How to Target Audiences with Direct Mail Campaigns.

We are living in a digital era where we receive promotions and ads in almost every application you go on. It sure does give you that huge exposure to your audiences but it can also be quite overwhelming and ineffective. However, we would like to encourage the idea of combining offline and online marketing, together. It is almost impossible for companies to survive without an online approach. But due to the saturated online marketing, adding offline marketing like a direct mailing campaign can help boost up your desired enhancement. It could be to create sales or recognition. If you can’t be everywhere, be in the right place.

Offline versus Online Audiences

When you started a company, you would probably know who the target was. It is more likely to reach consumers interested in your products or services and decrease the likelihood you’ll waste and spend on uninterested customers. To be honest, your target audience would be the same whether it is online or offline. It is about finding the suitable media to deliver the right message. And, you know that when you know who to target, it helps you figure out what content and messages people like to see. It is the same as finding the dinnerware for each meal, where eating soup from your bowl would not be so practical. It just does not fit right. We would like you to create a cohesive marketing strategy that gets your company message in front of consumers at different touch points as much as possible. If you would want to open a vegan restaurant, your target audience would still be people who are interested in eating plant-based meals. But the channels you advertise your business will determine the effectiveness of each message. You might pay for Facebook advertisements based on the customers who have located nearby the restaurant. It is not about gaining numerous exposures, but it is about the effectiveness of inviting the clients. Most local restaurant’s main target audiences are the neighbors. So, promoting online could create awareness to people but it sure does not have a better impression that would sit on your clients as well as receiving a postcard.

The Benefits of Online to Offline Marketing

We all could agree that an offline marketing approach is not cheap. It is more expensive than online engagement. Of course, they are not willing to spend so much on something that they are not certain about. Some businesses failed to benefit from a direct mailing campaign because it was difficult to accurately target the audience and measure the results. But with the advancement in technology, a printing media strategy is not the same as how it was before. When new businesses start, their first go-to marketing strategy is to choose the online approach. It is sure a good approach to start with because it allows you to identify your audiences. For instance, you could see that the product website is attracting a lot of people from the northern part of the country. This already gives an indication of where you need to send your postcard to, whereas before (when online marketing is not the talk of the town) it is not certain who you are targeting because your potential consumers were based on the probability and assumption. Now it is based on evidence provided through your online activities. Also, businesses are not able to measure the results of each campaign because you cannot identify if the increase in customers is from the printing strategy or the advertisement you put on TV. However, it is now possible. Due to the extensive features that have been implemented into a direct mailing campaign. For instance, the QR code is attached to the postcard. It can provide information on its performance because businesses are able to see how many people scan the QR code to buy your product or use your service.

When is the best time to initiate a direct mailing campaign?

It all depends on the type of products you are selling. Some products might be categorised as a seasonal product or service. Then, it is wise to put out an advertisement a few weeks before the season. You would not want to advertise a traveling deal during the holiday because people may have already booked their vacation. It is best to promote it before. Another great example could be a trampoline. You would not want to send out a postcard to clients when it is still cold and windy outside. Customers are more tempted to buy a trampoline when the weather is lovely. Nobody would like to miss out on doing an outdoor activity when the weather is shining in a country (The Netherlands) that is raining 80 percent of the year. It is different between each product. Use Google Trends to see in which period has the highest search for a trampoline. The results show that at the beginning of March (2020). Therefore, it
might be wise to start advertising at the beginning of March.

The trampoline is not something you buy every year. You could give your clients a few years’ breaks by tempting your clients to buy from you. Keep in mind that people who normally used the trampoline might have grown; hence, offering a bigger and better offer could be the one to introduce.

Time is Not of the Essence, the Message Is
On the other side, it does not matter when you want to start your direct mailing campaign. Imagine the focus group is a family you can start almost anytime. However, it is about the message. Is the message relevant to clients at the moment? The incomplete order consumers would not respond greatly on deals of buying 2 get 1 free, for instance.

How to Optimize Your Target Audience?

The information you already have on your own clients is where you start expanding your reach. It can be done through:


1. The Postal Company

Income Level
The parcel delivering companies can provide information that is crucial to your target. As an example, the product you are selling might fit best for people who have a low income. It is possible to get information from the postal service.

In order to buy a house, the government is authorized to look into your income and approve your purchase based on your earnings. The system is trying to provide an equal opportunity for people. If all high earnings are buying low-cost housing, there will be limited houses for low-income workers to be able to purchase a home. Therefore, the price of the houses can help you estimate your consumer’s salaries.

When looking into your existing client’s database, this can allow you to see other potential customers as well. There is a high possibility of gaining recognition from the neighbors of your clients because they probably have earnings and might be interested in saving a few bucks. So, postcards distributed to the surrounding areas of the existing clients can be a way to expand your business.

Common Interest
A gardening company would not be sending out postcards to people who do not have a garden. It would be useless. You might just make their day because they are probably laughing at the company, spending their money on an unbeneficial marketing campaign. The postal services can provide information on whether or not these people will be your potential clients, meaning if they have a garden for you advertise your astonishing deals. When an address shows an additional letter after the house number, it is easy to assume that these people do not have a garden. It is because the chance of an apartment on the second floor or above has enough space on their balcony for a garden. This technique will help you narrow down your target to be more effective in convincing them to be your potential customers.

Number of People in Households
The trampoline will be used as an example again. Sometimes people run out of ideas and they just need to recreate their old ones. It’s part of being INNOVATIVE . So, the business would like to sell the trampoline but in order to do that the company needs to know who to target. It is quite likely for that company to set their target on families, aiming at a household of 3 or more people. This shows that there is a higher chance of having kids running around the house that needs some entertainment outdoors to keep the house inside less messy than it is.
In addition, a trampoline is quite an expensive purchase that people tend to share with their neighbors. It would not be as fun as playing the trampoline with your friends. Therefore, it might be optimal to not send a postcard to the neighbours right next to your current ones.

2. Country Statistics
Companies can collect and analyze data through the statistical information that the government provides. This tool provides information regarding the economy, population, well-being, etc. If you are selling baby products, you probably would want to promote them in the area where there is a high fertility rate. Moreover, a country like Japan could be a great selling place for specialty chairs for older people, since the third of the Japanese population is made up of elderly individuals.

3. The Political Opinions
As interesting as it may seem, each political party has the values that make them unique from another participant. However, it is up to the citizens to vote on which sides they are voting for. One political party might be aspiring more for a greener economy. The results of the voting can help businesses tackle the market by indicating which part of the country is keener to encourage products with an environmental-friendly purpose.

4. The Chamber of Commerce
Once you declare to become a start-up enterprise, there will be numerous B2B companies trying to pitch you to purchase something. For instance, you might have numerous experiences with energy companies trying to sell you a package deal for your new company through cold calling. It is a common tool for a salesperson to target other businesses that just begin their journey. However, the Harvard Business Review claimed cold calling is ineffective 90% of the time. People are impatient to hear out the sales pitch when they can search up the business on the internet and know everything they need to know within seconds. Therefore, leaving your postcard with all the information would be a great start to give them the time to consider. Then, following up with the business with a call can show an improvement in results. So, the best way is to first contact them directly through a direct mailing campaign.

Find the Right Tool for the Right Job

Each of the tools provided above can be used as a guideline in finding the right target audience for your brand. Moreover, it lays out the possibility of how to effectively connect with your potential clients with a direct mailing strategy by incorporating other sales tactics as well.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
You might wonder if you will be breaking any privacy rule by sending postcards to your clients that might never know you. When the information does not contain any privacy or personal information, you are permitted to do so as you please. For instance, the names of the applicants must not be included when the receiver has never once subscripted or purchased from your business.

The Timespan for A Direct Mailing Campaign
A campaign could be for a few weeks or months. For instance, a demand for a trampoline will rise before the beginning of spring and ends when the weather starts to get colder. Therefore, it is reasonable to have the trampoline campaign for a period of 2-3 months.
Keep in mind to add a sense of urgency. If you cannot encourage the person to take action while holding your mailing piece, the chances of the person responding will be less likely. So, add a deadline for a response or add a limited amount of the offered product at a special price.

The beauty of direct mail advertising is that it can be used in combination with any digital campaign. Given the crowded marketplace, evidence displays that people need 6-8 touches from a brand before they start thinking about putting their hand in their pocket. Therefore, adding this offline approach will boost up their confidence in their buying decision.

The Amount of Printing
The number of your mail quantities depends on various factors. Firstly, you need to know your own capability. You would not want to send out too many postcards and end up saying to your clients that you do not have enough products to offer. Secondly, the mass could be estimated based on the conversion rate from your previous campaign. If the conversion was 2% and you would like to get 10,000 more sales, creating 500,000 postcards would be your output.
However, consistency is key to success. It is recommended to send out every month or two to improve the results. If you wait too long between touches, they may forget the need to use your services.

Benefits of Adding a Direct Mailing Campaign to Your Marketing Plan?

High Response Rates and Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI is a key performance indicator that is often used by businesses to determine the profitability of an expenditure. Direct mail is among the oldest and most effective advertising channels. Sometimes viewed as obsolete in favor of digital channels, direct mail actually delivers one of the uppermost, most reliable ROIs of any advertising channel. If used correctly, it can be a game-changer for companies looking to expand their advertising operations.

According to recent research, direct mail has a response rate of 5.1%. That might not sound like much, but when you compare it to 0.2% from online ads, 0.4% from social media platforms, 0.6% from paid search, and 0.6% from email campaigns, you can start to understand how significant that number is.

Eventually, you want your direct mail marketing campaigns to generate paying customers. Direct mail brings a high return in comparison to other channels. According to the DMA, the direct mail median household return on investment is 29%. Direct mail might be more costly than running an online banner, but you’ll likely appreciate a greater ROI.

We’re not saying that digital marketing has had its day, but audiences are tired of it. Tired of seeing endless promises and offers in their overflowing inboxes. The same old same trick in the book. Capturing people’s attention is now harder than ever. Yet a recent Royal Mail survey found that 72% of people open all their posts, whereas Mailchimp suggests average open rates of email is less than 20%. So a direct mail message is a way to get seen. Stop reading the same marketing manual and rewrite the book yourself. Think out of the box and do what your competitors neglect to use.

Postcards create a message presentation that makes customers feel as if the message is speaking to them and no one else. In the age of modern technology, when most correspondence is electronic and impersonal, a postcard can make a person feel a sense of importance as if the sender truly cares for that individual.

Nacha Buranapanichakit

Nacha Buranapanichakit

Content Marketer

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