There’s a universal rule in marketing: the better you know your customers, the better positioned you are to give them what they want. When you give customers what they want, you are guaranteed to get more business. It’s not a complicated concept, but it’s one many businesses struggle with, mainly because it can be tricky to get inside the minds of your prospects.
One way to break the cycle of throwing marketing ideas against the wall and hoping something will stick is to use surveys to connect directly with prospective customers. Direct mail surveys can be very effective in that way, and we’ve got some great tips to help you get a better response.
Keep It Short
Figure out what your most pressing questions are, and stick to them. Very few people will be willing to fill out pages and pages of marketing surveys, so it’s best to distill your questions down as much as possible. Five to 10 questions on the back of a postcard is much more likely to get a response than five or 10 pages in an envelope.
Give Them a Reason to Respond
Unless you already have a devoted customer base that is willing to help your brand succeed without anything in return (in which case, you don’t need a survey!), you’re going to need to give respondents a compelling reason to provide you with information.
Offer entry into an exclusive contest, a discount on products or services or to send the results of the survey to their email address when you’ve collected all the information. You could even try a combination of offers.
Make It Easy to Respond
When you send out a survey as a direct mail campaign, you’re asking prospective customers to give up some of their time to help you out. Make sure it’s as easy as possible to do that. Consider using one or more of the following tactics:
- Develop multiple choice questions or ones with yes-or-no answers. People are more likely to respond to your survey if they can simply check off an answer than if they have to provide a written response.
- Keep it short, sweet and all on one page. Better yet, use a postcard with your offer on the front and the survey on the back. When your survey looks smaller and easier to complete, more people are likely to respond.
- Always ensure that you pay for return postage, and add an option to respond online.
Using Survey Data
Survey data is one of the most valuable marketing tools you can get from a direct mail campaign. Not only are customers going to answer direct questions, but the volume of response can also tell you a lot about how tuned in and engaged your target market is. Make sure you collect and analyze the data you get and that you use the information your customers provide to create messages, products and services they want and need.
Finally, remember that if your target customers care enough about your brand, product or service to respond to your survey, then they may already be viable leads, so don’t forget to follow up with them!