Many marketers fall into the unfortunate trap of assuming they are done with their direct mail campaign once it hits the mail stream. The reality is that there are several key activities that need to be considered before and after you mail, to help you get the best ROI possible.
Before You Mail
As you plan the message, offer, and call-to-action for your direct mail campaign, it is important to evaluate your online presence to ensure that your customer or prospect has a seamless experience of your brand no matter where they go.
This is especially true for prospecting campaigns. Your first priority should be ensuring that your mail piece clearly introduces who you are, what you offer, and how to find you online. (90% of people will visit your website before calling or visiting a store anyway, so you might as well show them where to go!)
You will want to consider how your brand will be perceived by someone that has never heard of you before:
- Will they be able to quickly determine what your brand represents and why they should care?
- Do they understand what else your brand offers?
- If you sell a product online, is it easy to navigate the site and manage their shopping cart?
- If you sell products at a store, is it clear where the nearest location is?
- Can they quickly find a way to contact you if needed?
Your second priority is to ensure you have cookie codes in place to allow you to capture and follow up with the website traffic driven by your campaign. This allows you additional opportunities to keep your message in front of your customers and prospects – long after they have left the page.
Another priority to consider before mailing is to ensure that your social media posts are in line with the offer as well. Someone who has never heard of you before may look to social media for reviews and testimonials, not to mention see how you handle customer service.
Be sure your social media messaging is consistent and cohesive with your direct mail campaign and that your offer is clearly displayed as well to reinforce the message and remind them to make a purchase.
After You Mail
Once your mail has gone live, plan to have the right staff in place to handle the response:
- Your call center has enough employees on staff and available for incoming calls and is properly briefed on the details of the offer.
- Your sales team has blocked out time for cold calls to make contact with as many contacts as possible within the first few days of delivery (while the mail is still fresh on your customer or prospect’s mind).
- Your website has the ability and bandwidth to handle the influx of traffic generated by the mailing.
- Your brick-and-mortar store, like your call center, has enough employees on staff and is properly briefed on the details of the offer and how it can be redeemed. Store managers are available if needed for coupon redemption.
Another priority after the mailing goes out is preparing a series of emails for your house list that, like your website and social media pages, reinforce the message of the mail piece and remind them to make a purchase.
We do not recommend putting your prospect list on the same series of emails. First, they will need more information about your brand than your customers. Second, it is not generally recommended to email a prospect without first getting implied or express consent from them (otherwise you risk getting tagged as spam, jeopardizing your ability to land all emails into inboxes).
Instead, create a workflow of informational emails in which you can add your prospects to individually after you make contact with them and they express interest in further communication.
Perhaps most important of all, one of your priorities after a mailing should be planning your next mailing. It can take as many as 18-20 touch points to reach a customer for the first time, so consistency and repetition are crucial. Put a plan in place to reach out to non-responders and/or those who started an online shopping cart but abandoned the items before purchasing. A well-timed follow up campaign with a discount or free shipping offer could be just the nudge they need to complete their purchase.
The Bottom Line
For best results, coordinate your online and offline efforts to ensure that your message is being clearly and consistently conveyed and your offer is reinforced no matter where your customer or prospect looks for more information.