Ugly Sweaters, Funky Ties, Jingle Bells and Direct Mail Sales
Direct mail is an integral part of any holiday marketing campaign. As a channel, print delivers a uniquely engaging and tangible experience. It's a quietly insistent communication that integrates well into any campaign and even affords some holiday fun. What follows are four direct mail concepts retailers can leverage to drive relevant offers, increase store traffic and build customer loyalty during the holidays:
1. Stand out among the crowd. According to a 2010 Epsilon survey, the preference among consumers aged 18 to 34 is to receive marketing information via offline sources such as mail and newspapers.
Consumers have declared their preference, yet many marketers have ignored this information and flocked to social media in an effort to reduce costs. The result is a massive opportunity precisely where consumers want to receive messages: their mailbox. Take advantage and stand out with a whimsical pop-up mailer or integrate multisensory techniques such as tactile coatings and enhancements that are sure to sparkle with the season.
2. Target the right people. Consumers are generating incredible amounts of data with their every engagement and transaction. The ability to synthesize and analyze this data as well as derive actionable intelligence through segmentation and predictive modeling will determine who gets the gift they wanted and who gets a lump of coal in their stocking.
Direct mail leverages this intelligence to generate relevant communications such as re-establishing relationships with dormant customers most likely to reactivate or maximizing share of wallet with the best gift-givers. Until recently, print lacked the dynamic ability found in the digital world to economically leverage data to drive powerful one-to-one communications at scale. New technologies such as four-color hybrid imaging shift the paradigm and deliver dynamic content complete with variable color imagery at newfound economies.
3. Leverage loyalty programs. Customers have openly declared their devotion. They're committed to the relationship, they're sharing buying habits. They want to hear about relevant offers and special benefits strictly reserved for them. Respond with direct mail that offers complimentary products, incentives to return to a store or a simple heartfelt thank-you message. Don’t look past the card issuance touchpoint. These cards fight for wallet space, so seize the opportunity to connect with member-driven content. Dress your cards up for the season with special laminations, foils and embedded holograms.
4. Track your results. Direct isn't above the line; it never rationalizes with brand building or awareness generation. It's directly measurable, it facilitates a process of continuous improvement through testing and it stays responsible to the numbers. The end result is an engaged and happy consumer. How do you think Santa does it?
Dustin Lefebvre is executive vice president of Specialty Print Communications, a print and direct marketing specialist.
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC