Despite what you may believe, not every effective direct mail marketing campaign is centered around an offer. With consumers being constantly bombarded with discounts, sales, and limited-time offers, it’s hard to stand out, appear genuine, and still get your point across. Here are some ideas for non offer-based direct mail campaigns that will make your business appear unique from competitors and keep your services fresh in the minds of your targeted customers.
1. Create an Informational Folded Self-Mailer
Self mailers ship on their own, without the need for envelopes. This not only cuts costs but also gets around the issue of getting recipients to open a letter; there is nothing to open when receiving a self-mailer. Folded self-mailers can be used to present multiple pages of information, like a brochure or mini-magazine to showcase your business and the products/services you provide. Combined with a highly personalized letter, these types of informational mailers can be very effective in selling yourself as a full package to potential customers. They allow far more room for description than offer-laden promotional materials, so get creative with the content. Take the opportunity to tell your company’s story, explain your mission statement, or display testimonials from satisfied customers. This way, you stimulate interest in your business without losing legitimacy by plastering your mailer with “25% OFF THIS WEEK ONLY!!!” Consumers can see your intentions when they receive direct mail marketing and it’s easy to tell when the only intention is sell, sell, sell.
2. Send a Guide
Guides are similar to informational brochures in that they provide the recipient with facts that guide them toward a sale without throwing it in their face. If you can devise some sort of checklist, article, or how-to guide that applies to your industry, this can be a great way to generate interest in your business. Present your mailer as free informative material that your company is simply giving away to help people solve people’s problems. If the recipient finds the material useful, they are likely to visit your website in hopes of getting more benefits. This is a chance to show your expertise and demonstrate the value of doing business with your company without presenting an explicit offer.
3. Send a Gift!
Giving a gift to a client is a powerful way to show your appreciation, demonstrate care, and make a human connection that will foster future business connections. A gift can be a great way to thank a current customer for their business and remind them of your product or service if they haven’t bought recently. Gifts can also be useful in gaining new customers, as it sets your business apart from competitors by conveying a sense of high customer-care and personal attention, which consumers value more than you’d think. Gifts can range from things like customized pens and coffee mugs to baked goods an elaborate gift baskets. Rather than send out the same gift to every client, get personal and give them something that demonstrates your attention to their wants and needs. If you know a client loves their dogs, consider sending some special treats or chew-toys. If you know they are a sports fan, send them some merchandise from their favorite team.
If you don’t have this kind of personal information on the people you are hoping to impress, make sure that your gift is universally appealing and won’t turn anyone off. When sending food gifts make sure you are considerate of common food allergies and stay away from anything meat related to appease vegetarians. Subscription services are common business gifts, so if you choose to go this route, keep your audience in mind. Services like Dollar Shave Club (which distributes men’s razors) and Rocksbox (which sends personalized boxes of women’s jewelry) can be super effective, but could also foil your plan if sent to someone of the wrong gender. Unless you’re willing to customize gifts for each individual client, go for a subscription service that is universally appealing like a coffee of the month or book of the month club If you’re going to send them a customized gift, don’t use your logo, use THEIRS. Sending a gift that features the client’s name or logo makes them the star of the show and adds a personal touch that goes miles when it comes to building a good business relationship.
Use these three offer-free direct mail campaigns to give your company an edge over competitors who flood their potential customers’ mailboxes with nothing but promotional offers. If you can demonstrate the value of your company without making it apparent that your only intention is to advertise, customers will come to you with trust that you have their best interest in mind.