Your business neighbors swear by direct mail marketing, especially postcards. But you’ve also heard about a few businesses who tried direct mail with great anticipation, only to discover their results didn’t really hit the target. You don’t want that to happen to you. So before you produce your next campaign, read to learn why some direct mail campaigns fall short.
They aimed in the wrong direction.
There are some businesses whose products or services appeal to virtually anyone – a family-friendly restaurant or a church looking to grow their congregation, for example. Some campaigns are designed to promote a community-wide event such as a festival. In these cases, “targeting” direct mail marketing to everyone makes perfect sense.
In the vast majority of cases, however, your marketing audience is not everyone. There’s nothing less effective than promoting your business to people who aren’t interested and never will be. Or people who are so far away it doesn’t make sense to do business with you. That’s where true targeting comes in.
Most businesses have more than one target audience. For instance, orthodontists now have two groups of prospective patients because more and more adults are opting for braces, not just the usual teens. In the one case, you’re marketing to parents and in the other, adults who are not necessarily parents. You need different mailing demographics and different messages to reach each group.
Some businesses serve quite narrow niche customers – a high-end women’s shoe boutique, or a dentist whose practice specializes solely in dentures and implants.
Properly targeting your mailing requires knowing what you want your campaign to accomplish and knowing who your prospective patient, customer or client is. Along with geo-targeting – identifying a realistic service area – you should consider basic demographics such as age, gender and income along with special factors specific to your business and targets such as:
- Homeowners with pools
- Pet owners
Sometimes direct mail marketing campaigns reach out to the right audience yet still fail to spark or hold their interest. That can happen for several reasons.
Direact mail postcards have built-in appeal, and it’s easy for recipients to get the general idea right away. But that’s not enough. Hitting the right target requires customizing your direct mail marketing for maximum eye and emotional appeal.
You need visual design components and top-notch printing that make your postcard pop right out of the mailbox and guarantee people will take a closer look. You also need the right text elements – concise bullet points, social media icons, testimonial quotes and contact information to sell your business and stand out from the competition.
You’ll confuse people if they don’t instantly associate your postcard with your business – your storefront, the signs on your service or delivery trucks, your online or offline advertising, etc. Consistency is essential to success.
Weak or irrelevant offer.
Introducing your business via direct mail marketing is a great idea, but let’s be honest. Your prospects want to be wooed, not just informed. You have to give them an incentive to follow up on your mailing – a special offer that rewards them for responding. Offers that work best provide significant savings on something your target particularly wants or needs.
Lack of repetition.
Your prospects are busy. They have a lot on their minds. No matter how perfect your postcard design, how compelling your messaging or how valuable your offer, you have to remind most people to take action. That’s the nature of all marketing.
If your campaign supports a specific promotion – say, your spring sale – mail several postcards about a week apart to reinforce your message. If you’re using direct mail marketing to develop ongoing new business, you’ll want to mail monthly, year round, to generate maximum response. Learn more about why repetition is important for direct mail.
Understanding the fundamentals of successful direct mail marketing will help you create campaigns that hit the target, every time.