When should you send direct mail? While it’s not a cheap channel, the benefits are incredibly clear. How about you let your audience tell you when they’re ready for direct mail?
If you are using an automated direct mail solution (PFL’s Tactile Marketing Automation, for example), you can set triggers in your marketing automation platform that will fire off the perfect piece of direct mail based on an action your customer takes (or doesn’t take).
Here are a few behaviors to monitor based on where your prospect is in the customer journey.
Direct mail can be very powerful in the awareness stage for the right customer. The problem with getting direct mail out this soon is a mailing address. You’ll have to collect that data with a gated content form or something similar.
The bad news? Gated forms fail more than they succeed. The good news? People like getting something in the mail, so entice them with clear messaging.
For B2B companies using an account based marketing strategy, make sure you source target accounts’ mailing addresses when you build your account personas.
Content consumption. You’ll need a way to track content consumption and engagement – but if you can, that data will give you a strong indicator for potential customers that are ready to learn more about you. Use this data to trigger a printed content piece.
Low email click-through rates. Emails open rates are high, but CTR is low. A new prospect is interested in what you have to say, but doesn’t seem ready to take the next step. Auto-send a postcard from a friendly sales rep to your prospects who aren’t clicking, to entice them to call in for a meet and greet.
Sales call behavior. It happens all the time: a prospect seems interested, but suddenly they drop off the face of the planet. For leads who put off or cancel a meeting with sales, warm them back up with a free resource mailed to their workplace.
Your middle-funnel customers are good prospects for direct mail advertising for a couple of reasons.
First, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re looking for a solution like the one you offer, so the cost/benefit ratio for sending direct mail looks a little better than it might for colder audiences.
Secondly, since these customers are closer to a purchase, they may be more responsive to a thoughtful, personalized piece of direct mail (rather than just another email).
Attending an event. Maybe a middle-funnel customer found your company at a convention or professional event. Send a “thank you” as part of your post show follow up.
Decision paths. Saving an item to a wishlist, engaging with interactive content on your site and taking surveys via email marketing or social media are all powerful signs of engagement and indicate the prospect is at a decision path. This is a great time for direct mail, pushing your customer along the path to purchase.
Content downloads. A warm prospect is obsessed with your free downloads – they’re consuming guide after guide. Set up a trigger to mail a print copy of your latest guide to all prospects who have downloaded three or more eBooks from your site.
Unsubscribes. If a customer unsubscribes from an email list, follow up with a sincere “leaving so soon?” mailer to try and recapture their attention. Make sure this tactic works with privacy laws in your area and also restrict this only to potential high-value customers that are unsubscribing.
Your bottom-funnel customers — meaning those who have already made a purchase, or who have committed to making one in the very near future – are extremely valuable. Treat them as such by sending them personalized mail when they make additional purchases or spread the word about your business.
Onboarding. New customers may have a ton of questions, so go beyond a simple “Welcome” email and send a your onboarding content by snail mail. A hard-copy of a guidebook, manual, or other resource will be appreciated.
Browsing specific pages of your site. A new customer may be interested in other services you offer, so set off a direct mail drip campaign when you notice your customers lingering on other product pages.
Shopping cart abandonment. Don’t lose your bottom-funnel customers when they’ve come this far. If your site features a shopping cart, send a mailing that advertises one or more of the items they were seconds away from purchasing.
Absences. If your loyal customers haven’t opened emails, stopped by your website, or taken other actions in the last several weeks, a direct mailing can be just the ticket to rekindle their interest.
Leaving a review or testimonial. Reward your loyal customers by sending them SWAG by mail. They’ll feel valued and heard, an may even evolve into a brand evangelist.
Want to see Tactile Marketing Automation in action? Talk to a PFL business development rep today and see if we’re a good fit.