Sending your marketing emails or even printed direct mail to a target audience is one of the surest ways to increase your return on investment (ROI). So many marketing efforts are sent out to strangers with no connection or reason (that’s apparent to the customers). They fall into that deadly category of “junk mail.” Piles of it fill mailboxes and the more that comes, the more it is ignored. However, in a world where unexpected email and print mail is an annoyance, advertising that’s anticipated is a relief, possibly even something that can brighten a person’s day. Think about that furniture store brochure that you get and sit down to digest their room designs from cover to cover. Think of that electronics store brochure you flick through to find out the latest offering and see if you afford to get that gadget you want this month.
By getting permission to market to your customers, before you send anything to them, they’ll thank you for sharing with them. Don’t take the easy route and purchase a mailing list, take time to build your own. It will save you money and even better, you will be sending mail that is welcomed rather than unexpected and possibly unwanted.
Give to Get
If you want the permission to mail marketing material to customers, you need to give them something in return. Offer a free deal or a discount coupon for providing mailing information. Or, give customers one entry into a drawing for a prize when they provide mailing information. Give an incentive for them to join your mailing list, and then they’ll be happy to hear from you.
While making the offer, you can explain to your customers what they should expect (such as birthday and other discounts, event news, product news) and how often you plan to send it (weekly, monthly). You can even give them the ability to choose which offers and mailings they would like to receive (just special offers or just blog updates).
Connect with Synergy
Your local realtors know when people are moving in and out of a neighborhood. Use them as the front-line for building your mailing list. Find something that you can offer the realtor for incentive. If you run a pizza restaurant, give the realtor coupons for free pizzas so that when people move in to their new homes, they can have a pizza delivered on the first night they’re at their new place. It makes the realtor look generous and it makes your business a kind presence in the community. Now when they receive mailed marketing from you, they’re happy to see it.
Mind Your Relationships
Your satisfied customers are your best marketers. Identify your best cheerleaders and send them pre-stamped postcards with coupons and offers. Ask them to address the postcards to their friends who would be interested. Then, when their friends bring in the postcard with the coupon on it, you have an address that has been specifically referred by one of your best customers. Keep in mind that this same idea applies to email marketing as well.
Start from Scratch
Even if you don’t have a large customer base or you can’t connect with local businesses, you can still create a mailing list. Lists are available for purchase based on postal code. Though your rate of return on these mailing lists will be lower than the other lists, you can still use all the tools in your arsenal to convert the prospects to customers. Give them something irresistible: freebies, discounts, and prizes.
Connect yourself to the community either online or offline so your customers feel a connection with you. Be informative and helpful. Let them know about your new product, share your latest deal, or offer tips and tricks they may not know. Eventually, you will gain a large enough customer base from this mailing list and through referrals that you can build upon it to create your own, approved-by-the-customer mailing list.
Whether you build your own prospective mailing list from nothing or you get permission from your customers to mail to them, the content and quality of your marketing will affect the response you get. Be sure that you’re using high-quality graphics that make sense with your text. Don’t skimp on printing or designing if you don’t want your customers to think you’re cheap in other areas of your business. Quality content and designs will help ensure that your customers keep wanting to receive your direct mail.