Direct mail offers powerful ways to forge connections between your customers and your brand that grow into ongoing and long-lasting loyalty.
How to connect with your clients
Creating an emotional connection with your customers is a key way to increase loyalty.
According to a study by Motista, consumers who develop an emotional relationship with a brand have a lifetime value that is four times higher than the average customer. These people are also over 50% more likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.
Direct mail offers opportunities to create and maintain lasting connections.
Here are a few of the best ways to connect with your clients.
Make your customer feel special
In today’s digital world, it’s increasingly rare for people to receive physical mail. Most companies communicate with their customers via email or other forms of online messaging.
While email marketing software has come a long way and does a great job of offering automated and (somewhat) personalized ways of contacting people, direct mail offers something beyond this.
Receiving a letter or package in the post feels special. There’s a certain amount of excitement you get from receiving something in the mail that you just don’t get with emails. Stats from Gallup show that 41% of Americans look forward to checking their mail each day. These feelings translate into emotional connections that can forge powerful loyalty to your brand.
People also recognize and appreciate the extra care and effort that goes into sending physical mail.
Brands can build on these feelings and create even stronger connections by sending surprise personalized offers or discounts. Receiving a unique, personal offer will make customers feel like you genuinely value them. This will create goodwill and further increase their stickiness to your brand.
Direct mail also offers a huge opportunity to get creative with the layout, design, and packaging of your pieces. Ikea sends out “pop-up” direct mail pieces that create a 3D replica of a bedroom furnished with Ikea products. This kind of creative use of direct mail leaves a lasting impression on customers and grows their relationship with your brand.
Target and personalize to create stronger responses
One of the significant advantages direct mail has over other forms of advertising is the ability to personalize messages and create highly targeted campaigns.
Unlike TV commercials or online ads, the one-to-one nature of direct mail allows you to include people’s details and tailor the message to suit their needs. In a study cited by Forbes, 84% of consumers said they are more likely to open a personalized direct mail piece.
Companies can use the data they have on file for existing customers to send them highly relevant offers that they’re more interested in. Integrating your data with a CRM can make it easier to create data-based personalization campaigns.
Creating personalized, targeted and relevant offers is an extremely effective way of increasing return business from existing clientele.
According to bakergoodchild, personalized messages have a response rate more than three times higher than non-personalized letters.
Encourage brand advocacy
Brand advocates are loyal customers who play the salesperson part for your brand to their friends and family.
Sending referral offers or discount codes to existing customers through the mail is a great way to create brand advocates. This encourages people to extoll the benefits of your products and services to their friends to persuade them to give you a try.
Kimberly-Clark generated over a million referrals with their “Softness worth sharing” campaign that allowed participants to send free tissue boxes to family and friends.
Keeping your clientele connected to your brand through regular, personalized direct mail offers or surprise gifts that thank and reward them for their loyalty can also help create brand advocates.
When people advocate your brand, they also reinforce in their mind what they like about your offerings. This can help to strengthen their loyalty further.
People are much more likely to listen to recommendations about products or services from a friend than to listen to the company itself. According to Social Media Today, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 90% say that word-of-mouth recommendations are a leading influence on their purchase decisions.
People referred by word-of-mouth are also likely to be more loyal to your brand. According to Deloitte, customers referred by people they know have a 37% higher retention rate.
Asking for reviews is another great way to encourage brand advocacy. You can send direct mail pieces to customers who have made recent purchases thanking them for their business and asking them to give a review.
Support your digital marketing efforts
It doesn’t have to be a choice between direct mail and digital marketing. Combining the two can make both methods even more useful.
- Direct mail can be used in combination with online landing pages to create integrated offline-online campaigns. You can build engaging landing pages that integrate seamlessly with the look and feel of direct mail campaigns. They can also create personalized landing pages for an even more engaging and relevant experience for the customer.
- Loyalty rewards programs are a great way to combine direct mail and online. To encourage loyalty and repeat purchases, companies can send their customers personalized rewards cards to earn points on their purchases. They can then log on to a website to check their points balance and redeem points for gifts or discounts.
- Direct mail campaigns can also be combined with SMS marketing to create a memorable brand impression. An example of this is a direct mail piece that includes a unique code that the customer can send via SMS to win various prizes. SMS marketing is more effective than you might think and has excellent response rates.
There’s no limit to the creative ways that direct mail can be used to build and maintain customer loyalty. As the world becomes increasingly digital, people will always appreciate the special touch of physical mail.
Brands can take advantage of this to create emotional connections and build long-lasting customer loyalty.