How to Design a Retail Direct Mail Piece Your Audience Will Love
As we move towards Q4, retailers are gearing up for the most exciting shopping season, including Black Friday deals and holiday shopping campaigns. With such high traffic, the fourth quarter is crucial for marketers looking to maximize brand awareness and drive purchases. In today’s digital age, the mailbox may not be the first place you think of when planning your marketing strategy, however, new industry research shows retail direct mail is still one of the most successful customer acquisition channels.
The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report evaluates the effectiveness of direct mail marketing and presents data collected from marketing decision-makers across various industries, with a majority from retail. The comprehensive report also includes consumer insights around direct mail sentiment, influence and preferences.
Keep reading for report insights to fuel your end-of-year direct mail marketing strategy, as well as tips to create a mailer that drives response with your target audience.
Increase ROI by Allocating More Budget Towards Retail Direct Mail
With 70 percent of marketers reporting an increase in direct mail effectiveness over the past year, it’s evident mail is still a reliable channel to drive retail sales and audience growth. In addition to an increase in performance, nearly 90 percent of respondents indicated they have increased or maintained direct mail investments in the last year — up 3 percent from 2022 data. Mail budget increases were higher than SMS/MMS, CTV|OTT, paid search/programmatic display, and SEO strategies.
Direct mail can help you achieve strong response rates and return on investment, so don't let this influential channel fall flat while prioritizing digital strategies. Rather, consider allocating more of your budget towards direct mail to increase retail sales and customer loyalty.
Use Postcards to Create a Lasting Impression
Seventy-eight percent of consumers chose postcards as their preferred mail format. It’s great that consumers love them since postcards are the quickest and most affordable type of mail to produce. Postcards are also available in various sizes and formats, providing flexibility in your direct mail design and messaging. Marketers indicated direct mail automation is most likely to be tested this year, and postcards are a great choice for the retargeting and retention campaigns commonly powered by automated programs.
Whether announcing a new store location or promoting a sale, retail direct mail postcards are eye-catching and a great way to attract new customers. By forgoing the outer envelope, there’s no doubt that your audience will immediately see your brand and offer to quickly understand how to respond.
Take Advantage of Direct Mail to Acquire More Customers
Direct mail is a customer acquisition powerhouse, with 43 percent of marketers utilizing it for this purpose. Consumers concur, ranking direct mail as the second most influential direct response channel (alongside email marketing). Additionally, 40 percent of consumers reported they enjoy learning about new brands/products through the mail.
The latest advancements in technology allow for highly personalized and engaging retail direct mail pieces that resonate with customers on an individual level. Lead with an alluring call to action (CTA) and an appealing offer or coupon to make a positive impression and attract attention, especially if the product and service recommendations are relevant. Don’t forget to keep your CRM clean and leverage variable printing data for personalization.
Maximize Your Communication With the Optimal Number of Touchpoints
To avoid wasting resources, it's important to be mindful of the frequency of direct mail campaigns. Overmailing can not only harm your brand reputation but also lead to your mail pieces being ignored by consumers and unnecessary budget waste. According to the report, consumers are most receptive to receiving two to three direct mail pieces from a single brand in a year.
A well-calibrated mailing frequency can aid in nurturing new conversions and long-term relationships, while also providing you with a competitive edge during the busy fourth quarter. It’s important to prioritize quality over quantity, as 66 percent of consumers agree low-quality paper/packaging will give your mail piece a negative impression. Lastly, continually analyze your performance results to fine-tune your mailing cadence for each audience segment.
Harness the Power of Integration to Boost Your Performance
The overwhelming nature of digital marketing is no secret, and less than 16 percent of consumers reported they enjoy receiving email, influencer, television/streaming video, and text message advertisements. To reach consumers in the right channel at the right time and maximize campaign CPAs, integrated online and offline campaigns are an excellent strategy. In fact, nine out of 10 respondents reported that integrating direct mail with digital marketing positively impacts campaign performance.
By bridging the gap between offline and online experiences, you can drive higher response rates and create interactive and immersive customer experiences. This integration also allows retailers to execute cost-effective mail programs that deliver impactful results.
The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report is an essential resource for marketers looking to improve their retail direct mail campaign performance. Download the full report to access more marketer and consumer insights on the latest trends and best practices in direct mail advertising.
Jacqueline Johnson-Leister is the vice president of marketing and client services at SeQuel Response, an award-winning direct response agency based out of Minneapolis.
Jacqueline Johnson-Leister is the vice president of marketing and client services at SeQuel Response, an award-winning direct response agency based out of Minneapolis, Minn. As an experienced and enthusiastic marketing professional, Jacqueline has a passion for optimizing integrated marketing communications strategy to develop brands, attract customers, and drive organizational growth. You can connect with Jacqueline at sequeldm.com, email her at email@example.com, or find her on LinkedIn.