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Direct Mail Marketing Ideas
Jason Frueh | Business, Marketing

Modern Direct Mail Marketing Ideas for 21st Century Business Owners

The Direct Marketing Association says mailers have a 4.4 percent reply rate compared to only 0.12 percent for email. However, in order to capture your audience’s attention without using flashy digital campaigns, you need to take your direct mail marketing to the next level.

Luckily, modern marketers have all the tools they need to develop an effective direct mail campaign, even if you’re a small business owner with limited knowledge and budget.

Here are five things that all business owners need to do to get the most out of direct mail marketing.

5 Direct Mail Ideas

Use Data to Segment Your Audiences

Statista predicts there will be nearly 27 billion connected devices by the end of 2019. That means you potentially have access to more information about your customers than ever before. Use this to your advantage to develop better audience segments, which—if successful—will increase engagement and revenue.

Consider segmenting your audience using the following information:

  • Location, such as zip code or city
  • Demographics, such as age or gender
  • Job title or employer
  • Life cycle, such as new homeowners or new parents
  • Sales behavior

It’s important to remember you don’t need to stick to just one audience group. Content marketing expert Neil Patel says, “If you really don’t know which user segment to target, you may want to consider testing a few segments before singling one out … It’s better than throwing money and energy on one niche only to find out months later that it’s a dud.”

Test EDDM Postcards

In Q1 of 2019 vs Q2 2018, we’ve seen a significant increase in people looking for and designing Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) postcards at MyCreativeShop.

EDDM Postcard trend

EDDM is a strategic print option for quickly getting your message out to a specific group of people. For business owners just starting out, who haven’t yet built up a mailing list, it’s one of the best ways to get your brand noticed and inside the homes of potential customers.

EDDM allows you to better target your potential customers via USPS’s mapping tool. When you use EDDM, you can select the postal route(s) that serve people that best fit your ideal customer/demographic. You can also use this service to better tailor marketing materials to better connect with each route.

Read our full guide to using EDDM and check out our EDDM templates.

Include Interactive and Personalized Content

According to Alliance Business Services, 44 percent of customers visit brand websites after reading a direct mail advertisement. Imagine how much higher that rate could be if you added personalized interactive elements to your static postcards.

Interacting With Postcards
Photo Credit: dma.org.uk

Encourage your customers to interact with your mailers by using QR codes or URLs that provide exclusive deals or a personalized shopping experiences. Here are a few ways you could do this:

  • Include a shortened URL to a webpage that uses dynamic elements to personalize the product options based on their location.
  • Include a QR code that takes them to a unique landing page, specific to their neighborhood.
  • Send birthday mailers, with a QR code or link that takes them to your site with an exclusive birthday deal.

If you’re not sure about using technology in this way, consider simpler ideas, like a scratch-off offer on a postcard. If you need some inspiration on ways to improve interactivity with your mailers, check out how these six brands are succeeding.

Supplement Digital Marketing With Direct Mailing

Direct mailing is proven to have a better engagement rate than email, but you still need to think about the big picture with your marketing campaigns. The number of email and social media users grows every year. If you target the same audience with mailers and another digital channel, you can reach your customer at multiple touchpoints, allowing you to be more effective with every campaign.

The Not One More movement is a great example of how you can bring online and offline together. They sent mailers with a specific hashtag, #NotOneMore, and encouraged people to post pictures of themselves holding the postcard with the hashtag and a sentence about how gun violence has impacted their lives.

Not One More Postcard
Photo Credit: maloney.house.gov

You can also use direct mail to grow your social followers or email list. Simply include a link or QR code that takes them directly to your social page or the subscriber signup page. Note that this may be a good secondary CTA for your mailer, since it’s not likely to directly drive revenue or new customers.

Track Your Efforts

Regardless of how you bring your direct mail marketing into the 21st century, your efforts will be wasted if you don’t track your performance and results. This all starts with determining an attainable goal—and remember that it doesn’t have to be revenue-based; your goal could also be to drive X number of responses or website visits.

A few of the tactics we already mentioned can help you determine the impact of your direct mail campaigns, so here’s a reminder:

  • Custom URLs
  • Special promo codes
  • QR codes
  • Hashtags

Keep this in mind when developing your campaign. You should always be able to answer the question: how will we quantifiably measure success?

Adopting Direct Mail Marketing in a New World

Direct mail marketing still works in the 21st century. You just need to adjust your campaigns and methods to work with an audience that expects instant-gratification and real-time results. Using the strategies in this article, you can improve engagement and revenue with your mailers.

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