With digital marketing channels becoming increasingly crowded and expensive, marketers are looking for new twists on offline channels like direct mail to boost the ROI of their campaigns. Reviewing examples of direct mail success can be a great way to help formulate your own high achieving campaign..
As digital first marketers explore ways to effectively add direct mail to their channel mix, it is important to focus on the fundamentals of direct mail success.
Great copywriting and design are what drives profitable direct mail campaigns. Customers will engage with direct mail that is easy on the eyes and easy to read and understand. Check out 4 quick wins to generate direct mail leads.
In this article, we’ll deep dive into some examples of excellent direct mail marketing that moved the needle for their respective companies, without falling victim to the desire to go overboard with creative gimmicks and ideas.
Put a Face to the Brand
For businesses that rely heavily on their personal brand to make connections with customers, putting a face to your brand on your direct mail campaigns can be a powerful way to start facilitating that connection from the start.
Let’s take a look at an example from a dental practice. Think about your relationship with your dentist. Their business relies heavily on their personal relationships with their patients. Most dentists go out of their way to start appointments off with small talk and an effort to get to know their patients, and this Austin-based dental office is no different.
In their direct mail campaign, they included a large picture of both dentists on both the front and back side of the mailer:
The untrained eye might identify this as a problem. Including the picture seems like a solid strategy., but is it taking up too much space? That’s a lot of real estate. But when the mailer was run through online tests to show where readers first looked, the tests clearly showed that the faces grabbed the bulk of people’s attention:
Even on the back of the mailer, a healthy amount of time is spent looking at the faces of the dentist. Now, this mailer isn’t perfect. It has its own issues — namely using “Grand Opening” as a headline — being the first to experience a new restaurant or nightclub might be a desirable thing, but people don’t generally want to see their medical providers as new entrants into the field. But, the example shows how important it is to put a face to brands that rely heavily on relationships.
Solve a Very Specific Problem
If you want your mailer to stand out from the noise make it clear that your offer solves a very specific problem for your customers. Define that problem clearly and show that you can solve it.
In doing so, you’ll position your company or product as the solution provider to a very small subset of customers. By building a list of those customers and creating highly-targeted advertisements, you can greatly increase the ROI your campaigns produce while sending significantly fewer mailers.
We’ll stick with an example from a dental company.
Take note of the headline here:
“No Insurance? No Problem! Visit Our WebsiteSweetToothAustin.com”
This is a great example of solving a problem. In three short sentences, they identify the problem (not having insurance), let the customer know that they can solve it, then call them to action (visiting their website).
This is a simple, straightforward way to connect with a very specific audience. If you were able to build a list of individuals that were known to not have dental insurance, this could be a mailer that produces exceptional ROI. That’s the real trick with this strategy — being able to narrow down your audience to only customers that the particular problem affects.
Let’s take another look at an example of direct mail campaigns using this in action:
Back pain can be a debilitating thing. Most people that have long term back pain have been through the wringer of medications, injections, and even painful surgeries to provide them with some relief.
This flyer does a solid job of addressing people that have had this specific problem, making it clear that it can help them to manage their back pain without using those treatments. Then, on the back of the postcard, they offer a free report that provides them with tips for managing their back pain and facilitating their need to exercise — a problem that many with back pain have.
Speaking to very specific problems gets you on the radar of very specific customers. When you’re doing it right these will be your ideal customers.
Big Decisions Require More Information
Buying a house is one of the biggest things that we will ever do in our lives. Your average home buyer spends weeks evaluating homes and going through the lending process. The average home buyer will visit 10 homes over 10 weeks time before making an offer. A buyer may not make an offer on the first home that they like that meets their criteria.
Look at how much information they were able to fit on this postcard. It has all of the information that your typical online real estate listing might have. Most of the time, we’d advise our customers to make sure that there is enough spacing on the cards and that they don’t feel overcrowded.
However, this is a great example of knowing your audience. The main goal of this postcard is to get your prospects to hold onto it and return to it throughout their home evaluation process. This card makes an excellent coffee table reference for this house. Interested buyers would hold onto the card, looking at it many times while they evaluate their options.
Big decisions like buying a home require access to much more information than smaller purchases. This card takes that understanding to heart and gives the potential buyer everything that they need to know.
Know Your Audience
The one thing that all of these examples have in common is that they are created with a deep understanding of their audience. Dental patients want a face that they can trust and to build a more personal relationship with their provider. Home shoppers want to have all of the information that they can on-hand to make an informed decision. Still, each example of direct mail campaigns uses tried and true marketing techniques to speak to a very specific issue and positions their brand as the solution to that problem.