Funny how, as the calendar year starts to wind down, the to-do lists seem to grow at a faster and faster pace. Between planning for the new year, racing to meet this year’s goals, delivering last-minute work to clients and navigating the general holiday rush, it seems every second is accounted for and there’s no time for nonessentials.
Many business owners would consider holiday cards and other direct mail campaigns to be “nonessentials,” better replaced with emails or forgone altogether. But in reality, even in today’s digital world, direct mail is still one of a marketer’s most effective tools especially in the B2C arena, with research from the Data and Marketing Association (DMA) showing that direct mail’s average response rates are higher than all digital channels combined.
A holiday direct mail campaign is a powerful way to connect with customers and prospects, grabbing their attention with a personal touch in the spirit of the season. To add even more incentive, remember that, with the flurry of holiday cards and deliveries, your audience is paying more attention to their mail this time of year than any other time, making it the perfect moment to express gratitude, build goodwill and remind customers and potential customers of your brand and your value.
But with that in mind, it’s important, during this mail-centric season, to craft your campaign carefully to ensure your holiday mailers stand out and capture your audience’s attention, maximizing your holiday ROI.
3 Ways to Make Your Company Holiday Mailers Stand Out
Personalize Materials for Every Recipient
It may be tempting to print up a bunch of postcards or flyers with a generic message, drop them in the mail, and call it a day. But the first and most important key to making your holiday cards direct mail campaign successful — whether you’re sending holiday cards, New Year’s specials or anything else — is personalization.
The DMA has found that personalized mailers see response rates increased by 50 percent or more compared to non-personalized mailers. And even better, Canon Solutions America reports that adding someone’s name on a full-color mailing can increase response rates by up to 135 percent compared to impersonalized, black-and-white mailers.
So, skip the generic “Dear Valued Customer” greeting and, at a minimum, be sure each recipient’s mailer is addressed directly to them. “Dear George” if your company’s tone is fairly casual; “Dear Mr. Bailey” if it’s more formal.
And there’s no need to stop with the name. You’ll want to keep your message brief, but the more information you can pull from your database, the better. Did a customer celebrate a big milestone this year? Congratulate them. Did somebody send you a referral recently? Thank them. Your company holiday cards are an opportunity to show customers and potential customers that you care. Take advantage!
Worried about the added time and cost of personalization? Well, McKinsey data shows us it’s well worth the investment. Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as half, lift revenue by up to 15 percent, and increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30 percent.
Send Mailers that Stand Out from the Rest
Your company branding is already top-notch, and the personalization gives you a strong leg up, but will your direct mail campaign stand out among the piles of holiday mail your customers receive? Here are two great ways to ensure that it does:
First, start early. We all complain about Christmas Creep when Santa Claus is edging out Jack-o’-lanterns for shelf space in October, but when businesses get their holiday mailers out early, that accomplishes a couple of things. One, it ensures your brand materials beat the rush to the mailbox, meaning customers will likely focus on them rather than tossing them into the “to sort through later” pile. And two, it gives customers who want to get their holiday prep done before the hubbub hits time to make their holiday purchases early — from your company instead of your competition.
Second, be sure your mailer itself stands out from the crowd. The color and personalization are a good start, but consider a nonstandard trim sizes or shapes, such as oversized cards, accordion-fold brochures or accompanying branded magnets and stickers that will keep your brand on display in recipients’ homes. These unique touches will divert recipients’ attention from the other advertisements in their inbox and encourage them to focus on yours, instead.
Incorporate Your Holiday Mailers into a Cross-Channel Campaign
Since you’ve started early, you’ve given yourself plenty of time to reach out to customers and potential customers over a variety of channels, keeping your brand top of mind throughout the season.
To keep nudging procrastinators and buyers who may need time to consider their purchase decisions your way, pair your direct mail campaign with online outreach to drive deeper down the marketing funnel. Add an email newsletter from your CEO outlining the company’s achievements from this year and plans for next, then launch a social media campaign with end-of-year promotions and messaging that mirrors the direct mail campaign. And here’s a tip: feel free to extend your campaign through the holiday season and into the post-holiday shopping season with additional postcards and digital promotions.
Customers expect consistent, multi-channel communications from their favorite brands, and by making direct mail just one arm of your holiday marketing efforts, you ensure you’re putting your brand and your offerings in front of your customers and prospects wherever they are, whenever they’re ready to see it.
In the busy weeks at the end of the year, it can be so tempting to overlook holiday mail. But while these campaigns may seem small, they’re actually a crucial touchpoint for audiences and a powerful way to build momentum going into the new year. Here at OneTouchPoint, we pride ourselves on empowering our clients to create and deliver impactful print marketing campaigns for any occasion. To learn more about our print marketing and mailing services — and how we can help you take your holiday print marketing campaign to the next level, contact us or request a quote. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.