Direct mail marketing is increasingly becoming recognised by marketers as an integral component to a well-rounded marketing strategy. A recent study showed that 84% of marketers believed direct mail improves multichannel campaign performance which outlines the effectiveness. Further to this, direct mail can influence purchase intent, it is a trusted channel with 56% of people believing it to be the most trustworthy form of marketing*, also boasting a 35% higher recall rate than digital* and increasing site traffic; with Paperplanes seeing in 2021 a 23% average return rate to the website after mailing.

Direct mail is clearly an effective marketing tool that goes beyond just a top of the funnel strategy with many brands utilising it to improve customer experience at multiple stages of the conversion funnel. While a customer’s journey will vary dependant on the business, the common goal is to drive customers towards conversion. With that in mind, this blog post will show you how to integrate direct mail marketing into each stage of your customer’s journey.

The Awareness Stage

This stage is where prospects are aware they need a product or service in their lives and decide to take action to fulfil this need. They may have heard of your brand but not know much about it or how to proceed, or, your company may be unknown to them. Either way, your objective at this stage is to build awareness of your brand or service.

One reason why direct mail is successful in getting your business name out there is it’s ability to stand out. Postal marketing is not an intrusive channel demanding immediate attention in the same way some forms of digital marketing can be. Consequently, when you’re trying to stand out from the crowd, direct mail can help you achieve just that.

Tips for sending mail in the awareness stage:

1) Drive prospects to your website

You want to push prospects to the next stage of the buyer’s journey, the consideration stage, so driving people to your website is key to this process. Adding a QR code, special offer or a personalised URL might be an easy way to incentivise people to do that; however, ensuring some sort of personalised, physical prompt that lands with customers to trigger a visit is more important. Research shows that an average of 64% of people visit a website as a result of receiving mail and 47% visit a physical store.

When working with Gousto, a supplier of recipe boxes with ready-measured, fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes, the use of QR codes taking customers directly to the website or App was found to be engaged with more than the creative with a discount variant. Sending mail versus not sending mail was by far the most important factor in driving follow up visits.

2) Copy is key: Don’t Be Too Pushy

To avoid scaring prospects away, you want to stick to just providing consumers with the basics: what you have to offer, who you are and what makes you special. Remember to also include a call to action (CTA) such as “find out more” so that they can move on to the next stage of the journey.

3) Don’t bombard customers

Paperplanes limits sends to one in every 30 days but we land right at the time to inform a sales decision. Don’t spam customers but message them at the right time that will help inform a sale (browsing products, basket, and encouraging a second purchase).

The Consideration Stage

In this stage, prospects have identified their problem and are learning about potential solutions. In order for buyers to consider you as a solution, you need to position yourself as the best answer to their issue by showing that you understand their unique situation.

Tips for sending mail in the consideration stage:

1) Make it Personal

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of personalisation in marketing and in the consideration stage it is particularly important to make consumers feel special and appreciated, showing that you’re thankful for their interest in your business. Research from the Journal of Brain Research, has shown your brain’s activity spikes when you hear your name, so it is important to include it in your Paperplanes mail campaigns. On that basis, think how much more effective marketing can be by applying more advanced methods such as featuring customer’s online activity: abandoned baskets, previously viewed pages and recommendations, personalisation is a must if you want consumers to move to the next stage and consider your brand as a solution to their problem.

A Premium Online furnishing brand who partnered with Paperplanes, benefited extremely well from relevant products being featured in the mailing. There was a 33.3% mailed conversion (vs 11%) when featuring key added value items such as duvets and bath towels.

2) Assume prospects don’t know anything about you

This is where you need to inform prospects with relevant and specific information about how you can help them with their problem. For example, if a consumer’s problem is that they’re looking for ethically-sourced coffee, tell them why they should choose your brand. Paperplanes introduced variable product recommendations based on what customers had browsed before dropping out of the subscription or buying process whilst working with PACT Coffee. The campaign brought 40% more customers back to PACT as a result.

The Decision Stage

This is when buyers are well-equipped with relevant information to decide the best solution for their problem based on price, quality, trust and style. At this point, you can’t fall behind the competition so you have to position yourself as the superior option. Eliminate any doubt consumers may have about choosing you by showing that their needs will be met and even exceeded.

Tips for sending mail in the decision stage:

1) Include Social Proof

Include icons, logos, awards, certification, and especially reviews- 56% of consumers read at least four reviews before buying a product. This is the time to establish yourself as trustworthy and credible. You can also include a QR code that takes customers to your online reviews with research showing that product pages with customer reviews experience 3.5 times more conversions than those without.

When working with OTTY, the creative variant with trust pilot reviews outperformed the variant containing a discount offer, showing that an incentive is not always required.

2) Pitch your Best Offer

If incentives are to be provided, start with a strong offer that cannot be found elsewhere on the web or on the site to entice the customer back. Include exclusive promotions, coupons and limited-time offers, anything to make your business as appalling as possible. Even better, personalise your offers according to consumers’ online activity.

For example, Paperplanes featured customer’s browsed products from award-winning online drinks retailer, 31Dover, on the creative and offered free delivery on the selected items, obtaining a 14% conversion rate.

After the Decision Stage

Remember retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones so you want to make sure you have a customer retention strategy in place. Rewarding loyalty will mean customers choose you the next time they are in the market.

Tips for sending mail in the post-decision stage:

1) Say Thank You

Showing customers that you are thankful for them is a great way to encourage them to come back for a second purchase and to think of your brand the next time they need a related service or product. It might be important to wait some time once they’ve made the first purchase as they have just solved their problem, however, A/B testing on cadence will allow you to validate this. You want to target them when they’re likely to have this problem again and as a reminder that your brand is here to help.

When working with us, ButterflyTwists, Paperplanes sent out a thank you campaign with a special offer. 11.3% of Thank You customers made a second purchase and mailed bounce rates were 4 times less than non-mail counterparts.

2) Make Them Feel Remembered

You don’t want customers to feel like they are just a number, people like to feel special so it is important to show the human side of your business here.

One way to do this is to send a birthday campaign. Scandanavian male grooming company, worked with Paperplanes to identify birthdays from previous customers and offered them special discounts to encourage incremental purchase and honour their loyalty.

To Conclude

No matter where your prospect is in their buyer’s journey, Paperplanes can help you effectively and successfully target them by connecting with customers in ways that other channels can’t. Responsive direct mail benefits from its unique and physical appeal and provides an additional channel to digital for you to reach consumers in a non-intrusive manner. People appreciate mail with 70% of people thinking better of companies that send it.

Want to know more about how to personalise direct mail campaigns to increase your chance of getting prospects to move from the consideration to the decision stage? See our free guide to personalisation and direct mail marketing:

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