Targeting an audience by a geographic area is nothing new for direct mailers. It’s common for restaurants, veterenarians, dentists, and physicians to target and mail to a specific zip code or geographic area near their location.
Direct mail Geo-Targeting takes things a step further. Whereas it’s common for businesses to put a map of their location on a card mailing to prospects, Geo-Targeting actually shows the route from a recepient’s door to the front door of a business.
It’s an interesting way of integrating “old school” (off-line) and “new school” (on-line) technologies. A computer takes the data and creates a map connecting the business and the recepient’s address. Then that map is incorporated into the design of the card. It’s a whole new level of personalization.
Why should you care? Is this just another “gimmick” or is there an actual advantage to mailing this way?
No. It’s another level of personalization that shows the recipient you did your research.
Consider the fact that direct mail has a certain “stickiness” to it. Many people will hang on to a mailing longer than they will hang on to an email. Someone could be thinking about visiting a particular restaurant or looking for a new vet or a new dentist. They might hang onto the card until they’re ready to make a decision. The card serves as a reminder and—when they decide to act—it provides clear directions.
This approach can actually be more convenient for the recipient. If you get a card in the mail that has a map showing the location of a business, you still have to go online, enter the business address, and then enter your address to find out how to get there. Then, you either have to print out the directions, or use your smart phone to direct you there. With Geo-Targeting, you’ve got your directions already printed out and in your hand.
There’s a bit of a subtle psychological edge to this technology as well. It’s almost as if the mailer is saying to the recepient, “Look how easy and convenient it is for you to visit us!”
Sometimes it’s the little details in a marketing message that tip the balance and cause prospective clients to choose you over your competitor. If you have a business that’s trying to reach prospects in a specific geographic area, Geo-Targeting may be something you should look into to get an edge on your competitors.