It’s no secret that life is defined by moments. The right experience at the right time can advance our connection to a place, event, or brand. It can transform vague feelings into concrete actions and behaviors. Creating an authentic moment is the goal of every organization and brand. It ultimately leads to increased sales and profits.
Yet creating such experiences for prospects and customers is no simple task. Over the last couple of decades—thanks to the Internet and fundamental changes in business—there is growing competition for eyeballs, clicks, and sales. Every day, consumers are bombarded with marketing messages. In many cases, these messages completely miss the mark and consumers wind up tuning them out rather than leaning in.
Breaking through the attention economy gridlock—and breaking the conventional marketing script—is critical, and the results can be transformative. Brands that “think in moments” forge stronger relationships and motivate customers to engage, connect, and purchase.
But to do this, it’s critical to put the right message in the right form in front of customers at the right time. Direct mail plays a key role here. It can grab attention and make products, services, and intentions more tangible for customers. Ultimately, CMOs that focus on customer engagement are poised for far greater success.
You Bet Your Lifecycle
Integrating marketing into the entire customer lifecycle is critical for the creation of powerful moments. When a company achieves a more holistic view, it’s possible to ratchet up the value equation for customers. The result is the best possible experience for customers at any moment in the lifecycle.
But what’s the secret? It’s all about delivering the right message, response, or interaction at precisely the right moment. To make this happen, an organization must have powerful data and analytics tools available—and adopt a marketing framework that balances digital and physical interactions. This approach might include phone calls, face-to-face interactions, and, finally, direct mail that creates a powerful, personalized moment for the prospect or customer.
There are a variety of ways to use direct mail to create power moment that make you stand out. For instance, sending 3D mailers and boxes of interesting items in advance of virtual conferences and then, after, as a thank you. Or send mailers to celebrate product launches. They can stand out and generate a lot of attention, a lot of conversation, a lot of appreciation. People will begin to know your brand for being thoughtful and creative.
The idea is to create moments for prospects or customers, to send timely pieces that match where they are in the journey. Done right, this stategy can drive customer retention, support advocacy and loyalty, and celebrate your most successful and supportive customers. All through powerful moments created through thoughtful and personalized direct mail.
Aligning the Customer Lifecycle to Powerful Moments
As all marketers know, there is a series of stages that define the customer lifecycle: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, New Customer, Retention, and Advocacy. Creating powerful moments can have significant impact on all six stages of the customer lifecycle.
A great first impression is an essential beginning step. Best-practice programs weave in high-impact, low-cost print materials at the top of the funnel. This helps marketers create moments of elevation in their messaging, while introducing true moments of insight for prospects. This content complements online and digital touchpoints to create a holistic experience from the start. Better awareness can lead to a hefty increase in engagement.
Industry leaders understand that success in the consideration stage takes educating, nurturing, and re-engaging prospects who show interest in a brand. Nothing aids in this task more than educational mailers or samples that show what a product is and what it can do. By tapping into powerful moments of insight and connection, marketers can transform their efforts. Organizations that include direct mail in the consideration stage typically see a spike in engagement.
Organizations that succeed in converting a high percentage of prospects to customers typically focus on addressing pain points and delivering incentives to act, including offering free trials, discounts, recognition, and gifts. Creating moments of connection and elevation can help marketers achieve breakthrough results that can bring a considerable boost in interest.
With any new customer, those first moments matter the most. They set a tone that can lead to either brand affinity or deep disappointment. Key elements for new customers to start their journey with your brand include moments of elevation and celebration. It’s crucial to make things easy for the customer—from setting up an account to specifying interests. It’s also essential to deliver powerful supporting moments for customers as they engage with the new product or service.
What does best-practice customer retention look like? Key experiences include moments of connection, elevation, and celebration. An organization must re-engage on the customer’s terms, acknowledge key personal or professional milestones and achievements, offer the right loyalty rewards, and engage in other activities that enhance the relationship. For example, a customer might receive a powerful direct mail piece that celebrates paying off a loan, attaining some kind of certification, or achieving a new status level.
Creating customer advocates requires a focus on moments involving connection, elevation, and celebration. This can take many forms that span the digital and physical realms, including direct appreciation and acknowledgement, rewards related to referrals or references, soliciting reviews from loyal customers, and involving them in the organization in other important ways, including surveys and product beta testing. Creating and nurturing customer advocates requires an especial focus on moments.
In sum, creating customer advocates requires a focus on moments.
Authentic Moments at Every Stage
How can your organization create powerful and peak moments? There’s no one-size-fits-all template. Yet successful marketers recognize that it’s vital to deliver authentic moments to every customer at the appropriate stage of the customer journey. In this brave new world, the distinctions between digital and physical marketing become deeply intertwined and are completely complementary.
While space is limited in which to detail them all of them, here are some of the direct mail “plays” that can be used to create powerful moments. To learn more about exactly how to do this, we invite you to download PFL’s Essential Guide to Creating Powerful Direct Mail Moments Across the Customer Lifecycle. This free e-book will explain, in detail, these six plays and many more.
Awareness: The “Introduce Yourself” play.
Consideration: The “Meeting Maker” play.
Conversion: The “Sales Acceleration” play.
New Customer: The “Welcome Campaign” play.
Retention: The “Upsell/Cross-sell” play.
Customer Advocacy: The “Brand Ambassador” play.
The right experience at the right time can advance connections to a place, event, or brand and elevate customer-experience and deliver performance that’s legendary.
Organizations that create powerful moments throughout the entire customer lifecycle stand out. They meet customers and prospects on their terms through a powerful combination of digital and physical touchpoints. In an increasingly crowded and noisy marketplace, these marketers understand how to use the tools that work best in almost any situation. They deliver highly relevant messaging at the most relevant moment—and maximize ROI.
Today, no one questions the value of digital marketing. It’s an essential piece of the overall marketing puzzle. However, it’s exponentially more powerful with the addition of direct mail methods that engage all the senses. Organizations that harness direct mail—postcards, tri-folds, samples, treats, gift boxes, and more—are positioned to offer a more complete sensory experience. By tapping into the power of moments, brands can deliver customer experiences in profound and mutually beneficial ways.
This article originally appeared on WhosMailingWhat.com.