Remember when getting a letter in the mail was exciting? So do we. But how do you recreate that feeling and get customers excited about your business when they’re facing a sea of junk mail, flyers and credit card offers?
We asked 11 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) their top secrets for making direct mail marketing more appealing to the people who matter most — those opening the envelopes.
“What is one way brands can make direct mail marketing more appealing to potential (and current) customers?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
1. Make Mailers Useful
“Consumers use scrap paper every day for grocery and to-do lists, phone books and notepads. So, why should your promo, assuming it’s not immediately trashed, languish uselessly in a drawer somewhere? This year, we sent something people tend to keep — a New Year’s resolution sheet (with business info, of course). Brands should think of an additional use for their mailers; consumers sure could.” ~ Manpreet Singh, Seva Call
2. Open With a Proposition
“Consumers have short attention spans. Instead of building excitement toward your value proposition, just open with it. This will attract the recipient’s attention and force you, the sender, to see if your value proposition is worth sending to potential customers.” ~ Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Company
3. Make It Lumpy
“The first goal of a direct mail campaign is to get your envelope opened. We’ve sent thousands of direct mail pieces to prospects, and we find mailers with a lumpy object inside of the envelope have a near 100 percent open rate. People are curious what’s inside, and the curiosity gets them to open it. Now your job is to make it personal, relevant and captivating to get your piece read.” ~ Charles Gaudet, Predictable Profits
4. Include Product Samples
“Paper direct mail can be a nuisance to most customers, but if you include a product sample, the direct mail instantly becomes more valuable as a trial tool. There are several companies that specialize in creating product samples, such as Arcade Marketing for the fragrance and makeup industries, and they often have interactive programs that aim to increase the ROI for your brand.” ~ Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
5. Make Mailers Creative
“Direct mail can be very, very powerful. The key is what you send out. Last week, someone mailed me a message in a bottle. The message was about the company changes this business planned to instill in the new year, and the idea was so well put out that I called them immediately. Here’s the key: Send a more creative message to less people. It’s about quality, not quantity. “ ~ Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union
6. Include Something Useful
“People often only think of promotional products as items to give away during a tradeshow or to clients. But what about using them in direct mail campaigns? Along with your sales/marketing message, include something like a pen. Those who are on the receiving end are at least 50% more likely to keep the pen, and in doing so, you’ll remain in their house in the future, used or not. “ ~ Logan Lenz, Endagon
7. Tailor Content to the Consumer
“Invest in learning about your customer, and communicate with them accordingly. Leverage information on customer purchasing behavior and shopping preferences to segment and personalize marketing content and drive sales.” ~ Katie Finnegan, Hukkster
8. Use MailLift
“MailLift is basically an API for direct mail marketing. It allows you to integrate your CRM or customer service software directly into its messaging system. You can write out a message, and it will be transcribed as a handwritten letter and sent to your customer. It’s completely revolutionary because you can do mass mail customization efficiently for the first time.” ~ Liam Martin, Staff.com
9. Provide Value
“Most direct mail pieces deserve the moniker of “junk mail.” To make sure yours stands out from the crowd, you must deliver some kind of real value that transcends your brand message. There are so many creative things you can do that are cheap: Deliver curated content, use creative techniques (such as punch-outs or folds) to make something that consumers can use or write witty copy. Be boldly creative!” ~ Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
10. Partner Up
“Partner up with a complementary company to increase the value of the piece. By doing this you can create a more creative, useful piece. Tap into their customer base as well and use the piece both ways.” ~ Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
11. Use a Stamp
“Consumers can tell when something has been mass-mailed. If you make the envelope look like it came from a person rather than a machine, then the piece will more likely get opened. Try using stamps instead of metered mail, and use a font that looks like handwriting instead of typed text.” ~ Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent
Direct Mail Photo via Shutterstock