How to Make Direct Mail More Personally Relevant

Personally Relevant Direct Mail

Digital Age Direct Mail Best Practices for Acquisition, Loyalty and Increased ROI

Despite a revolution in digital marketing, direct mail remains a powerful tool. However, the format has had to evolve to stay effective in the modern marketing landscape. Direct mail must be highly personalized and incorporate multichannel dimensions in order to stay relevant to an increasingly discerning audience.

Compared with some digital marketing methods, direct mail can come with a higher price tag, from printing to mailing costs. If you’re going to commit funds – and time – to developing a direct mail component, ensure a better return on investment by creating a piece that will resonate with recipients and inspire action.

Align Your Campaign Elements to Create Direct Mail that Resonates

The following are core elements of any well-designed campaign. Here are 7 ways to take these elements and strategically align them to achieve a personalized direct mail campaign.

  1. Define your strategy
    There’s no point crafting a highly personalized direct mail campaign unless you have your objectives and strategy clearly defined. Get specific. Do you want to increase sales for a specific product? Or perhaps build brand loyalty among males in their 20s and 30s? What channels will you align with your mailer to accomplish this, and then how will you measure response? Get the details sorted out first.
  2. Define your audience
    Who are you targeting? Nail down your demographic, and then identify market segments. For example, you might specify:

    • A narrow audience with smaller sub-variations, such as male business owners in the Southwest United States localized at a county level
    • A larger swath, such as small business owners in the United States, broken out by business size
  3. Know your audience
    Once you’ve identified the demographics, take it a step further by building personas to identify how smaller groups may break out. Analyze consumer habits and behavior to create a portrait of your potential customer. Is she an urban 50-something who is committed to preserving her health through lifestyle choices? How and when does she shop? Building personas can you help you understand how to craft a mailer that will motivate recipients to act. Personas will help guide your call to action, what coupons or offers to include, and the way you incorporate other marketing channels.
  4. Assess your data
    Your campaign is only as good as your data. Assess the quality and reliability of the data you have on hand, and consider whether you need to acquire new data. Examine the following:

    • Do you have the appropriate data available to break out your target groups? If not, outline what’s missing.
    • If you need to acquire additional names, do you have a suitable vendor for direct mail lists? Or will you need to find a new one for this campaign?
    • How clean is your data? Are you working with lists that historically generate a lot of returns? (Perhaps some list hygiene is in order before the mailing drops.)
  5. Tailor your creative
    Now that you really know your audience segment and have the data to enable personalization, craft your copy and creative to speak directly to them. Consider how to preserve your company’s brand and messaging while speaking in a way that will resonate. Work with your art department to choose imagery that your audience will identify with. For example, if you’re dropping a new mover mailer on the East Coat of the United States, you’ll want to change your imagery to speak to various geographic regions: that photo of a Colonial-style house surrounded by autumn maple trees, while perfect for the New England audience, won’t work in Southeast Florida. In essence, creative must be realistic for the demographic and personally appealing to your specific segments – while staying on message and true to your company’s brand.
  6. Streamline campaign execution
    Leverage available technology to streamline this highly personalized approach. Consider software such as marketing resource management that uses branded templates. With customizable areas you can drop in relevant messaging and imagery and quickly populate variable data.
  7. Measure and analyze
    The importance of measuring response cannot be overstated. Coded BRCs, split-testing, coupon redemption… all are ways to test the success of various messages. Also, don’t forget to analyze the integrity of your data; for example, keep track of the number of returns generated by your mailing.

Partner with a Direct Mail Leader

Strata specializes in data-driven direct marketing and technologies that help companies create more relevant, personalized marketing. A leader in direct mail marketing for nearly two decades, Strata has experience helping businesses create highly targeted multichannel marketing campaigns. Contact us to speak with one of our direct marketing experts.

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