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June 30, 2022

Win-Back Direct Mail Best Practices

by 
Guest Author

Many business and marketing experts have warned of low customer retention rates. Estimates show that attracting new customers is 5 to 25 times more costly than retaining current ones. With this in mind, you may be looking for better strategies to win back the loyalty of customers who have strayed from your brand. One such win-back strategy is through direct mail marketing, which provides ample opportunity to re-engage customers outside of noisy digital channels. Let's take a closer look at win-back marketing in action and cover some of the best practices for direct mail when it comes to running this type of campaign.

Customer churn was a concern for meal delivery service Marley Spoon. As a subscription-based business, using direct mail best practices to win back ex-customers was a top priority, and they knew that reactivating accounts would be a huge win. Working directly with Lob, the company integrated an automated direct mail solution at scale. Reviewing customer attributes and real-time events, Lob's team worked to create a direct mail campaign that drove 20% of reactivation conversions in Q1. With each campaign, subscription re-activation costs fell and conversions climbed.

While it's often assumed that the best way to reach today's consumers is through email, this isn't always the case. Marley Spoon noted that direct mail garnered a whopping 263% higher conversion rate than email. Often, it's a combination of channels that works best, and brands can experiment with the data until they get it right. If direct mail is a part of that combination, the following points highlight direct mail best practices for mitigating churn and growing a loyal customer base.

5 best practices for win-back direct mail marketing campaigns

1. Re-engage quickly

The most important thing to remember is "outta sight, outta mind." The longer an ex-customer is away, the hazier their memories of your products and services become. Customers don't always wander away because of dissatisfaction. Often, they're busy, overwhelmed with other priorities, or simply unsure of how to engage with a brand. Pick up where you left off with a campaign that reignites their interest or provides them an offer they can't refuse. By re-engaging quickly, you can stay top-of-mind and remind them of the value you offer.

TurboTax understands what's important to their customers. Credit: Who's Mailing What!

2. Show that you understand

If you know why a customer has disengaged, you have a pivotal opportunity to address it. This can sometimes mean leading with humility, transparency, or openness. You want former customers to know that you understand their struggles, and perhaps you even know the reason they disconnected. Addressing this reason directly is the best way to build trust, win their attention, and engage the most important best practice in direct mail.

Whether they are looking to save money, experiment with other platforms, or anything else, build a campaign that shows why they should stick with you. Depending on the data you have available, base your campaign around questions like:

  • When was the last time they were active and engaged?
  • What was the last action they took?
  • Did they express dissatisfaction, and does the campaign address how you'll do better?

3. Communicate appreciation

Consumers are used to being bombarded with advertisements, so when a brand expresses gratitude for their attention or loyalty, it's like a breath of fresh air. Contrary to popular belief, many people report that they enjoy checking their mail. Many even say they prefer to receive messages via direct mail over digital communication channels. This provides a perfect opportunity to reach out to former customers and let them know they're missed. Such campaigns become even more enticing with the presentation of a special offer. It's a nice gesture to say something general, like happy holidays, but it's more meaningful to say something personal to the reader, like "thanks for being with us all these years."

Who could resist that face or special offer? Credit: Who's Mailing What!

4. Make an offer

Few marketing strategies are more direct and effective than a simple offer. There's no need to complicate it. Whether it's a discount or other kind of special promotion, let former customers know it's just for them. Give them an offer they can't pass up instead of a generic sale announcement. Direct mail best practices include limited-time offers that give a clear call-to-action. Recipients should know right away how to respond, whether it's making a call, scanning a QR code, or visiting a website. With a direct mail analytics platform, brands can track the ROI of each mailing and discover what works best to reduce churn.

5. Get in touch through multiple avenues

Brands need to be multichannel for one simple reason: Their audience is multichannel. Consumers now shop through multiple avenues, often comparing prices online and shopping offline (or vice versa). 72% of consumers explicitly stated this preference in a survey. 82% reported using their phone to make purchasing decisions in brick-and-mortar stores, and a whopping 90% expect regular communications across channels. In a world where consumers are seamlessly connected to many buying options, your brand must create touchpoints to meet them wherever they are.

Spice up your direct mail best practices

It's easy to let would-be lifetime customers slip away. But it can also be easy to re-engage and remind them why your brand matters. With the help of key best practices for direct mail, brands can counter revenue losses and rescue lost customers from the abyss.

Lob is an automated direct mail platform with solutions for insurance, healthcare, e-commerce, and more. Our platform helps organizations seamlessly monitor and tweak their direct mail campaigns for maximum results and increased ROI. Schedule a demo to see just how to track direct mail using Lob's Print & Mail and Address Verification APIs.

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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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