When we think about using marketing strategies to attract customers, we tend to focus first on new customers as the most valuable prospects. But what about existing customers who may have gone quiet lately? It may be tempting to consider them lost causes and trade them in for new opportunities, but that’s short sighted. After all, retaining a current customer is, according to Harvard Business Review, as much as 25 times cheaper than landing a new one.
So how should marketers go about reengaging dormant customers? Would you believe it if we told you direct mail was your best bet? Many marketers may be inclined to avoid this “old-school” strategy, writing it off as more trouble and cost than it’s worth in the digital era. But in fact, direct mail is a powerful tool for reengaging these clients, outperforming all digital combined, according to the Data and Marketing Association.
But, as with any marketing channel, there’s a “right” way to set up a direct mail campaign, and strategic outreach will turn a tool with great potential into a marketing must have.
Four Ways to Optimize Direct Mail Campaigns
1. Learn Why They’ve Disengaged, and Design Your Campaign Accordingly
The first step to reenergizing quiet customers is learning why they’ve gone cold. Take a look at their histories in your CRM and try to pinpoint a few trends. Are customers going cold after buying a particular product or service? After engaging with a particular campaign? Are the nonresponsive customers receiving too many emails? Impersonal messages? How do their customer journeys differ from the journeys of your most engaged customers?
Once you know as much as possible about their history with your company, you can tailor your direct mail campaign to address particular needs or fill particular gaps, meeting disengaged customers where they are. This may seem like time-consuming research and costly differentiation, but research has shown that tailoring outreach to your customers’ history will significantly increase campaign performance. According to Marketo, 79 percent of customers say they’re only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect their previous interactions with the brand.
2. Make it Personal
Tailoring the campaign to the brand is a powerful start, but direct mail becomes even more effective when marketers take personalization to the next level—specifically, by adding customers’ names to their mailers.
- Research from the (DMA) found that targeting customers on a one-to-one level increases response rates up to 50 percent or more compared to sending non-personalized mailers.
- Canon Solutions America reports that adding a person’s name and full color in the direct mail can increase response by 135 percent.
- Canon also reports that adding more sophisticated database information (regarding interests, professions, etc.) can increase the response rate by up to 500 percent compared to sending non-personalized mailers.
Mass mailers are likely to get thrown in the trash as fast as emails addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam” are likely to get deleted. But the more marketers can make individual customers feel like their communications are directed specifically to them, the more likely those customers will be to respond positively.
3. Localize Your Materials
Localization goes hand in hand with personalization, and it’s just as important, as the CMO Council recently reported that up to half of target audiences ignore brand messages if they’re not localized for the native language, local jargon, and cultural references.
If your customers are spread around the country or the globe, it’s important to remember that the same terminology that works for one region may feel inauthentic or incorrect to another. And where there are differences in language, it may be downright incomprehensible. Adapting direct mail campaign content based on geography will drive a significant increase in response rate among inactive customers.
4. Make Direct Mail Part of a Cross-Channel Campaign
Finally, don’t rely on direct mail to do the job of reengaging every inactive customer on its own; instead, make it an integral part of your broader, cross-channel marketing campaign. By adding these physical mailers to your email and social media strategy — with consistent design, brand story and messaging — you can expand your reach and set your marketing apart from your competitors’ by meeting customers in their medium of choice.
Far from an old-school marketing relic, direct mail campaigns are powerful elements of a marketer’s repertoire, especially when tailored to the audience’s specific needs. And yet, the CMO Council has found that only 33 percent of marketers feel their companies are successfully adapting brand content for different markets, partners and geographies, and other research shows that only 30 percent of businesses are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the level of personalization in their own marketing efforts. Fortunately, OneTouchPoint is well-equipped to help our clients create beautiful, highly personalized direct mail campaigns to catch target customers’ eyes. If your business is ready to take direct mail campaigns to the next level in order to reengage existing clients or attract new ones, we invite you to contact us to learn more, or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.