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Direct Mail
January 30, 2024

Planning Your Acquisition Campaigns in Marketing

by 
Guest Author

You know that once you have a customer, they're likely to purchase again. However, how do you get new customers to bite?  

One idea is to look to direct-response genius Gary Halbert and use creative direct mail. Halbert once stapled a one-dollar bill to the top of a letter he sent out. This made sure that his potential customers read his pitch. It's this level of creativity and the tactile nature of direct mail that can effectively grab the attention of consumers.  

At Lob, our mission is to help businesses succeed by offering automated direct mail marketing solutions. Follow this roadmap to create a successful customer acquisition campaign.

Our Direct Mail Expert in Residence shares her expertise. Hear more of what she had to say in the How to Prepare Your Direct Mail Strategy for 2024 panel discussion. Watch now!

Pull the right data

Data tells a story. Consider, for example, data about consumer behaviors. You might have information about a sector of consumers who only buy eco-friendly items and services. Direct mail marketers can use this data to find new customers for eco-friendly products. This is much more likely to be effective than sending information out to a wide range of consumers.  

You could also use data like credit or applications for credit. For example, if someone was recently granted a home loan, they're more likely to need moving services and new furniture.

People often abandon online shopping carts because they get busy or distracted. Pull in-market leads like abandoned cart information. Your next step can be to send a promotion that features the abandoned product, reminding the consumer what they left behind. Consider giving them a discount on the item or offering free shipping to clinch the deal.

Understand your audience

Do they love or hate QR codes? Do they want to visit your store in person or shop online via a personalized URL (PURL)? How do they feel about calling a phone number to make a booking? Answers to these questions make it easier to design direct marketing campaigns that your audience will respond to in the right way.  

You also need to understand what kind of messaging they respond to. Ask questions like, how do they see themselves? What stories are they telling about their lives? Who do they aspire to be like?

Create the right incentives

Having the right incentives is crucial. That's because you need to convince customers of two things before they make a purchase. The first thing is why they should buy the product. The second thing is why they should buy it now. When there's no impetus for a customer to act quickly, they may think that they will buy it later, get distracted, and forget about it altogether.  

So, give them reasons to buy now. This could be a limited-time discount or an exclusive offer for first-time customers. Anything that sparks FOMO will make your campaign more likely to be a winner.

Pair direct mail with digital channels

It would be a mistake to think that direct mail and digital channels are in opposition to each other. They work incredibly well in tandem.

Additionally, it's very common for potential customers to experience a brand through a variety of touchpoints before they make a purchase. For example, they might receive a direct mail piece and visit your website but not buy anything until a social media ad reminds them of their interest in your product.

Stagger your messages  

Frequency is also important. Customers need to see the right message on the right channel at the right time. To determine the right time, consider where customers are in the customer journey. Are they new to your brand or have they been following you for a long time? Are they solution-aware or just beginning to think about trying to solve their problem?  

Once you understand which step of the customer journey the customer is on, you can create a messaging schedule that aligns with their needs and interests.  

Hear more about testing from Tyler Dornenburg in our panel discussion on trends for direct mail in 2024. Watch the recording!

A/B test your campaigns

Your direct mail needs to be intelligent. Part of that is relentlessly testing your options. The main mistake that businesses make with A/B testing is changing more than one variable. Embrace the scientific method and only change one aspect for each test. This might be a brand color, or a dollar discount instead of a percentage off full price. Ensure you measure your results carefully to assess which version of your campaign material has the biggest impact.

Work out your budget

Direct mail can have a high upfront cost, but it can also have a high ROI. Work out your budget before you start so you can be strategic about allocating funds.  

Additionally, make sure you keep track of your expenses and measure this against the revenue raised.  

Check your metrics

It's easy to get excited when you start to see sales rolling in. However, to constantly improve your efforts, you also need to consider other metrics. Tracking metrics like response rate and ROI can give you valuable insights.

For example, did the campaign increase traffic to your website? What were your conversion rates? Was there more engagement on your social media?

Most importantly, did you meet or exceed the goals of the campaign? When you measure your success, you can make data-driven decisions for the future.  

See acquisition campaigns in action

Customer acquisition mailer from Disney+
See how Disney+ uses direct mail to acquire customers

Not sure where to start with your customer acquisition campaign? Need some inspiration on design, copy, or CTAs?

Learn from the best of the best by checking out our roundup of the best direct mail campaigns that focus on customer acquisition.

Read the blog: Best Direct Mail Campaigns: Customer Acquisition

Get smart about direct mail  

With the right approach and execution, direct mail can be a powerful tool for customer acquisition and business growth. So, get creative and start experimenting with your own direct mail campaigns.  

Did you know that customer retention and acquisition campaigns account for 50% of direct mail sends? According to our 2024 State of Direct Mail, it's a fact! Download your copy to learn more about using direct mail in your marketing efforts based on what your peers are saying.

2024 State of Direct Mail