Getting your direct mail channel strategy right first time

As we’re focusing on acquiring net new customers, let’s concentrate on channels and approaches that are effective in that area.

Data sourcing

Now that you have established who your ideal customers are, now we need to go and find them. This job is now much easier, and far less hit and miss, as you have a clear checklist of consumer criteria that you need to target.

There are a number of different providers out there, and which one you’ll choose depends on who you’re targeting, what products you’re promoting and who you are as a business.

For example, for retailers there are “data alliances” where consumer data is pooled. This is an excellent source of new data, because the data models are so detailed and provide a perfect match against your desired customer segments. We have had great success using these, with direct mail, and they generate good rates of ROI, especially when factoring in Customer Lifetime Value.

Reputable data brokers (where third party sharing has been consented to) are also very good, particularly when targeting very specific buyers such as home movers or new parents. There are many options out there, so it’s good to take the time to choose the best one for your selected audience segments.

Engagement opportunities

Your channel strategy should obviously concentrate on those areas where you have the opportunity to engage with consumers at various points in the buying cycle.

Source: Customerthink.com, we have made one minor adjustment.

Using the strategic objectives, the customer insight and data strategy you’ve already worked on combined with an understanding of the customer journey (See diagram), you will instantly know what the right channels and messages are for your requirements.

Again, we are looking at net new customers, and when you’re engaging new people, it will serve you well to remember three important points:

  • Be memorable
  • Make it tailored

  • People are lazy

At Callimedia for the tailored part we use what we call the PLC approach; Personal, Location Based and Connected to the wisdom of the crowd. This helps you focus on the right things.

These points are important because when consumers first engage with your brand, whether it’s an online search or they’ve downloaded a brochure for example, you want to make sure you’ve ticked these boxes in order to maximise your opportunity for conversion.

The first two are pretty obvious, although not always easy to achieve – you’ll need some creative thinkers for this part.

The last point is often missed by brands, people don’t want to make a lot of effort when engaging with you, they want it to be easy to find what they want, easy to order, easy to do a return, easy to resolve a query and so on. The more you meet this requirement, the more likely they are to complete the purchase and potentially a repeat purchase. It sounds obvious, but it’s worth repeating because this is not often tested as rigorously as it should be.

Make sure you’re multi-channel

This point of laziness also speaks to the reminder that it’s your responsibility to ensure that the consumer buys from you, and not from someone else.

Do you follow up on every brochure request for example? Are you re-targeting people that visit your website with social media adverts? Have you got an abandoned basket automated campaign in place?

Making sure your activity here isn’t just focused on one channel will increase your opportunity for conversion. Below is an example of how you might position a multi-channel follow up to a brochure request:

Using a combination of channels creates those multiple touch points that make it more likely the activity will result in a sale. It does take a while to set up, but the results make it very worthwhile.

What’s worth noting is that you’ll need to consider additional aspects that affect customer acquisition channels, include how GDPR may restrict or guide some of your selected channels.

When considering Direct Mail you should also employ a strategic approach in order to keep costs down, and responses up.

You can also automate a great deal of this activity, using programmatic mail and email and/or an outsourced provider. Using the above example, the customer has requested a brochure online, there’s a pause in the campaign while they receive the brochure, then they receive a combination of online and offline follow ups, and social advertising to increase the opportunity of a conversion to purchase.

If you rely on a single channel, you’re reducing the odds of the consumer being triggered to purchase.

Combining direct and electronic mail has been proven to increase website visits by 13%, purchases by 21% and redemption by 35%.

Source: Marketreach, Royal Mail.

Catalogues drive sales and cross sell:

  • 40% of respondents ordered something

  • 52% of purchasers bought items they saw in the catalogue and more items they found from the sender

  • 14% bought none of the items they saw in the catalogue but bought something else from the sender

Source: Royal Mail MarketReach Research. The Power of Print Catalogues, Illuminas 2017.

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2019-01-09T09:37:57+00:00