Direct mail is now a widely used everyday marketing tool, but all too often businesses aren’t sure exactly when they should be using it, or how to achieve the best results. This article identifies some of the most common and proven occasions when direct mail is the best tool for the job.
Use direct mail to gain new customers
New business development and customer acquisition all mean the same thing – gaining new customers for your business. And direct mail has an important role to play. Working from a profile based on your existing customers you can use direct mail to target more of the same type of customer. Or you can use direct mail to reach new types of customers in new areas, or sell new products or services.
Use direct mail to sell more to existing customers
If you take into account the acquisition cost of gaining a new customer, it may be that you only start to turn a profit when the customer repeat orders for a second or third time. Therefore you can use direct mailings to contact existing customers and sell them product replenishments, upsell to newer or larger purchases, try new products and services, or gain repeat purchases.
Use direct mail to keep existing customers for longer
Direct mail doesn’t always have to generate a sale each time. It can also be used to speak with your existing customers more often, so that you build a closer relationship with them. This way they’ll be less likely to defect to the competition, and more likely to become an advocate for your brand. Direct mail campaigns of this type often use newsletters, vouchers or third party offers to add value.
Use direct mail to cut out a middle man
If you are in a market where you have been reliant on a middleman, reseller or intermediary, but you want to enjoy the greater profits of selling direct, then direct mail can often be used to target the end user directly. Because it is aimed at the individual mailings can be sent straight to the people you want. And because direct mail is low profile, it’s less likely to be seen by your distributors or competitors.
Use direct mail to test marketing ideas
Because direct mail is so measurable, it’s the ideal way to test out new marketing ideas, whether they are new products, services, creative ideas, offers, or markets. You can even test more than one of these in the same mailing (but don’t include too many variables or it will become difficult to measure what works and what doesn’t).
Use direct mail to make other marketing activities work better
Direct mail is the perfect tool for integrating with other marketing activities. It blends well with many other promotional tools, to create a far better end result. For example you could use direct mail with:
– Events and exhibitions, to send out targeted invites to contacts to get them to visit your stand before the event, and follow up leads and enquiries you gained at the show after the event.
– Websites, to push traffic online direct to your website, bypassing search engines when your market could be distracted by other websites or pay per click advertising.
– PR and advertising, to follow up on leads you’ve received through above the line promotions.
– Sales promotion to create a killer offer communicated direct to potential customers.
– Personal selling and telemarketing, to help open doors and prepare the way for more direct person to person sales efforts on the hone or in person.
To summarise, the best time to use direct mail for your business is when you need to achieve measurable results and you know exactly who it is you need to speak to.