When you’re testing a direct mail campaign, you’ll find that some messages, creatives, copy and offers work better than others. But have you thought of tailoring those messages to specific parts of your audience rather than testing your sample as a whole? The behaviour of a customer or prospective customer can be one of the biggest indicators of the communications that will be most effective in producing a response. Take a look at how you could target active and lapsed customers, as well as new prospects, with the right direct mailing campaigns for them.
Regular, Recent or Active Customers
Your regular customers, or those who have been buying from you recently will be quite different to all your other prospects. They already know and trust your company, and may only need a little coaxing to respond to a direct mail campaign. Their needs are quite different to those of an inactive customer or someone who isn’t yet a customer at all. When planning a campaign for customers who are already active, you should consider the following:
Familiarity and Personalisation
This person already knows your brand, so you have an existing relationship with them. Getting personal messages wrong can be one of the fastest ways to ruin this relationship, so take care! Your existing customers won’t appreciate you sending messages that are not aligned with their usual behaviour patterns. Don’t send them the latest men’s clothing catalogue if your data tells you they have only ever bought women’s clothing. However, get personalised messages right and you can strengthen their connection with your brand. Show that you understand their needs and interests and you’ll get a good response. Regular customers might even appreciate a warm and familiar tone to your communications, treating them like a friend rather than being too formal in your approach.
You’re targeting people who already know about you and enjoy your products, so they are more likely to be interested in things they haven’t seen before. Tell them about new products or services and they might just give them a try.
Loyal customers are valuable, and they should be treated as such. Small rewards can go a long way. Loyalty schemes can help your customers to feel valued and get rewarded for regular purchases, you might even offer them loyalty points for desirable behaviours like feedback and reviews. However, you can provide rewards in a different way too. Customers who identify with your brand might appreciate hearing about exciting new products first, being encouraged to join clubs or groups, or being invited to exclusive events or competitions. Use your direct mail to make sure they feel appreciated and valued.
Lapsed or Inactive Customers
These are people who have bought from you before, but not for some time. They may have simply forgotten about your brand or had a change in lifestyle or financial circumstances. Lapsed customers can be valuable, and winning them back may be more cost effective than trying to acquire new business. Here’s how to give it your best shot:
Offers and discounts can sometimes be enough to tempt lapsed customers back. Try providing time specific promotions in your direct mail creative to encourage a fast response, leaving less time for your campaign to be forgotten or overlooked.
Lapsed customers may have become tired of your product range or service. Show them the new things they’ve been missing out on. Your new range might be right up their street.
A mailer could provide an important opportunity to ask lapsed customers for feedback. Understand why they aren’t currently a customer and you could hold the key to winning them back. Don’t be afraid to ask for some good, honest feedback. It also shows them that you care about why they’ve gone, and shows them that you’ve noticed!
Some customers may have only ever made a purchase with you to buy a gift for someone else. Use your mailing campaign to highlight gift options and new present ideas so you’re their first port of call next time a birthday or special occasion comes up.
New customers can be difficult to tempt, and costly to convert. However, you need to acquire new business to help your brand to grow. You might have to go that extra mile, so here are some tips on how to get the best response from prospective customers.
New customers are likely to be the group that need the biggest discounts to convert them. They need to be persuaded to try your product or service with the lowest possible cost or risk to them. Discounted prices can look so attractive that they help to minimise that risk and get new customers on board. Try reserving your cheapest offers for acquisition, remembering what the lifetime value of a new customer will bring to your business.
If your brand is new to someone, they might be a little unsure about making a purchase or commitment. Try to reassure them as much as you can. Provide all your contact details and show them where they can get any help if needed. Include genuine customer reviews in your creative to reassure them that other customers are happy with your service or product. People relate to what other people say on a different level to brand messages, so real reviews will serve to set their mind at rest much more effectively than any promises your brand makes.
Purchasing a new product or service can be daunting, and feeling confused about the best choice can lead to abandoning a response altogether. The good news is, there are ways to guide prospective customers to make their choices clearer. One option is to keep the offering in your direct mail campaign simple, providing a maximum of 3 clear selections. If this doesn’t work for you, try labelling ‘bestsellers’, as having an understanding of what other customers like helps new customers to feel confident in their decisions.
Make sure your direct mail campaign instils trust in prospective customers. Firstly, clearly indicate why they have received the campaign. This will help people to understand that your mailing is legitimate. As mentioned above, provide clear contact details and if possible, opt out instructions. Within the creative, provide any awards, accolades, industry associations or endorsements that may help increase trust in your brand. If your direct mail campaign is intended to send traffic to an Ecommerce site, display payment options and secure payment gateway icons to help people appreciate the security of your site.
Direct mail is as personal as any other marketing channel. When you’re planning your next campaign, consider your prospects point in the customer lifecycle before designing your creative. Making sure your message resounds with its recipients is the first step to success, so don’t rely on a ‘one idea fits all’ strategy.