Solving Two Big Direct Mail Challenges with One Small Stroke


Solving-two-big-direct-mail-challenges-with-one-small-stroke-1.jpgIf you talk to almost any company that uses direct mail as part of their marketing strategy to drive business, you’ll probably hear them mention two big challenges their direct mail efforts face: (1) getting their mail opened and (2) getting people to respond.

What if you could solve both of those problems simultaneously with one small step? What if you could get recipients to open and read your mailing—and respond?

There are a couple of types of mail that will be opened almost without fail. One is a hand-addressed invitation. The other is a hand-addressed thank-you note. They look different. They feel different. They compel recipients to open them. You can use both in your business, but for now let’s focus on the Thank You note.

A hand-addressed (and preferably handwritten) thank-you note can be extremely effective—in part because it is extremely personal. People like things that are (appropriately) personal. If you send out personal notes to existing customers, thanking them for their business, they will get opened. You’ll generate good will and deepen your relationship. But you don’t have to stop there.

You can use your thank-you note to extend a special offer in appreciation for their patronage. Make sure it’s an offer that is truly special (not available to everyone). And make sure it’s a significant offer. Offering someone a 5or 10 percent discount for their loyalty tells them their loyalty isn’t worth much to you. Make it worth their while to come back to do business with you (and keep in mind that acquiring new customers is much more costly than retaining existing customers).

Why will this work? For one thing, the package itself (the envelope) will be read and opened. That’s one huge direct mail hurdle cleared. In addition, you’re talking to an audience that already knows and trusts you. They are predisposed to doing business with you. And finally, if your offer is a good one, your clients will be inclined to take you up on it. You’ve reduced their risk of a bad experience.

You don’t have to do this with all of your clients at once. Try a test run with some of your best, most loyal, repeat customers. See how it works and then (using what you learn), you can roll it out to a larger group.

A simple “thank you” can solve two of your biggest direct mail problems at once.

Direct Mail Best Practices