Businesses who wish to maximize ROI need to understand the dynamics of today’s marketing environment. Today, the most successful marketing is accomplished by a shrewd integration of online and offline marketing. At the core of these two outlets, is building the right audience from the start.
Once a marketer has established their audience, a smart marketer will grasp the importance of brand loyalty and how to grow their brand loyalty using direct mail.
The key to a successful collaboration of online and offline marketing is brand loyalty. It is a well-known fact that it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to make repeat sales to existing customers. Once you have a new customer it is vital that you keep that customer for repeat sales.
The amount of a small business marketing budget spent on repeat sales is far less than the amount spent acquiring new customers. Therefore, it is important to keep your customers’ attention on your brand in a sea of competing brands that can snatch him or her away the next time he or she is ready to buy your product or service.
Examples Of Direct Marketing to Current Customers:
- Send out a birthday card
- Thank them for their most recent purchase via personal card
- Client anniversary postcards
- Holiday promotions email and postcard
What is brand loyalty?
This is the favoritism a purchaser has for one brand over another, selling the same product. A purchaser with brand loyalty will consider their favored brand over the competition even if the costs are more, even if they have (single) bad experience or other external factors that typically sway a decision are brought forward.
Two Kinds of Mailing Lists
In this scenario, the business marketer will be working with two kinds of mailing lists – the online mailing list and the offline mailing list. Your direct mail piece uses an address list and drives the customer either to an online store or website or to a traditional brick-and-mortar store. These are sent out periodically and are coordinated with discount items or store sales. Then you follow up with periodic mailings using an email list with a discount coupon to drive your customer back for repeat sales. Then you repeat the process over and over.
The danger comes when customers return to their original source to find you all over again from scratch. It can happen with an online source like a search engine or an offline source like the Yellow Pages. For example, it is possible that you acquire your customers using search engine marketing or Google ads to and you fail to establish brand recognition with the customers.
These are expensive marketing channels and if the customers don’t remember who they did business with or your brand wasn’t meaningful in some way to help them remember you, then they will go back to Google instead of to your business the next time they want to buy. Somehow, in that marketing scenario, the whole thing went awry and the customer thinks, “I was successful in finding what I wanted in Google” instead of “I was successful in finding what I wanted at ABC company.” Your brand failed to impinge.
Using Direct Mail Marketing
With direct mail, there are 2 strategies that are best used for building brand loyalty.
The first strategy, personal messaging based on life events or interactions. This includes sending a birthday card, client anniversary, and/or having the message saying “We haven’t seen you in a while”. These messages tend to resonate well with brands that want to personally connect with their shoppers.
The second strategy is announcement-based marketing. This is when brands send out special coupons to customers, new product updates and event invites. Larger brands that don’t need to establish as personal of an interaction, typically go with this strategy.
Using Email Marketing
Email marketing is the lowest-cost loyalty branding option. Periodically sending out emails to your customers, can help place your brand at the top of mind in the industry. However, it is also very risky in that at any point the customer can unsubscribe, your message could get lost in an inbox and emails could also land in a number of spam boxes. This is why it is important to use this as a supplemental tool, rather than as the center of your marketing efforts.
Your Data Hygiene
When it comes to using your mailing list to build brand loyalty, you will want to make sure your lists are updated regularly. Over time your audience may move or change email addresses, making it important to have your list cleaned regularly. It is highly advised to hire a data company to append and clean your lists yearly to ensure your marketing efforts are not going to waste.
Direct Mail That Reinforces Your Brand
You have to put a direct mail piece into your customers’ hands that reinforces your brand before they are ready to buy again. Your brand has to connect with them in some way to motivate them to return to your store or website. The have to recognize and prefer your brand over the myriad of other brands competing for your business.
Brand recognition has to be part of an overall marketing strategy that uses mailing lists for traditional offline direct mail marketing and it works best when integrated with a website or online store using email marketing with an email list plus social media.
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