5 Ways to Stand Out in a Mailbox
In 2019, the USPS sent 75.7 billion pieces of marketing mail to mailboxes nationwide. That’s a full 53% of all mail delivered last year, reaching approximately 160 million delivery points. Even though mail volume across the board has dropped about 31.4% since 2000, Americans still receive a lot of mail, and a lot of it is trying to sell them something.
With so many businesses competing for consumer attention, it’s important to take extra care when thinking about your direct mail campaign. Who, what, how, and when you send will make a big difference in whether your mailer ends up in the hands of your ideal customer or in the recycling bin.
Here are some tips.
1. Target Your Audience
Like with any marketing campaign, your message needs to reach the right people at the right time to make the largest impact. Thankfully, direct mail lets you get very, very specific about who receives your mailers and when. Breaking down your mailing list by geographic and demographic information gives you a great overall picture, but an experienced direct mail company uses a data-driven approach to focus your company’s attention—and dollars—where they will matter most.
2. Think Outside the Letter
Postcards, letters, and catalogs all have their place in a direct mail campaign (and can have huge impacts on your bottom line), but don’t be afraid to take advantage of mail’s greatest asset: its physicality. Unlike the digital space where your design is limited by the 2D nature of the screen, physical mail has the ability to surprise or even transform, creating a unique, tactile experience for the receiver. You can send out pop-up mailers, unique promotional items, or even simple DIY kits that fit your branding. The opportunities are endless, and the time spent interacting with your advertising will create a richer, more memorable experience for your potential customers.
3. Make Them Curious
You have, on average, eight seconds to grab a consumer’s attention before they move on. So how can you be sure, when a consumer is looking at a large pile of mail, that your mailer will grab their attention? The answer is to inflame their curiosity.
It might seem gimmicky, but strange, lumpy envelopes get results. We can’t help it; our natural curiosity drives us to find out why this particular envelope is different. Of course, you have to reward their curiosity with something of value: a useful promotional item like a pen or calendar, a branded toy, a bag. Any of these items would sate the consumer’s need to know while giving them a useful or fun reward for the effort, inevitably lodging your brand in their mind.
4. Keep It Actionable
Even the most brilliantly designed direct mail campaign won’t drive sales if you don’t give consumers a strong reason to take action. A well-written call to action is the special sauce, as it were, that takes a good mailer and turns it into a great one. A focused, goal-orientated CTA offers something your customer wants and tells them how, in a few, simple steps, they can achieve it. Coupons, free trials, and bonuses are all tried-and-true methods that increase engagement, but you can also go outside the box by offering solutions, showcasing benefits, or playing into, once again, our natural sense of curiosity.
You can increase response rates even more by making the step from mailer to purchase as easy as possible. Make sure your contact information is easily accessible and directs the consumer right where they want to go, whether that’s a special page on your website, your phone number, or a physical location. To make the process even more streamlined, you can even integrate a QR code into the design to shorten the distance between the mailer and your online presence.
5. Tie It All Together
Direct mail is a great way to connect with your ideal audience. It has the unique ability to target very specific audiences, has great potential for endless amounts of creativity, and can inflame the curiosity of the receiver, leading to increased engagement with your company. It cannot, however, exist in a vacuum. Mailers are just one aspect of marketing, and they work best within the context of a comprehensive marketing strategy that makes use of both print and digital formats. 68% of marketers said joint digital and direct mail campaigns increased website visits and 60% said the combination increased ROI.. The more closely you intertwine your online and off-line presence, the higher the response rate. Ultimately, making your direct mail campaign a success is all about getting people to notice your mailers and then getting them to take action after they do. Those might seem like Herculean tasks, but all it takes is a solid mailing list, creative, curiosity-inducing design, and actionable content to turn receivers into buyers. But if you still think that sounds like far too much, just remember this: your company exists to answer a need or a want. Tie everything you do back into that need or want, and you are sure to find success.