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Opening Doors and Building Community with Direct Mail

Want to build a stronger community online and in person? Create a direct mail campaign.

The definition of community has evolved rapidly in the last ten years. With the sprouting of online communities across the globe, we have as many “pocket friends” as real-life friends, we can keep our family members close even when they are far away, and we can shop for unique and useful items all over the world—with a click.

These communities grew and helped us through the pandemic when our local circles all but disappeared.

Today, we are reaching out, both locally and globally, reconnecting with our friends and neighbors while continuing to access products, services, and friends far and wide.

Direct mail is a familiar and effective way to reach members of your community—to bring people closer together and to help them shop, eat, and participate locally again. Combined with digital tools as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, direct mail can have the impact you are looking for with an incredible ROI.

Win-back campaigns.

Recently, you may have relied more heavily on digital advertising, social media, and email campaigns and found repeat customers dropping off. The reality is that digital outreach can get caught in the shuffle, while direct mail tends to be far more engaging and effective. In fact, direct mail has shown an average response rate of 9% for house lists.

If your advertising efforts seem to disappear into the digital black hole and you want to reengage with your community, it’s time to try a direct-mail win-back campaign. Win-back campaigns are communications focused on gaining new business from previous customers. They can bring a substantial return on investment because they target familiar customers who have already purchased from the company and are in the window to buy another product.

To increase the success of direct mail win-back campaigns, do these things:

  • Tie the direct mail closely to the brand. Be sure to use the same colors and designs you use for email and online advertising. Use a familiar tone of voice, and find creative ways to connect previous customers to the brand they love.

  • Personalize it. With a win-back campaign, you are talking directly to customers who already have a relationship with the company. Take full advantage of digital printing by using the customer’s name and previous purchase in the mailer.

  • Digitize it. Make it easy to buy online or bring the mailer into your local shop for a discount. Use a QR code or a personalized URL to drive customers to your website for special promotions on the products they know and love.

Postcard campaigns.

Last year, the USPS increased the maximum size of a First Class Mailer postcard to 6-by-9 inches for the same bulk mailing price as a 4.25-by-6 or any appropriate proportion in between. This news was met with cheers from marketers everywhere who were tired of fitting important customer communications messages into tiny spaces. Plus, the Data & Marketing Association reports that postcards get a higher response—4.5%—over letter-sized mailers at 3.5%.

Postcards are an excellent direct mail tool to reach and build on your community for so many reasons:

  • No envelope! You remove a barrier between you and your customers when you don't use an envelope. They can see what’s happening or what you are selling at a glance. Combined with the tips above, your personalized connection hits your target faster.

  • Easy to display. How many postcards do you have on your fridge as a reminder of a deadline, event, or sale? People can even magnet postcards to their front door as a reminder to grab them on the way out.

  • Eye-catching. Thick, glossy, brightly printed postcards stand out in the mailbox and on the fridge. With the right approach, you can create a piece of art that can remain in someone’s home for weeks or months as a reminder of your brand.

Discounted digital campaigns.

The USPS has rolled out several discount programs for marketers that combine traditional mailing with new technologies to engage stakeholders and increase response. With mailing discounts, you can try out new technologies at a lower risk to see what your customers respond to.

Specific promotions are available this year to marketers who want to bring their digital and in-person communities together in new ways, including the Mobile Shopping, Informed Delivery, and Emerging and Advanced Technology programs.

To ensure that direct mail continues to be a vibrant part of the marketing mix, the Postal Service is using this last promotion to encourage businesses to incorporate technologies such as “Enhanced” Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Near Field Communication, Video in Print featuring Shoppable Video, Integration with Voice Assistants, and Digital to Direct Mail in their direct mail campaigns.

The possibilities are practically unlimited!

For more ways to reach your community through print and mail, reach out today to create campaigns that convert.

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