With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, merchants are thinking about how to increase online and in-store sales. A great way to drive incremental purchases is through targeted direct mail campaigns designed to drive store traffic.
Many of these same merchants have already experienced success with other types of direct mail programs. More than half have increased their use of catalogs, telesales, and email campaigns in the last two years. The rise in popularity of these mediums is easy to understand. They are measurable, cost-effective means of driving incremental sales. What merchants may not realize is that they already possess the key to creating effective direct mail programs designed to drive store traffic: their own customer lists. These lists are prime targets for the holiday selling season.
Direct mail is an effective strategy for driving incremental sales during the holidays. With your customer list as your starting point, you can choose to send direct mail that has both a promotional offer and transactional message or just one or the other. Here are six ways to maximize results with mailing programs.
1. SELL AND SAVE: Combining a promotional offer with a transactional message is one of the best ways to get customers into the stores and driving incremental sales. Give customers an opportunity to receive an immediate benefit for making a purchase while also reminding them why they should make all their purchases at your store instead of online.
2. RETAILER SPONSORSHIP: Direct mail should be part of a larger, integrated marketing program to ensure success. As an added bonus, it can serve as the place for your retail sponsorship logo to appear. This increases exposure and visibility during the holidays while also driving customers into the store through direct mail.
3. RETURN ON INVESTMENT: While it may be a smart business decision to invest in direct mail, merchants should always consider the ROI. This is where targeted lists come into play. By mailing only to those customers who have made a purchase from you or one of your affiliates within a certain timeframe, you will quickly convince yourself that direct mail can lead to increased profits.
4. PERSONALIZED OFFERS: Personalized offers can work in two ways, either as a means for driving incremental sales or as a way to further customer relationships and improve retention by offering targeted discounts and promotions.
5. PUSH YOUR BRAND: Almost everyone loves getting stuff in the mail (or at least looking at it when they get home), so use this to your advantage. Choose gift boxes, bags, or another packaging appropriate for the season and include promotional messages that are relevant to your top-selling items for in-store consumers.
6. PREMIUM PROMOTIONS: The holidays are an ideal time to offer premium gifts with purchase in order to derive additional ROI from your direct mail program. Customers will be eager to receive a special offer that they can only get through the mail, increasing response rates, and overall ROI.
While numerous studies have shown the benefits of using direct mail to drive incremental sales during the holiday season, many merchants do not realize they already possess the key to creating effective direct mail programs designed to drive store traffic: their own customer lists.