Tech Line

In the Spring, Small Biz Fancy Lightly Turns to Thoughts Of. . . . Flat Mailers?

With apologies to Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall,” it’s safe to say that, as spring approaches, seasonal businesses of all sizes—such as lawn care services, solar panel installers, roofing companies, home repair specialists, etc.—are gearing up to make the most of the timely opportunities available. One powerful tool in their marketing arsenal is the direct mail campaign—particularly those utilizing flat mailers.

Why ‘Flat Mailers’ Matter

Flat mailers are, as you’d expect, flat pieces of mail sent through the United States Postal Service (USPS). (While the USPS refers to “flat mail” as a specific category that includes large envelopes, newsletters, magazines, and catalogs, for this article we are using the term “flat mailer” in a more general way.) According to a survey by USPS, the most common types of flat-mail formats used by U.S. marketers are postcards (66 percent), newsletters (66 percent), self-mailers (56 percent), and catalogs (48 percent).  

Flat mailers offer several key advantages for businesses looking to connect with their target audience—especially home consumers.  

Visibility: In a mailbox filled with envelopes and flyers, a flat mailer, such as a postcard or catalog, stands out. Its larger size and eye-catching design grab attention, increasing the likelihood of recipients noticing and engaging with the content.

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Creativity: Flat mailers provide ample space to be creative. Businesses can showcase their products or services with high-quality images, compelling copy, and innovative designs, making a lasting impression on recipients.

Tangible Experience: Unlike digital ads or emails, flat mailers offer a tangible experience. Recipients can hold them in their hands, enhancing the sense of connection and making the message feel more personal and memorable.

Versatility: Flat mailers can be customized to suit different marketing objectives and target audiences. Whether promoting a special offer, announcing a new product, or simply raising brand awareness, businesses can tailor their flat mailers to achieve specific goals.  

Cost-Effectiveness: Despite their larger size, flat mailers can be cost-effective to produce and distribute, especially when compared with traditional forms of advertising, such as local TV or radio commercials. With the right strategy, businesses can maximize their return on investment (ROI) with flat mailers.

Tips for Creating a Winning Spring ‘Flat Mailer’ Campaign

Know Your Audience: Understand your target audience's preferences, interests, and pain points. Personalize your messaging, call to action, and design to resonate with them and address their needs effectively. For example, if your mailer focuses on millennials, using a QR code can be effective, but if your mailer focuses on seniors, a phone number might be a better option.  

Focus on Benefits: Highlight the benefits of your products or services, (as shown in this example from Hello Fresh, a start-up meal kit provider). The mailer describes three major benefits their service offers busy consumers.  

When you show recipients how your offerings can improve their lives or solve their problems, they are more easily compelled to take action.  

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Use Eye-Catching Design: Invest in professional design that grabs attention and communicates your brand's identity effectively. Incorporate colors, fonts, and imagery that align with your brand and appeal to your target audience.  

Include a Clear Call to Action (CTA): Encourage recipients to take the next step by including a clear and compelling CTA. Whether it's visiting your website, calling a phone number, or redeeming a special offer or code, make it easy for recipients to act.

Track and Measure Results: Use tracking tools and analytics, when possible, to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Monitor key metrics, such as response rate, conversion rate, and ROI, and use the insights gained to refine your future campaigns.

By leveraging flat mailers for marketing this spring, small and seasonal businesses can effectively reach and engage their target audience, driving growth and success in the months ahead. With careful planning, creativity, and strategic execution, businesses can create winning spring flat-mailer campaigns that will help your bottom line bulge.