How and When to Use Direct Mail as Part of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Direct mail regularly gets a bad rap as an exclusively outbound-focused tactic that doesnat keep up with the ways buyers wishes to eat content.

But in the right situations, direct mail could be a crucial differentiator in a world where 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from a companyas email listing because the company was sending too many emails.

Just as a product thatas similar to a dozen challengers will struggle to take off, marketing that looks like everyone elseas simply wonat be memorable. Classic digital marketing tactics like email have become so overcrowded that approaching inbound creatively is crucial to standing out from your competition.

The key to doing direct mail right is keeping it aligned with your inbound marketing funnel.

Never forget your main objective: you want to lead prospects back online to continue nurturing them there. Any piece of mail you send must direct prospects online to help you track them throughout the process — whether thatas including a link to a landing page or a code they can enter on your website. Plus, the more information you have about what kinds of offers they respond to, the better you can speak to their pain phases and specific needs.

Identifying Your Potential Direct Mail Audience

Prior to beginning any marketing campaign, your team should be laser-focused on your potential customersa predilections and needs.

Your number one priority is standing out to those who are most likely to buy your product. This fundamental step shouldnat change when youare considering incorporating direct mail into your marketing. Inbound is all about gratifying prospective clients where they are.

If your target customers donat check their mailboxes often, theyare probably not a good fit for direct mail .

Given the plethora of other places to spend, itall be hard to justify spending on direct mail over, for example, paid content promotion on social media if your target audience is addicted to their smartphones.

However, if your potential clients are old enough to own homes or apartments and are likely to check their mailboxes often, direct mail could prove to be effective. Itas all about understanding what your audience needs.

If youave identified that sending a letter or postcard is an effective way to reach your particular prospects, you can begin to think about the moments in the buyeras cycle when itas best to reach out with the personalized touch of a physical piece of mail.

Being Conscious of Your Prospectsa Stage in the Buyer Cycle

A prospect observes a piece of content useful and subscribes to your blog to stay in the know. So whatas your next step?

Keep in mind that all your prospect did was are in favour of an email list. That means theyare probably still a fairly acolda result. If they found a blog post through organic search or since they are considered a headline that appeared interesting on LinkedIn, theyare not going to appreciate receiving any type of content that attempts to make a hard sell, let alone a postcard explaining your pricing.

Think about the number of coupons and offers that youave discovered in your mailbox, only to fling them in the recycling bin instantly. Those pieces of mail likely werenat relevant to needs youad expressed.

You need to construct the content youare offering via direct mail speak to the individual. That means that if at all possible, you want to segment your mailing list in the same way youad segment an email listing. Can you match a physical offer on a piece of paper to the article or offer the prospect just opened online?

Ultimately, striking at the right time with direct mail comes down to maintaining awareness of your prospectsa stage in the buyeras cycle. Craft the direct mail piece that stands out from the remainder by showing that your company understands their leads.

Creative Ways to Incorporate Direct Mail — at the Right Time

Letas return to the recent blog subscriber.

The typical inbound marketing reaction is to send them an email, thanking them for subscribing and assuring them that youall keep them updated when the next blog is published. Rather than sending a follow-up email, though, what if you responded with a direct mail piece?

You could thank them for subscribing to your blog and direct them to some of your most popular blogs. You could even direct them to a landing page with a video that contains a personal message. It surely stands out from the mundane marketing messages they assure on a daily basis.

Rather than sticking with a complete email campaign, you could use a direct mail piece to promote your prospect to check out an ebook or other offer youave created.

You could also provide them with a case study from a business similar to theirs and include obligating stats. The key is to help educate them on how to address whatever problems theyare trying to solve.

Further down the funnel, once a lead is more familiar with your brand, you might host an event theyad find useful. Invitees often perceive physical event invitations as more personal — just as an invitation to a bridal or large birthday party is likely to feel more genuine when you find it in your mailbox rather than your inbox.

Drive event attendance and track your offline efforts effectively by putting a QR code on the invitation that motivates invitees to register online.

Direct mail is particularly relevant when youare trying to target a specific geo-location, age bracket, or household income level. It comes back to meeting your customers where they are. If youare running a campaign on a local level, produce buzz in your community by sending out a visually compelling piece of direct mail that neighbors are apt to discuss.

Keys to Direct Mail Marketing Success

1) Focus on the trackability of your campaigns .

You should already be using a marketing automation solution to track your typical inbound efforts. In order to stimulate the most of your direct mail endeavours, you must also track these campaigns to decipher whatas working and whatas not.

Without tracking — a function of driving recipients online a you wonat have a true understanding of what pieces are resonating with your prospects( and what topics theyare actually interested in ).

2) Keep it visual .

Remember what the last long, descriptive brochure you read said? Me neither. Lean away from long sentences and blocks of text. Instead, spark your recipient’s interest with a beautiful image thatas relevant to the content or event youare offering.

3) Provide a clear next step .

Itas best to limit yourself to one CTA per piece of direct mail — and make it obvious. Itall limit confusion and make it easier for you to evaluate the pieceas ROI.

4) Target people who are checking their mail( and especially the ones who are hard to reach online ).

It wonat matter how compelling the image or transcript on your postcard are if your recipients arenat considering it. Consider setting up automation to send physical mailers to recipients that have expressed interest in your company, but haven’t is a response to digital outreach after a certain amount of time.

5) Always tie it back to online endeavours .

The only way youall genuinely know how direct mail is influencing your bottom line is to way everything. Your mailers should have unique codes or phone number with unique extensions.

Prospects should go to landing pages that track their journey and trigger next steps in your marketing automation or sales process. Make sure youare setting yourself up to prove the effectiveness of your campaign.

Remember, informed about prospects when theyare ready is a foundational principle of inbound marketing.

If you are able to automate sending the right information at the right time, youall be primed to turn leadings into customers.

Marketers usually paint direct mail with an outbound brush, but classic mail can be an effective marketing tool with the right approach. With ingenuity and a targeted approach, you have the chance to speak to your prospects in a personalized and genuine way.

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Read more: blog.hubspot.com

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