When you send out direct mail to potential or existing customers, you have the ability to target or personalize it for maximum impact. Targeting and personalization are two of the attributes that attract companies to direct mail as an advertising channel. When you send prospective customers direct mail that relates specifically to their interests or addresses them by name, you are more likely to elicit a positive response.
Targeted Direct Mail
To target your direct mail campaign, you must first understand the attributes of your regular customers. If you have collected information from your existing customers, you can analyze your customer database to find out the traits that your regular customers have in common. This data can include characteristics such as age range, marital status, gender, whether they have children, and so on. By targeting your direct mail campaign at potential customers that share these attributes, you can maximize your chances of winning new business.
If you do not hold this information on existing customers, don’t despair. You can begin to build your database by encouraging your customers to share their details with you. Send out a short survey that asks them to provide certain key pieces of information. By offering a discount or free sample in exchange for completed surveys, you can encourage customers to respond. The information provided will be valuable enough to justify this incentive.
Customers have become increasingly comfortable sharing information with companies for marketing purposes. In a recent survey conducted by Accenture in the U.S. and U.K., 80% of those who responded said that they believed total privacy is a thing of the past. If it generates targeted offers, 49% of respondents are even comfortable having their behavior tracked.
Personalize Your Direct Mail Campaign
A direct mail campaign must grab the attention of prospective customers, encouraging them to open the mail, read it and act on it. Few things will interest potential customers more than an invitation, postcard or letter that is addressed to them personally. A letter that begins “Dear John” or “Dear Mr. Smith” will always have more impact than one that starts with “Dear Householder.”
Lazy direct mail campaigns that send the same message out to everyone are unlikely to generate optimal results. However, by taking time to target your direct mail campaign at customers who share the characteristics of existing customers and personalizing your marketing material, you can maximize your chances of generating a healthy return on your investment.