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how you should follow up on direct mail advertising

How You Should Follow Up On Direct Mail Advertising

It has been said that with great reward comes great responsibility. The same can be said about marketing efforts. With great revenue and referrals, comes the responsibility of follow-up. Many entrepreneurs and small businesses have trusted us with their direct mailing campaigns. Beautifully designed and intentionally written, the content can do a great deal for any business’ bottom line. However, while great design accounts for a lot of the success in direct mail marketing, the real hidden gem is succeeding with following up on direct mail advertising. We're here to help teach you how should you follow up on direct mail advertising! As lovely as it would be to be able to easily send out hundreds or thousands of postcards/packages (we do make it easy!), unfortunately, we like to remind our clients that a direct mail campaign does not end once your packages get delivered. Rather, the intrigue and relationship has just begun and your mailer opens the door for prime conversation and conversion. Read on to learn the best practices for maximizing your ROI with direct mail marketing!

History repeats itself and this time around, direct mail advertising efforts prove to have higher response rates.

Firstly, it is important to note that direct mailing was once seen as an outdated way of outreach. Similar to that of a newspaper (does anybody even get those anymore?). But, times have changed and direct mail’s response rate is 4.4% — compared to 0.12% for email. Sure, digital marketing has a space as well, but right now hard copy mailers are getting all the attention. What’s more, you can gain an even higher response rate with how you design your mailer. That is, with clever content and copy. Think of the fun and trending QR codes that lead to a landing page or shopping area in your website (QR codes can then be measured for how often they are used!). Choose colors that evoke emotional responses, as well as, verbiage that prompts a sense of urgency.

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direct mail advertising follow up techniquesIf you’re using envelopes, you’re adding an additional step for customers to take to “get to the good stuff” so you’ll want to ensure a visual, tactical appeal that acts as an incentive to drive open rates. For example, many banks use their envelope to promote ongoing, limited-time, exclusive offers (“0% Intro April Until July ’21” and “Unlimited 1.5% Cashback on Every Purchase”). This clever tactic is well-received amongst recipients because it essentially tells people that discounts and opportunities are available only if they open the mail right away and take action (“Act Now, Act Now!!”). Other companies take the human appeal approach - rather than a financial offer, their envelope is designed as a statement about the kind of person you must be if you want to open the envelope. Real example: I, Vera, received an envelope the other day that advertised “beautifully curated offers inside for the discerning buyer” - accompanied by full-color photos of beautiful design-forward items, I literally thought to myself “ooh, curated - I’m discerning!” and opened the envelope. Less than 20 minutes later I sent 150 of my dollars off to someone I wouldn’t have heard of had it not been for that direct mail.

1. Create a timeline for follow-up tasks once your direct mail advertising is sent.

You certainly do not want your efforts and marketing budget to be spent in vain. By crafting a timeline for following up on your direct mail advertising, you are optimizing the time and money you spent, enhancing the likelihood of a greater return on your investment. You will not have regrets or the backlash of cold-calling if you let your initial direct mail advertising warm up your leads. Give it a reasonable day or three from the time your mailers are delivered before you follow up with a call or email.

Then, when you do reach out, make it personable and personalized. Go the extra marketing mile and refer back to any specifics you have with the lead, be it an order they purchased or a brief phone call where they shared information respective to their lifestyle and desires. Look at their website and do a little research! It is important to keep in mind that a few minutes spent customizing content (whether via email or a chat on the phone) now could very well pay dividends as high-quality customer retention and referrals for your business’ future!

2. Send direct mailers on specific dates, like holidays, special events, birthdays, etc.

how should you follow up direct mail marketingDirect mail - even the most aesthetically appealing - can find itself lumped in with and lost to “junk mail” when it isn’t something the recipient is necessarily on the lookout for. Take advantage of timeframes where your recipient is hyper-aware of inbound correspondence. This is typically birthday months, holidays and special events that prompt, shopping and celebration. Do use these days to your advantage when creating your direct mail advertising content and timeline for publishing and sending. Did you know you can purchase address lists for demographic groups such as Recently Retired, Newly Married (even Newly Divorced!), New Homeowners, etc.? It’s not hard to find something to celebrate!

Send direct mail when you have something to say!

Even if it isn’t a well-known holiday or a potential lead’s birth month, there is also room for sharing your own celebrations - especially when they benefit your recipient. Think 15th anniversary of a company offering 15 percent off! How should you follow up on direct mail advertising like this? Use your direct mail advertising to not only share in your own success but also gratitude for the very people who allow you to reach such a milestone. Giving back credit where it’s due can prompt even more customer loyalty, as well as, rope in new leads that are curious how they can be a part of the action. Stephanie Rising, the owner of The Rising Effect here in Tucson, is particularly good at sending little notes via direct mail, just for good measure (appealing to the emotions in everybody in her network). Just the other day I received one that says “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul” - and it’s hanging on my wall now, serving as a constant reminder of how much I respect Stephanie and would refer her wholeheartedly.

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3. Send a follow up direct mail speaking to the first, or to add to the offer.

A tried and true secret to direct mail advertising is the rule of repetition. What many companies have found to work very well is to resend a second (often 3rd, 4th, & 5th) round of direct mail advertising that elaborates on the first correspondence you sent or, better yet, adds even more value. Oftentimes this can look like another similarly designed mailer that now extends an even deeper discount, offers more information about who you are and what you’re about, or appeals to a different set of emotions. Some companies will do this by way of magnetic business cards or yearly calendars attached to the direct mail- the more handy, funny, or pretty-looking the magnet the better: think funny sayings, inspiring quotes, or helpful facts and tools. Others send out other small gifts attached to their postcards, like cork coasters, small nail files, luggage tags, phone wallets, etc. Now, you’ve cleverly made your contact info and compelling message double as a promo product gift!

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4. Double down on your remarketing by using your social channels after your direct mail advertising is received.

best ways you should follow up on direct mail advertisingMarketing is best done across multiple platforms. That said, you can utilize your online social channels to enhance the efforts of your direct mail advertising. Once you’ve sent off your hard copy correspondence, consider following up with a digital approach like a personalized email or another digital ad reiterating what they already saw (or potentially missed) via their mailer. Digital coupons on your online platforms can also help nudge your leads a little closer to that checkout page or booking that free consultation.

Think of this strategy as a gentle reminder for those who you wish to serve but also acknowledge they are living in a busy world and things fall through the cracks. Extending another reminder helps keep you and your services top-of-mind, while also showcasing that you have deals no matter their preferred means of marketing. Maximize your mediums by referencing your direct mail coupon options (“subscribe to our mailing list”) on your social channels, and conversely, by sharing your social networks on your direct mailing advertisements.

The key is to start with a solid direct mail advertising campaign out the gate.

Everything above has proven to work well for our many, many customers over the years, but, in the spirit of transparency and respect for our fellow business owners, all this is for naught if you don't start with a great direct mail advertising campaign design and targeted mailing efforts. So, how should you follow up on direct mail advertising? Trust Southwest Solutions to set you on the right track. Call or get in touch to start your campaign!

85% of the recipients do business with the advertiser on the product. 83% of people like receiving them.

Because Promotional Products Work.

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Until next time,
vera-author-photo

Vera Minot

Vera is a creative-minded, heart-first promotional products (and print/apparel/direct mail/signage/etc.) professional who approaches all aspects of life with intention and enthusiasm. Vera is passionate about vocabulary, self-care, and authenticity (even in business!), and in her free time you’ll probably find her rock climbing or mountain biking, growing things, cooking, reading, and generally finding ways to get up to no good with her wife, Christa.

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How Promo Products Help Businesses

Our founders and fearless leaders

The founders and fearless leaders of Southwest Solutions started out in this industry 40 years ago as manufacturers.  Things were a little different in 1970-whatever for Peter and Tammy, creating ceramic goods with logos on them.  Everybody cracked open beers at 3 or 4 on a Friday, and paper catalogs were a cornerstone of business.  After the post-9/11 recession hit, Peter & Tammy were forced to close their business after 30 years.

Times had officially changed. They both went off and got jobs marketing themselves individually as pool/RV/trash service/freight service/mortgage/you-name-it salespeople, and in 2014, they decided to re-enter the promotional products industry on a different side of the line (as distributors, not manufacturers), full of brand-new perspective from many industries and a host of wizened business experience.

A powerful discovery

What did they discover? Well, beyond the obvious things like Having-a-Nice-Website-Is-Necessary, and Yes-We-All-Email-Now, and People-Don’t-Really-Do-Drugs-At-Work-Anymore they discovered that *actually*, not much has changed.  The allure of the promotional product remained the same.  Sure, tastes have shifted.  What appealed to a consumer in the 80’s is not the same as what excites buyers & decision makers today.  But why promotional products work hasn’t changed a bit.

What are promotional products?

First off, for the uninitiated who might be wondering “what even are promotional products?”, we’d like to welcome you! You’ve come to the right place.  Promo products are useful/fun/memorable, tangible items imprinted with an advertiser’s name, logo, or message, designed to increase brand awareness among consumers.  They are a marketing tool that works powerfully in concert with other traditional advertising techniques (think radio, tv, print media, etc.), by allowing a brand to connect with consumers by engaging their sense of touch.

Promotional products are practically the only form of advertising that allows people to interact with a brand on a physical level – which creates a memorable brand experience.

promotional products from the 80s

Promotional products from the 80s

Promotional marketing materials happen on so many different levels that sometimes you don’t even know they’re right in front of you.  Everyone, of course, can quickly imagine the “trade show swag bag” – the tote bag full of all the different cheap giveaways from all the vendors at the expo.  Of course there ain’t nothin’ wrong with a good tradeshow giveaway, though as you get to know us you’ll quickly learn we’re not about the “give me the cheapest item you have” approach – we will always try to steer you toward quality over quantity because in the end it’s money better spent (value over price!).

Yup, that's a promo product

man putting mask on

But the cute t-shirts and water bottles in your favorite local coffee shop or gym merch stores? Promo.  The koozies and race medals from that 5K you powered through? Promo. That mask your healthcare provider sent out at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic?  Promo (how many people did you see wearing that lime green Humana mask?).  The yellow Livestrong bracelets from back in the day when Lance Armstrong was a big deal?  You guessed it, promo. The coffee cups with the cute new designs Starbucks releases seasonally? Promo! The notebook you receive to take all your new-hire training notes in at your new job? You’ll never guess. Jk, of course you will.

It’s all promotional products. The pervasiveness of promotional products is possibly one of the most impressive aspects about them.  Did you know that 82% of people say they own at least 1 promotional product?

Even I had to be convinced

When I, Vera, joined this business in 2018, I thought (and as a Partner in this company I’m definitely embarrassed to admit this now): “who wants to just waste money on cheap crap people will throw away immediately?”.  Well, the fact that my conception of promotional products was that limited only meant that I wasn’t paying attention.  Some of the best promo products are the ones that people want to keep without even realizing they’re being advertised to. If I had thought harder about it, I would have realized that my most-used grocery tote bag was from Scholastic Book Fairs. Three out of the five chip clips I covet (which always seem to disappear when I need them most) have logos on them. At any given moment there are at least two logoed magnets on my refrigerator, my softest t-shirt was from my preferred farmer’s market booth at the Waco Farmers Market, and I’ve had a Lululemon sticker on my water bottle for 4 years.

child's reusable lunch back with cute monster design
assorted chip clips with custom company logos
promotional fridge magnets with small business logos
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Still not sure?

If you’re in the same boat I was in – the USS Skeptic – then you need us.  Who is your audience?  What is your message?   With those questions answered, and our deep knowledge of the hundreds of thousands of options out there (not to mention our picky opinions & wise roots), you’re well on your way to understanding how promotional products can build your brand, augment your marketing program, and help your business.

Done right – done with us – promotional marketing is emotional marketing, because when the product comes alive in the hearts and minds of both you and your audience, it’s no wonder that 88% of promo recipients remember the name of the advertiser on the products.

85% of the recipients do business with the advertiser on the product. 83% of people like receiving them.

Because Promotional Products Work.

Until next time,

Until next time,
vera-author-photo

Vera Minot

Vera is a creative-minded, heart-first promotional products (and print/apparel/direct mail/signage/etc.) professional who approaches all aspects of life with intention and enthusiasm. Vera is passionate about vocabulary, self-care, and authenticity (even in business!), and in her free time you’ll probably find her rock climbing or mountain biking, growing things, cooking, reading, and generally finding ways to get up to no good with her wife, Christa.