An excellent channel to find new customers is through other businesses.

  • Identify non-competing businesses that have the types of customers you want.
  • Then, set up a win-win situation.
  • Offer to cooperate with them – they talk to your customers and you talk to theirs.

Do this via:

  • Free rides – brochures and offers included in each other’s mailings.
  • Special mailings – mailings to each other’s customers with introductory offers.
  • Brochures or incentive coupons – posted out or distributed at point of sale.
  • Package inserts.
  • Joint promotions and events.

Make sure that whatever you agree to is a win for your customers too, and adds genuine value for them.

Have you done this? Comment and let us know how it worked for your business.

Direct mail letter toolkit

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We’ve put together three examples of how you can connect with your customers by mail.

Take a look at our letters, adapt them to your business and use them for your next customer mail-out.

Saying thank you

It’s always nice to say thank you and this kind of ‘getting in touch’ with customers rewards loyalty, keeps your business top of mind and encourages repeat business. So:

  • Send a card or a letter.
  • Keep it short but sincere.
  • Be personal but not over familiar.
  • Thank customers for their business.
  • Encourage customers to come back – make a special offer or just remind them of all the good reasons why they chose to do business with you.

Boosting sales from existing customers

If you want to boost sales there’s no better way than to sell to existing customers. Use your customer database to get in touch with everyone who has purchased from you:

  • Send a letter, offer card or leaflet, or invitation.
  • Encourage repeat business with a special customer-only offer and/or event – a sale preview, special seasonal discounts, limited time giveaways or add-ons, a new product launch or a friend-get-friend offer.
  • Make sure you are clear about when any special offers or promotions end. But don’t forget that some of your customers might be away – so while you want everyone to act quickly, allow an extension if you can to those on holiday.
  • Don’t focus only on price – remind customers of all the good reasons why they have done business with you.

Introducing your business to new customers

Using direct mail is a great way to find new customers, boost sales and get people talking about your business. Introduce your business:

  • Send a letter, offer card or leaflet, or invitation.
  • Emphasise all the good reasons why readers should choose you. Tell them about the value, service and quality your business offers – these are usually more important to people than price, and are the characteristics that build loyalty.
  • Invite potential customers into your store with a special new customer offer and/or event – buy one get one free offers, a sale preview, a new product launch, special seasonal discounts or limited time giveaways and add-ons.
  • Make sure you are clear about when any special offers or promotions end. But don’t forget that some of your new customers might be away – so be flexible.

Is there a template not featured in our resource list that could help your business? Comment here and let us know how we can help.

How to write a good direct mail letter

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A well-written direct mail letter should:
  • Attract – first attract your reader’s attention.
  • Interest – arouse your reader’s interest early.
  • Desire – create desire for what you’re selling.
  • Convince – convince readers that it’s in their interests to take up your offer, suggestion or invitation.
  • Action – make it clear how readers should act and what they need to do.

Follow these basic guidelines to help you write an effective, call-to-action letter for your customers:

Write for easy reading

  • Use short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Grab the reader’s attention early.
  • Spell out what the major benefit/offer is at the top of the first page. Repeat this on the second page towards the close of the letter.
  • Use legible typefaces.

Personalise your letter

  • Personalised direct mail is the strongest form of direct mail.
  • Make sure recipients’ names are spelt correctly.
  • Don’t be over familiar or too casual.
  • If, for any reason, you can’t fully personalise your letters, you can use a default greeting. For example – Dear Customer, Member, Reader, Gardener.

Involve the reader

  • Tell them exactly what they will get by accepting your offer. Explain what readers will miss if they don’t act.

Establish credibility

  • Whenever possible emphasise that what you say is true with relevant proof and customer testimonials.
  • Be scrupulously honest – too many companies and advertisers tell their customers the truth as they would like it to be.

Ask for action

  • Ask for action now, and explain clearly what readers need to do to take up your offer.
  • Make it easy for readers to respond. Show electronic and postal addresses clearly. Including a FreePost™ or an International Business Reply™ envelope makes it easy for customers to respond or send orders. And you only pay when it’s used.

P.S. Use a post script (p.s.)

  • A p.s. is often the first part of the actual letter to be read. Use it to reinforce key points such as the offer itself, any major benefits as well as time limits.

Did you find this article useful? Comment and tell us.

Direct mail is personal and targeted. It’s cost-effective and it works. People like it and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Plus, it puts you in control of driving your customer relationships forward – steering them in the direction you want them to go.

You can use direct mail to:
  • Build relationships by sending out regular newsletters.
  • Maintain relationships with bounce-back offers and discount vouchers.
  • Send seasonal and special occasion messages.
  • Check customer satisfaction and gain feedback.
  • Update your address files – make it easy for customers to do this by including a FreePost™ envelope for their convenience.
  • Send eye-catching postcards about your new products.
  • Say ‘thank you’.
Need some help? Comment and tell us what direct mail advice would be helpful to your business. Plus, enter our competition to win free marketing advice*.

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