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What Are Your Direct Mail Goals for 2019?

Welcome to 2019! The beginning of a new year is a traditional time for setting goals for the year ahead. For marketers, this is an opportunity to plan for changes and improvements to their marketing strategies and processes.

It’s a great time to think about what you would like your marketing to achieve this year, how you plan to meet those objectives, to figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and to identify new things you would like to try.

If direct mail is not a part of your marketing mix, then it certainly is one of those “new” (yet old) things you will want to test. More and more marketers have been discovering that direct mail is a powerful antidote to eroding click-thru rates in online advertising and over-saturation of the email inbox.

Studies show that millenials love engaging with direct mail and that it has a powerful ability to induce purchase from them. Perhaps it is because of the overwhelming volume and impersonal nature of the majority of marketing that takes place over the Internet. Direct mail, by contrast, comes across as more personal, of higher quality, and worth spending time with.

With increased mailing options and enhanced targetability availability via Canada Post, there’s never been a better time to try direct mail’s ability to make a unique impact on current customers, catch the attention and interest of new customers, and to make meaningful connections with all your stakeholder groups.

For marketers who already use direct mail, you might wish to think about improvements you can make, new things to try, variables you can test, and how you might better integrate direct mail and your other marketing channels and media.

When planning, keep in mind this classic framework of direct mail success:

The Right Target/List

Can you improve your targeting? Can you identify characteristics (transactional, demographic, psychographic, behavioural) that indicate propensity to buy, whether within your own data, or through external resources?  (if you have not had a Customer Profile performed by Canada Post, consider it. We can help you arrange and organize this…just get in touch with us.)

Can you expand your reach? Are there other geographic areas where you can find prospects who look like your current customers? If you use Personalized mail, have you compiled a universe of rental lists that meet your targeting or predisposition criteria? Have you checked out all three Canada Post options for reaching Canadians – Neighbourhood Mail, Personalized Mail and the relative newcomer, Postal Code Targeting?

The Right Offer

While you may already have a successful offer that gets you a enough response, it is always smart to test alternatives. You may be able to improve your upfront response, your conversion, your average purchase size, or other important variables. Experts say you should budget up to 20% of your annual direct mail volume to be used for testing, particularly the testing of different offers.

The Right Creative

While we often think of creative as the words and pictures your direct mail uses to communicate, it can be far more than that. Think about the format you are using. If you traditionally use a postcard, consider a larger self-mailer. Perhaps a traditional direct mail package would be the thing that takes your response through the roof.

Direct marketers have a great bag of tricks that can help increase response. Lift memos, involvement devices, long letter copy (yes, long copy), separate response devices, stickers, tip-ons, plastic cards and of course, smart use of personalization.

You may also wish to test your messaging strategy. Can you position your product and offer differently, perhaps appeal to a different person in the household? Should you focus on product images or try some lifestyle imagery? Should you make your offer the star of your mailing, or the main benefit of your product or service?

In addition to this framework, you may also wish to consider testing strategies that could dramatically change the results you get. For instance, using direct mail and email together in strategic fashion to reinforce impact and response. Direct mail and retargeting are another combo some marketers use. And if you don’t already use landing pages in tandem with your direct mail, well, you simply must start doing so.

With 2019 already underway, there’s no time to lose. So, get planning to make direct mail a big (or bigger) success factor for your business this year. And if you would like some help with developing a strategy and plan, just let us know!