When it comes to generating more revenue with your direct mail, you have to consider exactly what your customers are getting out of your marketing. If you're not sure what they need, your mailers are only likely to end up being trashed in the same moment that they're picked up. Whether you're sending real estate mailers or gardening flyers, you may be able to find the answers you need with the right CRM software. Learn more about what it takes to pull your marketing efforts together with a little help from automation, so you're not wasting your resources.
How Can I Generate More Revenue with My Direct Mail?
Direct mail should primarily serve two purposes
- To give current customers a reason to continue using your products or services by offering new solutions that fit their needs.
- To entice new customers to take an interest in your business, so you can bring them under the company umbrella.
Whenever you manage to secure a customer, it's crucial to value the original time and money you spent to connect with them. If this isn't being reflected in your mailers, it gives your customers another reason to look elsewhere.
Too many businesses ignore their current customers in favor of new business, forgetting that their original customers' loyalty is what it made it possible to go after the new business in the first place. If you can focus on which messages your customers are most likely to hear (and respond to), you can start redesigning your campaigns to fit the precise expectations of the customer.
Of course, this isn't to say that you should ignore new customers, though. Your direct mail campaigns need to pinpoint the types of people who are most likely to take an interest in your business. Once you identify people based on everything from their age to their hobbies, you'll have a better chance of sending mailers to people who will feel appreciative of your marketing rather than annoyed.
What Are Some Proven Tactics to Generate More Revenue?
The success of marketing tactics depends heavily on everything from the industry to the scope of the campaign. However, there are a few proven ways that companies have been able to generate leads and sales based on the focus of their messaging:
- New products/services: When your customers' lives are constantly evolving, your direct mail will serve as a direct answer to new challenges.
- Premium additions: Some customers sincerely want to spend their money rather than time. Give them a reason to reduce the stress in their lives by introducing a premium service that really takes the weight off them.
- Customer retention programs: A customer retention program is designed to offer valuable information to the customer, which will also give them a solid reason to purchase a complementary product or service. So if you sell a person a mattress, you might want to send them a mailer for a sale you're having on luxury sheets.
It's worth noting though that all of these tactics can backfire if they're presented in the wrong way. If your direct mail comes across solely as a money-grab to your customers, you can end up turning them off to your company entirely.
How Can I Make Sure My Customers Don't See My Message as a Money-Grab?
One of the best ways you can help your message click with each recipient is to take advantage of a CRM. Customer relationship management (CRM) gives you data on your customers, so you're never in the dark about who they are or what they're looking for. Most companies who have this software underestimate its potential to change the way their customers interact with them. Marketers who approach the topic with a fresh eye might notice that they've been missing out on some of its best features.
How Can I Optimize My CRM for Direct Mail?
Optimizing your CRM starts with doing the little things that are often pushed to the side for seemingly bigger fires.
When a customer moves or changes their phone number, it may take them a while to get around to changing the information. New data can trickle in slowly, with one department being made aware and the other never receiving the notification. But when you make it a priority for staff to update the CRM immediately, the marketing team never has to worry that they sent an email when the customers would have preferred a text or that they sent direct mail to the wrong residence.
Make Use of Your Analytics
From sudden spikes in business to subtle declines in customer segments, tracking the analytics of your CRM can have a huge impact on what and how you sell. Software can't replace instincts, but it can give you more data to confirm your hunches. A marketer or business owner has to understand what's driving the success of failure of their campaigns. If an email blast saw a particularly poor response rate, the CRM can only quantify the response (even if it can't necessarily tell you why the campaign failed). The analytics serve as a starting point so you can unravel the rest of the puzzle from there.
Refine Your Pitches
Both marketing and sales teams need to be armed with as much data as possible to make a strong connection with the customer. If you only know a few bare facts about a potential customer, you're going to have to do a lot of extra work to try to fill in the gaps. When you update your CRM and perform consistent analysis on the trends you're seeing, it's easier for everyone to adjust pitches to fit the customer and to counter their objections with reasonable responses. This can be done on the phone, in emails, on the website, and through direct mailers.
Dig Into Purchasing History
What a customer buys and when is powerful information that not all marketers know what to do with. You've likely already heard that it's easier to sell to old clients than new ones, especially if the customer has been reasonably happy with your company. A CRM can help you understand the additional ways to help the customers through your sales pitches. For example, if a customer purchased a car wash last month but hasn't had a wax in six months, you can remind send them a direct mailer about how a wax job can preserve the paint job and resale value of their vehicle.
The automation capabilities of a good CRM can eliminate a number of repetitive tasks that are likely costing your staff more energy than you think. From initial emails to new leads to promotion notices, you can still connect with customers by sending them relevant information — you just don't actually have to send any of it by hand. In fact, you might be shocked at just how much more free time you have to focus on the substance of your marketing.
What Type of CRM Platform Is Best for Me?
When it comes to choosing a CRM platform to boost your direct mailing services, you need to consider what the platform was initially built for. Was the software designed for small businesses in mind? Is it easy and intuitive to customize? How long will it take before employees know the system backwards and forwards?
Ideally, you're looking for a system that can be seamlessly integrated with your other systems, so there's less frustration and workarounds. Your CRM should also be scalable in case your company needs to upgrade or downgrade your direct mail advertising.
Look for a CRM that specializes in marketing tools, such as email pipelines or SMS messaging. (Just because you're sending out a physical mailer, doesn't mean you can't follow-up it up with a digital response.) A good CRM allows you to reach your customer across several platforms, which can be the key to keeping your company name relevant.
What Exactly Is Involved with Automating My Marketing?
Automating your marketing doesn't mean you take all the personal touches out of your connection with the customers. All it does is streamline your communication with customers, so you're not wasting time on the simple stuff when you could be focused on the real challenges that deserve your attention. CRM is built with purpose and efficiency in mind, so companies can improve their performance.
There are three general ways in which automation breaks down:
- Intelligence: What your customers do when they interact with your site can tell you more about what they want. CRM automatically tracks their behavior, so you can analyze their interests and needs. You can then divide your direct mail lists into different segments to get the most impact from each piece of mail.
- Internal: From marketing calendars to budgets, workflow automation can help a company with the more cumbersome workflow tasks that can stand in the way of more personalized marketing campaigns. This type of automation is usually best reserved for mid- to large-scale organizations.
- Development: Development automation can also help you segment your audience, but it uses more data than just website behavior. This can help you understand where your customer is in the sales funnel, so you're not pushing an upgraded package in a direct mailer when the recipient barely knows what your company does.
How Else Can I Use Marketing Automation?
When marketing automation is used correctly, businesses find they get better leads with less effort. Leaders find that their salespeople are more motivated because they're reaching out to people who are actually interested in what they have to say. When you have the right tools at your disposal, your mailers will deliver a message to customers that will stick with them.
You can also then see how different messages are processed by different people. If short, clever messages in orange and blue perform better than longer ads in all black, you'll have all the ammunition you need to start giving your campaigns a makeover.
Are There Any Drawbacks to CRM Automation?
Some experts have seen marketers trying to use automation as a cure-all for all of their problems. Taking this approach means that marketers ignore the beginning of the funnel — or the art of getting people interested in the company in the first place. In addition, some customers may become annoyed or confused if they're constantly being passed from one department to another, which can happen in a purely automated system.
To avoid this, marketers still need to have their eyes and ears on the target demographics to work out how to best tailor their direct mail printing. Automation tools are meant to deliver better data to the professional and save time on repetitive tasks, but you'll still need to come up with a mailing list and a campaign that actually says something meaningful.
Is It Worth All the Effort?
You might be wondering what exactly your ROI will be if you use CRM software to strengthen your direct mail marketing. We can't see into the future, but we can quote some promising statistics. Top-performing companies have reported that automation has been able to improve revenue by 79%. It can also increase the number of quality leads by 76%. This may explain why it's one of the top four methods to create a more customized experience for the customer in 2019.
This does not mean that every company sees the same results though. Some studies show that marketers are going too big when it comes to their CRM software. There's no use buying a cappuccino maker when instant coffee will do. If you only need a few tools right now to customize your direct mailers, then you may want to start there and add on later. Finding a platform that can be changed as your business changes can help you scale all of your campaigns — not just your direct mail.
If you want to learn more about how a CRM can help you generate more revenue, Boingo Graphics in Charlotte NC may be able to help. Our team can do more than create the artistic features of your mailers — we also understand how you can make your mailers work for your company's bottom line. Give us a call today to see how we can put your direct mail advertising on the fast track to success.