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Combine Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

How to Combine Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

Direct mail is a much more sophisticated beast than you imagine.

Direct mail climbs new heights with the advancement of digital technology and now, you can take advantage of its potential. It doesn’t require a re-engineering of the way you run your business and marketing, just some tweaks that’ll bolster sales and increase response rates with very little effort.

Citipost Mail put together a study to show how digital integration can change the way you look at direct mail by taking a wider view and more informed approach. Here are those findings:

We already know that direct mail has high response rates: 3.7% from direct mail with a house list and 1% from direct mail and supplied prospect lists. All other forms total less than 1%; mobile, email, social media, paid search and display advertising fade into the distance. And it’s surprising to learn that email and social media are two of the three most popular marketing channels yet, have the lowest rate of response. Direct mail is not as popular but four times as successful as all of them combined.


Social and digital work better with direct mail

These days marketing is never considered in isolation and 44% marketeers use three or more marketing channels for their brands’ campaigns. You too can learn from this initiative and can combine direct mail with digital for even better results. The proof is in its success:

When social network users were sent direct mail, they responded as follows:
• 25% used a coupon
• 19% held onto it for future use
• 15% visited a store
• 10% passed it on
• 9% friend a new product or service

These are impressive results and a great example of how you can merge the offline with the online. Can think of any other ways to replicate that kind of response? Although social media claims to be a great connector, it’s largely impersonal. Direct mail bridges that gap. In fact, 45% of social network users have acted on direct mail they received and 29% who have used a social network in the past 12 months are 29% more likely to be heavy responders to direct mail.


Direct mail increases your total campaign’s effectiveness

When you add direct mail to an email campaign you increase the potential response rate by 26%. That’s huge. And with the capabilities of social media to spread your message to those who weren’t on your prospect list, you can expect that 9% of direct mail responses will be generated via email or social networks.

Direct mail can be used as one component of a multi-faceted campaign. Use various triggers to contact the customer through text, email, app push notifications and inbox messages and work with your postal operator to trigger the action based on the direct mail delivery. They’ll be grateful for the increased volume and have the facilities to realise your direct mail potential as you envisage it.


Track every response and understand it

Tracking direct mail with digital has never been easier and there are numerous ways to make it happen. Use QR codes and pURLs to track online activity and voucher codes to track conversions at various points of sale. To really merge the direct mail and online experience include a NFC chip that with a quick scan, swipe or tap can turn a smartphone into an extension of the mailer—direct mail brought to life. And reporting is even easier with various tools that can monitor social media for brand mentions and to receive more qualitative feedback through comments and commentary.

Direct mail with digital is the future and you can shape what it looks like with your clients and imaginations, just see how Gtech are going from strength to strength here.

Read our case study on how we helped Gtech combine direct mail with digital, resulting in a silver DMA Award and generated £14.4 million in revenue.


Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns.

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Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

How to measure your ROI in Direct Mail

How to Measure your ROI to Increase your Direct Mail Profitability

Whether you run campaigns where you measure your ROI in direct mail on its own, or complemented by an email campaign, you’re bound to be drawn by its benefits.

Direct mail ROI is one of its major draw cards, from the ability to dissect direct mail response rates to having information with which you can predict future results. The beauty of direct mail is the extensive amount of analysis you can perform to understand its impact.

There are plenty of mailing tips to improve ROI, such as employing postal discounts for bulk mailing and maximizing your weight for the postage paid, but what about the measurement?

First perform an audit of everything that comprises the costs of servicing the mailer; allow for production and distribution costs, suppliers and staffing, research and development and anything that has gone into your mailer’s creation. It’s good business sense to keep a handle on these kinds of expenses and gives your ROI gravitas when presenting your sales figures.

Your key metrics are as follows:

  1. Count – number of direct mail pieces sent
  2. Response rate – the number of leads you received (as a percentage) from the total count
  3. Average order value – how each recipient converted
  4. Cost per acquisition – how much it cost you terms of production and distribution costs to get the lead
  5. Return on investment – how much you’re ahead of the game after your efforts

While these are some of the most important factors, it’s important to understand the source(s) of your sales—segment your results. Is your campaign standalone direct mail or did you combine with other forms of media? Understand what kind of upswing your campaign received from this approach by looking at each source individually and combined. For example, a direct-mail campaign complemented by an email follow-up could have an upswing of 25%, and you need to understand why.

It’s important to view direct mail’s ROI in terms of both quantitative and qualitative data. While quantitative analysis offers the best business case, don’t ignore the finer points of customer retention. Every campaign you run is an exercise in brand loyalty and awareness. Even if your customer didn’t convert they might in the future. It’s unavoidable, but if you and anticipate this and give them the option to opt into further communication your mailing effort isn’t futile.

Give your prospect an option to be contacted in 3, 6 or 12 months when they might need your product or service. For instance, if they’re locked into a contract with the provider or just shy of buying their first home.

As we know, direct mail has a higher response rate than most other forms of marketing, and the return on investment often follows suit. Talk to a Direct Mail company to find out how you can create effective mail campaigns with skyrocketing ROI.

 

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help your Direct Mail campaigns.

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Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

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Direct Mail ROI through personalisation

How to increase your direct mail ROI through personalisation

Personalised direct mail is the cornerstone of our industry and its capabilities are the envy of our rivals. No other media can reach their prospects and customers as directly as targeted direct mail, but you don’t want to go into it blind. When a DMA report says 98% of survey participants believe direct mail personalisation is very important, you should probably take note. We’ve analysed some of the most telling data to give you some tips on how to increase your direct mail ROI through personalisation.

 

Get the simple stuff right

You’d be unpleasantly surprised by the number of companies who skip this important first step: ensuring their database is up to date. But here’s some evidence to convince you of the importance of data cleansing.

Customers will respond better to a direct mail piece if it contains the following:

• Correct name and address (74%)
• Name in the letter message (43%)
• Letter acknowledges historic dealings with the organisation (31%)
• Images to which the recipient can relate (23%)
• Tailored to gender (23%)
Data cleansing and matching will eradicate any errors in your database and will save you money by reducing wastage. And if 41% of people throw away addressed post if it’s not personally addressed to them, then it’s something you want to master.

 

Think beyond the mailer

Personalised direct mail has a 6.5% response rate; that which isn’t personalised, only 2%. This can represent an ROI increase of between 300 and 1000%. They’re some convincing stats. But how do you turn your direct mailer into mail with purpose? By getting personal. With more data available than ever, you can re-frame your offer and create a proposition that’s both enticing and engaging. After all, engagement equals sales.

Think about the things that matter to your customers and what they will respond to better. Is your mailer dynamic or does it fall flat? What can you personalise that will help seal the deal?
Variable data and dynamic content give your mailer extra oomph and make your recipient believe you’re speaking directly to them.

Here are some examples of dynamic content that can be fed into your direct mail using variable image printing:

• Pre-fill forms with their data so they only have to write the essentials
• Put a custom map of your nearest location on the mailer
• Target the offer according to the age group e.g. dental cleaning for 18 year-olds, dentures for the 90 year-olds
• Use postcodes and demographics to inform your offer
• Print their name in an offer or in the artwork i.e. make them feel included
• Use a personalised URL to get them engaging online
• Use augmented reality to bring a mailer to life

The DMA’s report, From Letterbox to Inbox: Building Customer Relationships was the document the industry was begging for, and it gave significant insight into consumer behaviour and direct mail engagement. Given direct mail is measurable it has a close relationship with statistical analysis, meaning the findings go hand-in-hand with ROI measurement.

It’s easier as a business to apply changes to the way you personalise your mail and understand its effect. Meaning as a business owner or representative you can develop insight into how it affects your own business model and how to alter your direct mail efforts in the future.

 

Please contact us enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or call John Lloyd on 01494 539300 for more information on how you can increase your ROI through personalisation.

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5 ways to personalise your Direct Mail campaign

How to write a responsive Direct Mail letter

What to include in your Direct Mail campaign

Direct Mail Examples – What to include in your campaign

Direct Mail Examples

There’s a lot more to direct mail than throwing a printed flyer into an envelope or wrapping it in plastic then hoping for the best. That mailer is loaded with possibility and it’s your job to charge it with emotion. Mailers that connect with their audience on an emotional level are the best performers—it’s proven. So what exactly do you include in your direct mail campaign? We’ve got some great direct mail examples to help.

While it depends on your product or service, a brochure, letter or catalogue are the best starting point. But we’ll let you into a little industry secret: You can post up to 100 grams. And when you’ve paid for the postage already, you might as well make the most of the Royal Mail weight limit. That’s when we recommend what we direct mail devotees call a “lift item”.

A lift item is exactly as it sounds: something additional that lifts the tone of the mailer and gives the recipient something extra to look at. All the while further presenting your business case and showing them why they should purchase your product.

What are some good direct mail examples of lift products? 

– A case study, with a testimonial from a happy customer

– A full list of features and benefits

– A fridge magnet

– A comparison chart, showing how your product beats the competition

– A detailed summary of your free report or other giveaway

– Your guarantee, formatted as a certificate

– A cheque offering money back

– A voucher or coupon, offering a bonus or special deal

– The science bit: clinical proof that your product meets industry standards

– A postcard repeating the main proposition and call to action

– Something that directs them to your online presence.

These lift items can have a certain level of novelty about them, making them an item that the recipient might want to keep and display somewhere. And when its branded with your logo or imagery, it will remind them of your product or service and prompt them into converting—if not this week, then maybe next month.

When choosing your lift item, keep the focus on the main product or service and don’t distract from the primary message. Keep their attention long enough and give them reason to convert. A complementary item will reinforce the message and keep it relevant. Be sure to brand every insert so if the contents are separated, they still know how to find you. Then just sit back and watch your sales soar—with a little lift.

 

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns and to get some more great direct mail examples that relate to your business.

 

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Direct Mail vs Email

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

Direct Mail vs Email – We take a look at the key statistics on customer engagement and ROI across both Marketing channels.

There’s no question email was one of the most important inventions of the 21st Century, but many would agree it’s one of the worst. Sitting in front of your computer bombarded with messages for hours—a never-ending stream. At least before it existed someone would have to write a letter first and then put it in the post! These days these views aren’t isolated and many of your customers think the same way. In fact people admit to responding to only 0.12% of email messages. Now that’s a scary statistic for any marketeer.

It’s easy to write off direct mail when you’re bombarded by emails distracting your attention in different ways without your realising. But a piece of direct mail is different: It gets the reader’s attention because they’re holding it. And you can’t ignore something that’s already in your hand. 56% of people find printed marketing the most trustworthy of all the channels; that’s powerful insight right there.

In comparison to email direct mail has a greater likelihood to convert. How much? 4.6% of all mail sent converts to a response, which eclipses the paltry 0.12% of email. To imagine it in plain terms, for a mail campaign sent to 100K recipients, 4,600 of them will make a purchase. Email doesn’t even scrape in with 120 respondents. They both took the same amount of time to plan, draft and execute; which has the greatest return on your time and labour force?

But it doesn’t stop there. Direct mail generates 10% more customers than email (34% direct mail compared to 24% email) and 17.7 million people ordered within 12 months of receiving a direct-mail catalogue. Why? Direct mail conveys sentiment and emotion—it makes people react. This isn’t to say that email is entirely bad. Email serves its purpose and works quite well with direct mail for totally integrated campaigns, and it can even be a means of securing the sale with your customers, but it shouldn’t be the sole method to contact them.

As marketeers our job is to create an emotional response in our target audience. Choose the way to cause a real reaction. Email might make for a great support act, but the real star is direct mail.

 

To talk about your direct mail campaigns please contact us enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or call 01494 539300.

 

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Direct Mail

How to make the most of your email campaigns with direct mail

One of the things we direct mail marketeers hear time and again is a resistance to such a “traditional” form of advertising. While it’s easy to tire of the same old hesitation, it’s important to note that it’s our job to educate our prospects and respond to any objections they might have. But perhaps it’s our approach that needs improvement?

Usually direct mail is offered as an alternative to other marketing practices, but what if it’s to be included as part of their marketing mix? You might think it’s an unorthodox strategy, but hear me out. While all marketing is competing for the same share of spend, we all have the same objective: to convert sales and leads. What if I were to tell you that electronic mail—our direct rival—can actually benefit direct mail?

One of the familiar arguments is that direct mail costs so much. Sure, but in comparison to low-cost e-mail mailers, anything would seem extortionate. But this is just on the surface. While we might know it, our customers don’t realise just how low the response rate of e-mail actually is in comparison to direct mail. When you explain these details they begin to come around to the idea, and when it’s extrapolated to realistic figures—real-life sample sizes in the thousands versus in the hundreds—they understand instantly how it affects their bottom line. And that’s the major concern of our clients—how will it impact their sales and ROI? This is our opportunity to demonstrate that direct mail can help them “round out” or close the sale as part of an overall marketing campaign.

Say, for example, you have a television or radio advertisement running. It’ll have great reach and many will see or hear it, however, how many consumers will remember your product when the time comes to purchase? But if you send out a mailer during your advertising campaign they’ll have instant brand recognition and your product will be in their hands. Literally. You can apply the same principle to an e-mail campaign. It’s not as crazy as you think. With email, you can track each recipient that has actually opened your e-mail (provided their privacy settings allow it). Even if they don’t do anything about the e-mail, you know that if you target them again using direct mail they’ll recognise your brand immediately.

Of course there are many ways and interpretations of this particular strategy and a direct-mail specialist can build a specific campaign to suit the correct client, product and budget. We no longer need to fight the fight for direct mail. Direct mail is here to stay, we just need to show them how it’s integral.

 

For help with your direct mail mail campaigns please contact us enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or call 01494 539300.

 

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How to Save Money on Direct Mail

The mainstay of marketing, direct mail remains one of the most useful tools in customer procurement, engagement and retention. Direct to homes and businesses across Britain, it’s front and centre where your prospects live and work. Direct mail’s unique selling point is its physicality, something that is rare to find in the predominantly digital landscape in which we live. But why send a mailer when you can send an email? Higher engagement rates, that’s why.

Of course, a printed mailer has a greater production cost than its electronic counterpart—what with the printing, the postage, and the man hours required to get it just right. That said, direct mail has greater rates of engagement and comes out as the overall leader in cost per acquisition. There’s always room to save money on Direct Mail, and it comes from being strategic, sensible and planning your campaign from the outset. Here are some pointers to get you on the way to greater campaigns for less.

 

Cleanse Your Database

An accurate database means less returned mail, which equates to money saved. Think of the environment and your back pocket before mailing out into the ether. Ensure your database is up to date by validating all records, merging duplicates, and data matching any gaps.

 

Buy Lists

Rather than pounding the pavement to find new clientele, let someone else do the hard work for you. Data companies have millions of records awaiting your special brief. By pulling data from a variety of sources, they can match your requirements to build a comprehensive client profile. Now just wait for the leads to roll in.

 

Outsource Data Entry

Got a stack of unentered customer data cards sitting in a shoebox somewhere, but can never find the time nor resources to have them entered into you database? It’s easy—get some outside help. Using electronic data scanning, a computer can read cards in milliseconds, digitising all the contact information in the fraction of the time it would take you or a team member do the same.

 

Mail Discounts

When you work with a professional direct mail company, use their power of persuasion to attract discounts. Bulk mailings do attract special postage rates from the Royal Mail and Down Stream Access competitors and these can vary depending on your requirements Advertising or Business? Prepared to wait a little longer for the mail to reach you customer? There’s a discount for that. Pre-sorting the mail before dispatch? It will be cheaper again. There are endless ways to work the system, and your direct mail specialist can show you the way.

 

If you’d like in-depth insights to successful direct mail campaigns, call us on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk

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A Guide to Testing in Direct Mail

Top tips on testing in Direct Mail for increased customer engagement and higher ROI

Many people aren’t aware of one of the most attractive features of direct mail: the ability to constantly test and refine your campaigns, ensuring your message is always evolving to maximise your reach and improve your responses. As direct mail experts, we have all the direct mail tools and expertise you need to successfully execute an A/B testing campaign.

See below our guide to testing in Direct Mail –

What is Direct Mail A/B testing?

A/B testing enables you to uncover what works best and what does not, continuously improving your ‘control’ pack. Begin your campaign with two alternative mailings, A and B. If possible make the test changes meaningful by which we mean clearly different e.g. one with a lift piece one without or one creative vs. another.

Build in a system that allows you to track the response from each of the two mailings. This could be a scannable barcode which indicates which mailing the response comes from or a unique customer code, for instance. Once responses start coming in, it becomes easy to measure and compare the response rates from the two mailings. Keep a daily record it will really help later on.

Find out more about A/B Testing.

 

What to test

Later when you have the confidence that you are achieving a Return on your Investment you might test out visual tweaks to your campaign: changes in colour scheme, images, layout and font. Changes in the envelope presentation, for example, or in whether key parts of the text or greeting are handwritten or typeset, can also prove significantly affect response rates. Valuable feedback can also be gained from testing changes to copy and the offer contents itself. You might shorten or extend the deadline on an offer, or trial a rebate scheme, for example, against a two-for-one offer. Changes in the target group (who you are mailing) are also great fodder for A/B testing.

 

One step at a time

Now, let’s imagine you’ve done your first A/B test—with varying offers, say—and evaluated the responses. For your next mailing, use the more successful offer from the first mailing for both your A and B groups, but vary something else—perhaps the layout or the greeting. This time, did group A or B yield a higher response rate?

Incorporate your results into your third mailing but this time test yet another variable. Monitor every response you receive daily so that you can forecast results, learn lessons and implement them, in realtime, without waiting until an offer ends.

 

Cut the cake into different-sized pieces

While the standard A/B test involves a 50/50 split, there might be other lower risk ways to trial a new campaign idea. Try a 70/30 or even 90/10 split for a new idea that might be high risk in a standard 50/50 scenario. Of course, the greater the difference in size between the “control” and the test pack, the larger the mailing may need to be to give meaningful results.

 

Please contact us enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or call 01494 539300 for more information.

 

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Direct Mail Tips

Direct Mail Tips According to Experts

Planning a direct mail campaign and baffled by the terminology? Inspired, but looking for additional insight? Or maybe you think you’re onto a winner, but wouldn’t mind a little extra guidance? Well, look no further. We’ve got some expert direct mail tips from the DMA, Royal Mail, and First Move, which should set you on the path to direct marketing success.

Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
You might think that the poor reputation of ‘junk mail’ is one of the main barriers to businesses investing in direct marketing. However, in the Mail Matters 2015 report, the DMA found that cost (cited by 43% of respondents) was the main perceived barrier, not reputation (cited by a mere 16%).

This explains why 15% of digital marketeers have already adopted direct marketing in conjunction with their digital campaigns, as they seek new ways to cut through the digital “white noise.” But there is still more potential to be realised: Only 46% of those using direct mail have genuinely combined advertising mail and digital marketing by offering exclusive content—like personalised URLs, scannable elements and QR codes—to mail respondents.

When you consider that 98% of respondents would welcome better content personalisation, which has been one of the strengths of direct marketing for over a decade, you can begin to imagine the untapped potential of this medium.

Royal Mail
Many businesses don’t realise that Royal Mail also offers a range of services and tools to assist with direct marketing campaigns, from format choices to delivery options and machine readability to research tools. Some things to remember:
A direct marketing expert can also help you decide, for example, whether it’s most economical to pre-sort the mail or to have this step done by the Royal Mail on the way to delivery.

Barcodes and mailmark barcodes (which have extra space customers to place their own information) may also be suitable for your mailing.
Moreover, prices reduce as volume goes up, meaning that you might be looking at less than 20p per letter for a medium-large campaign.

First Move
Facts and figures aside, the crucial advantage of direct marketing lies in its physicality—its power to stir emotions and create a tactile connection with the brand and the offer.

A recent study by researchers at Bangor University showed that physical messages trigger a much deeper emotional response than virtual messages. Participants’ neurological activity was monitored while they received both physical and virtual messages. Resoundingly, the physical messages caused more activity in those centres of the brain that correspond with emotional response. In real-world terms, this translates into not only a higher chance the message will become ingrained in a prospect’s memory, but also a deeper brand connection. And that means, above all, a higher response rate.

In fact, research shows that whereas an average email marketing campaign will yield a response rate of just over 1 in 1000, businesses can expect a response rate of around 1 in 25 for an expertly planned and executed direct marketing campaign.

 

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns.

 

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Successful Direct Mail Campaigns

10 Tips to Successful Direct Mail Campaigns

As an avid user of direct mail, you already know its distinct benefits. Higher engagement rates, a more tactile way to communicate than email, and targeted, visual campaigns are reasons to return. No doubt you’ve experienced successful direct mail campaigns, so why not strive for more? We’ve outlined ten pointers below that will make your direct mail campaigns even more successful with less effort than you can imagine.

 

Know Your USP

It might seem obvious, but strangely, it’s something many marketeers overlook: What makes your product different? While there might be many competing products or services in your space, there are differences—subtle or otherwise—that make yours unique. Put yourself in the customer’s position and ask yourself why you would choose your product over a competitor’s. List these reasons and use them to guide the way you communicate your offer. Think of it as the answer to the question you never asked.

 

Get Personal

Personalisation is key in a world of generic brand messages. It’s near impossible to hear one voice when everyone is shouting, so why broadcast when you can engage? It’s a simple touch, but using your prospect or client’s name will help you get their attention, before delivering a line of communication that is targeted to them. See also ‘Empathise.’

 

Empathise

Getting the customer’s attention is one thing, but retaining it is another. If you can show that you understand their desires or plight, your brand can be the one that stands out from the rest. Make your proposition speak to them by addressing their needs and become a trusted companion, therefore gaining or retaining their business.

 

Find a List Broker

Struggling to find the information yourself, or perhaps looking for new prospects? Look no further than a list broker. It’s a broker’s responsibility to find the correct fit for the customer profile you supply, and they will have a variety of databases pulled from sources that can relate to your business.

 

Find the Easy Pickings in Your Database

If you already have a connection with your database, why not utilise it? Focus on those who fit the profile of your campaign and concentrate your efforts on their conversion. Look for those targets who might have purchase history with your company for more comprehensive lead generation. Make better use of your time and direct mail budget by going directly to those who matter.

 

Identify Your Best Responders

When prospects become customers, or even respond with an enquiry, half your work is done. Continue the relationship with those you’ve engaged for repeat purchases and convert those who are curious. By following up weeks or months later shows that you haven’t forgotten about them, and you’ll remind them that you still care.

 

Use Purchase History to Frame Your Offer

Sales databases offer a wealth of insight into your client base. It makes business sense to review what your customers have purchased in the past to anticipate what they might need today. Think of product replenishment, cross-selling related products, or incentivised offers to expose your product to their friends. Make your offer relevant and expect your leads to roll in.

 

Exploit Your Peak Selling Season

While peak season means guaranteed sales, they can always be better. Look for opportunities within your peak period for multiple and add-on sales by framing your offer in a light that’s attractive to your customer. Whether it’s seasonal or necessity-based, create a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to convert with greater ease.

 

Use Examples or Testimonials

Nothing is more convincing than a proven record. Speak to your audience with real-life examples of how your product or service has helped others just like them. Build confidence through demonstration and help them conquer their fears or resistance.

 

Test, Test, and Test Again

Frequent and repeated mailings are the best way to understand what works best for your customer base. Run split testing to glean insight to which offers work well, change your wording or your offer slightly, or think of other ways to communicate that might be out of the ordinary—you never know what might work, just take a chance.

 

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or fill in our online contact form if you want to achieve successful direct mail campaigns.

 

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Direct mail tips according to experts

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