When opening a new business, you’ve probably considered local advertising, a website, and signage as good ways to alert potential customers to your presence. All these marketing tools are important when opening a business, but direct mail marketing may be most effective.
Using direct mail marketing, a company can spread the word quickly to reach prospective customers and start a dialogue. Customers appreciate knowing a company cares about them and genuinely appreciates their insight and business. Once you’ve established a dialogue with consumers and shown them their importance to your company, you have a much better chance of getting them in the door.
There are several tried and true methods of direct mail marketing campaigns that prove helpful when opening a new business. A few of these methods have been listed and explained below:
- Create good content: This does not mean make your letters sound preachy, sophisticated, or long and complicated. Simple letters that are original, straightforward, and sincere are most effective. If you need more customers for your small business, then write a letter to clients in your area and tell them how 10 minutes of their time could lead to a mutually beneficial partnership. Often, the directness of the letter will come as a refreshing surprise, and they will agree to give you 10 minutes of their time. After that, it’s up to you to make the most of those minutes.
- Personalize the letter: Everyone likes receiving notes that were addressed specifically to them. This is often why we are excited to receive mail from friends or family and upset to receive advertisements and bills. By personalizing your letters to customers, you show that you took time to learn something about them before writing. Even if you are asking for help or offering to sell them something, they will still be more receptive if you begin the letter in a personalized manner.
- Generate brand loyalty: Keep a regular correspondence with your customers. Let them know of changes in policy or products that might affect them. Ask for criticism or praise — for feedback of some kind — so that you can implement customers’ ideas and let them know they are important to your company. If you can keep a running dialogue with your customers, then you will gain loyalty from them. They may not remain customers forever, but they will be less likely to leave in search of your competitor.
- Develop a good mailing list: For your start-up company, you want to make sure you are reaching out to the right people — potential customers and consumers who will most likely be receptive to your message. For example, if you are a small clothing company targeted towards trendy teens and young adults, don’t send out mailing lists to 60-year-old CEOs of large corporations.
This requires knowing and being able to weed out your target audience from a database that may include people from all age and socioeconomic groups. A company needs to know the criteria by which to choose their target audience and then have a letter that is personalized and appropriate for that specific group.