads can encourage these people to visit your website again.

Recommended reading: Best Direct Mail Campaigns: Customer Retention

Test and tinker with your direct mail campaigns

Existing customers might change their behavior over time. That's why testing your direct mail campaigns is important to see if they still resonate with this audience. Doing so will reveal how customers engage with your mail, so you can make it even more effective.

Use key performance indicators like response times and conversion-to-lead times to learn more about how existing customers behave after receiving your direct mail. Then, you can make changes to your campaigns based on these insights.

Recommended reading: 4 Direct Mail A/B Tests to Test in 2024

Use marketing automation software

Lob's most recent State of Direct Mail report also reveals that 56% of businesses already use software for their direct mail campaigns. So, if you haven't incorporated the latest tech, you could be missing out.

Marketing automation platforms are valuable tools for direct mail, especially when it comes to customer retention. That's because this technology streamlines many direct mail tasks related to maintaining customer relationships, such as:

  • Integrating data with customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other tools
  • Personalizing direct mail pieces for different audience segments
  • Address verification and address validation
  • Tracking responses to direct mail pieces and monitoring conversions
  • Automating marketing, print, and mail workflows

Direct mail marketing is often a complicated beast. You need to gather information about customers, trigger direct mail sends, schedule direct mail pieces, and print and deliver mail. A marketing automation direct mail platform can reduce this workload so you can concentrate on retaining customers rather than wasting time on manual tasks.

Retain more customers with direct mail advertising

Direct mail is a fantastic way to engage with your existing customers and encourage them to take action. However, you'll want to personalize mail, test campaigns, integrate direct mail with digital marketing, and use marketing automation software for the best results.

Want to see how your peers use direct mail marketing to retain and acquire customers? Get your copy of Lob's 2024 State of Direct Mail report! Or contact Lob to learn more about our direct mail services.

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