Best Direct Mail Ideas

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you can’t afford to lose a single dime on wasteful marketing.

If you’ve never tried Direct Mail marketing before, then you just aren’t aware of it’s incredible value. For pennies on the dollar, you can design multiple versions of a direct mail  campaign, assign a unique identification code to each version and then test  different elements of those designs and measure their success. Then it’s just a  matter of refining your design to increase the response rate even more and soon  you’ll hone the ultimate direct mail weapon for your marketing arsenal … that  you can use for years to come.

The industry average on response rates for direct mail campaigns hovers right around 2%.

What do you think is one of the cheapest, yet most effective, direct mail pieces to send? Postcards.

Why postcards? Postcards often get a response rate of up to 4% … or more if your marketing is well-targeted  and it’s designed by a marketing professional. Postcards are not only inexpensive to print but they also don’t require opening … all the recipient has to do is flip the card over to learn more … no muss, no fuss.

When it comes to designing direct mail, copy is definitely King, but to catch the attention of today’s consumers your marketing pieces have to stand apart from the crowd and pack a punch with truly valuable offers.

In case you’re not the most creative person, I’ll get you jump-started with the following direct mail tips and ideas.

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1. Mail Often: Mail regularly and mail often, but make your mailings relevant and interesting. The more often you mail to your mailing list, the more you’re at the front of those customer’s minds when it comes time to buy.

2. Use Testimonials: Ask your customers to write a review of your business or product, then send a copy to your mailing list with an invitation to visit you … and throw in a coupon with an expiration date as an extra incentive!

3. Use a Loyalty Program: Reward your customers for continuing to do business with you. Setup triggers that alert you when customers have reached a certain purchase level (or track and collect 5 to 10 “punch cards”) and mail them out a note recognizing the accomplishment along with a coupon or discount as a special thank you.

4. Create a Referral Program: Ask your best customers to provide you with names and addresses of friends and colleagues whom they think would benefit from your products and services. Send these referrals a promotional offer and reward the original customer with a gift as well. Don’t forget to use an incentive to get your customers to join the program.

5. Hold a Seminar or have a Guest Speaker: Conduct a training seminar or organize a speaking event that ties into your product offerings and invite your mailing list. You’ll be educating your customers and your guest speaker gets exposure while you get increased traffic to your business.

6. Send a Monthly Newsletter: Feature new products, timely tips, employee of the month, ideas for products, upcoming events and seasonal sales. It’s great for getting new customers interested in your business while also keeping existing customers informed and involved.

7. Mail a Coupon Calendar: Send your customers a monthly calendar where certain days are coupons. You’ll be amazed at how many sales a single calendar mailing can produce. To cut down on printing and mailing costs, you can include this calendar as a page in your Monthly Newsletter.

8. Celebrate Special Occasions: Make sure you note special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries of customers and their significant others, then use that information to show your appreciation of them. About two weeks before a special occasion, mail out a couple of coupons … one for something FREE and one with a special discount.

9. Conduct a Monthly Contest: Mail your customers a contest slip they can fill out and submit for a monthly drawing. This brings people into your store and helps expand your mailing list for future promotions. This too can be part of your Monthly Newsletter.

10. Throw a Private Sale: Mail your loyal customers an invitation to a private sale and give them an extra discount, or a chance to buy at sale prices the day before a public sale. Customers appreciate you acknowledging their loyalty.

11. Have a Block Party: Get other businesses in your area to join forces for a block party. Bring in rides, games, clowns, or other attractions. Make a big sidewalk sale part of the event. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise! Before the big event, mail coupons and special discounts to your list and ask your partners to do the same.

12. Give back to the Community: Send out a letter to all your customers announcing that a certain percentage of sales during a specific period will be donated to a local charity and ask them to be partners in that endeavor.

13. Mail Customers convenient Reminders: “You’re due for an oil change”, “Time for Fido’s grooming again”, “Wow, Anthony’s turning 10! Time for some bigger shoes!”. Customers respond well to reminders like this and appreciate you taking the time and effort … even though it’s an ad, it’s still a nice  reminder for a product or service they know they need.

14. One final tip, if you offer a nice benefit for replying, then arrange for postage paid return … response rates can hit 8% or more!