The weather is turning, the nights are getting darker, and Halloween is almost upon us.
With that in mind, gather around the campfire and we’ll share our direct mail Halloween horror stories – such as bad email marketing examples – that will leave you waking up in a cold sweat. Read on, if you dare.
If you don’t identify your target audience correctly for your direct mail marketing campaign, you’ve missed a trick (not treat). Direct mail marketing is only successful if targeted, and mailing a random database of customers will not provide the results you are looking for. Whether you are aiming to drive sales or traffic, if you don’t target your prospects in a way that suits their needs, your direct mail marketing campaign will not be effective. Speaking directly to an identified consumer segment builds trust and helps personalise their experience of getting to know your brand, thus increasing response rate and revenue. It’s no good sending out a promotion about the latest troll perfume to a load of witches.
Not identifying your target audience causes another problem; lack of personalisation. You cannot target your message directly to your consumer if you haven’t identified them. You are demonstrating a lack of research into their needs, wants and buying habits, effectively losing custom. Surveys have shown that brands who take the time to get to know their customer, enjoy the highest response rates. If done correctly, it’s estimated that 66% of direct mail is opened and a further 82% read on for more than one minute. Wherever possible it’s always preferable to refer to them by name, rather than as a group. Although, grouping them is better than nothing at all.
If you expect your target consumer to read every piece of text on your direct mail marketing campaign, you could be falling into a (Halloween-style) trap. Provide a treat for your audience and highlight key benefits of your offers and services, delivering your chosen message with a powerful headline and concise copy. You could also use other tricks of the trade to grab the attention of the reader, such as bullet point facts, icons, bold, underline, arrows, and other novelty items in your direct mail marketing.
There has to be an incentive for your prospective audience to respond to your message, or products. If you don’t give them a reason to, such as ‘special offers’ on your products or services (buy one broomstick, get one free etc.), it’s likely you’ll find your direct mail marketing campaign in the bin. For companies sending out direct mail marketing regarding their new products, offering an incentive encourages response rates.
A huge mistake, if not the biggest of many direct mail marketing campaigns, is that brands fail to provide a clear call to action. Don’t be vague about setting your customer’s expectations. Let them know exactly what you are offering – whether that be the aforementioned broomstick or troll perfume… as well as what they need to do, and what will happen next. Wherever possible, give your audience a sense of urgency; no one likes to miss out on exclusives.
On the other hand, too many calls to action is a bad example of direct mail marketing. Packing your direct mail campaign with too many offers, or even coupons, can dilute your exclusive promotions and services, leaving you at risk of being considered ‘spammy.’ Focus on your main objectives (the brand new cauldron taking over the market etc.) and target it directly to the relevant audience. The cauldrons will fly off the shelves.
Don’t fall into the trap of producing a standard piece of direct mail – think outside of the box. Take a look at the Belgian campaign for World Water Day who, to demonstrate the importance of water, sent out press releases that could only be read if held under water. If you send a dull and uninspired letter – you run the risk of reduced responses. You can find out even more on creative examples of direct mail marketing campaigns, with our recent article.
To keep improving your business, you have to move with the times. Try new formats of direct mail marketing, update your promotions and offers and test, test, test. People change, and even the addition of a new headline demonstrates you are up to date, understanding their most recent needs. If you don’t adapt, your business will not grow, and you’ll be stuck with those broomsticks.
Before you send out your targeted direct mail marketing campaign, you must have a system in place to track the result. You’ll never know how or why a particular product resonated with your customer, without this system. You can do so with a range of examples, such as a unique landing page for each direct mail marketing campaign, QR codes, or create a specific code for the coupons sent out.
Your direct mail marketing campaign was a success, and now you need to prove your worth. Ensure you keep up the newfound relationship and respond as quickly as possible to requests or orders from the direct mail marketing example you have produced. If you do so, your reputation and, subsequently, your business will continue to improve.
To produce an effective direct mail marketing campaign, you must know what works and what doesn’t. Without utilising the best practices of direct mail marketing, you are at risk of wasting your potential. As a UK mailing house, we specialise in direct mail marketing services – including personalised direct mail services – and can craft a unique direct mail marketing campaign for your brand, steering you in the right direction and away from our Halloween horror stories.
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