One of the highly-touted advantages of direct mail is its staying power. People seem to keep well designed, well written and carefully targeted direct mail pieces that have a compelling offer and deliver value. It’s what marketing people call “stickiness.”
Here at TMR Direct, we had one client (a residential painting company) tell us that one of his customers admitted that she’d saved every single direct mail card his business had sent out over the course of a couple of years—before finally calling to have her house painted!
If you’re a regular mailer (and a consistent, ongoing program is essential for direct mail success), how can you take advantage of the sticky staying power of direct mail?
As a mailer, you know the importance of having a clear call to action. You don’t just want people to read your mail piece—you want them to respond. But you’re probably also aware that timing is critical. Even if you have a great offer on a product or service that someone wants or needs—but they don’t need it right now—you may not get an immediate response (sort of like the woman mentioned above who wasn’t quite ready to have her house painted).
Can your mailing still be effective? How can you help potential clients hang on to the piece until the need arises? You may just need to tell prospects where to put it! Obviously you don’t want to delay responses, but if the offer is something that people might need later, consider including a line something like this: Don’t need ________ right now? Put this card in your ________ so you can take advantage of this great offer when you need it!
Here are a few suggestions for doing that.
- Automotive Industry: As long as people drive cars, they will need oil changes, tires and repairs. But they may not need them exactly when you send a mailing. Encourage potential clients to “Keep this card in the glove compartment of your car for when you need it.” It’s a logical place to look for something having to do with your car, and it can keep your mailing from getting buried on a desk or countertop somewhere.
- Tax Preparation Services: If you send out a mailing before the start of tax season, encourage recipients to “File this card with your tax forms and receipts. If you get stuck while working on your taxes—we’ll be waiting for your call.”
- HVAC Services: You know that a lot of homeowners don’t service their heating, ventillation and air conditioning services until they really need them (even though your mailings encourage them to do so). Advise homeowners to “Tape this card to your furnace or water heater now, in case you need help when the weather turns.”
- Sprinkler System Services: A lot of homeowners find themselves scrambling in late fall and early spring when turning their sprinkler systems off or on. Suggest that homeowners “Affix this card to the control box of your sprinkler system in case you run into problems or leaks when you crank up the system.”
- Food Services:This is pretty obvious, but the refrigerator is a great place to keep cards and coupons for the food you offer. How many times do people go to the fridge and stand there staring because there’s nothing to eat? You could even get clever and dress up your card as an “Emergecy First Aid Food Kit” to hang on the door when there’s nothing in the fridge.
Use your imagination. The point is, it’s not always enough to send a mailing to potential customers—particularly if the timing is a little off. So take advantage of direct mail’s staying power … and tell prospects where to stick it!