Postcard sales? What is this, 1999? And it’s good that you’ve likely come here thinking that. You’ve probably heard that postcard marketing is dead and that it’s better to focus on digital channels. Well you’re not completely wrong. You do need to focus on digital channels as well, but using postcard marketing as a complementary marketing channel can grow your user base, reduce churn and is statistically more effective than any other marketing channel available. Don’t take my word for it, see the numbers below:
Ready to give it a shot? Ensure you lay a strong foundation to elicit the best results.
What is your ideal customer look like? Are they young, old, married, single, male, female, in a specific city or international? The quality of people you target is the foundation for a successful campaign. What will get them excited about what you are offering? This is an iterative process and as you and your business grow, you will have more criteria to limit your search to high quality potential customers.
When looking for addresses, you really have 2 main options. Either procure address lists from a data provider or use the data you have in your CRM or database internally. Procuring address lists is particularly useful for acquisition campaigns, while internal data is crucial for lifecycle marketing, retention and re-activation use cases.
For Scout customers that are targeting folks in the Bay Area, in high tech, or generally that I could find 1–1 with a Google search, my friend Joe over at getsteward.com is the very best. You describe your task, who you want, and then he’ll get you company names, addresses, and email addresses. His data is very clean and comes mainly from places you could find via a Google Search.
There are a plethora of data providers from Axciom, InfoUSA, Mailershaven, Experian and Transunion and many more. From a customer service, response, and data perspective, my friend Rob at Mailershaven is the very best. Now there are other places you can get your data, but these guys have aggregated a lot of different lists and they know who they can find and where.
I can sum up direct mail marketing design in three words: Keep it simple.
Can the recipient determine the following in 3 seconds:
- What does your business do?
- How does your business stands out from the competition?
- What is the offer?
- What do they need to do to take advantage of the offer?
Can’t satisfy the requirements above? Your postcard will be heading for the trash.
Listen to my friend Henry and invest time on this piece.
Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short. — Henry David Thoreau (1857)
When I look at my mailbox, I often find poor examples of direct mail marketing. Try to avoid these pitfalls:
It’s better to be consistent and spread your mailers out over time to reduce the impact of seasonality and the variations in the days the mail will land in the mailbox. Experiment with different sizes too! Marketers rarely get everything right on the first campaign, take the lessons you learn and apply them to future campaigns and you’ll see immediate improvements.
You never see static e-mails, why would you send the same mail piece to thousands of recipients?
Some of our customers get really clever and use Scout to upload different static variations to different target lists. Here are some ideas.
Spend time building a robust method of tracking attribution.
Lob has been amazing to us here at Scout. Once we started working heavily with Lob, we realized just what an underutilized resource we had to help us build our business. Don’t make my mistake, reach out to them sooner rather than later or email me for free feedback (see below).