Small businesses are the pillars upon which the world’s economy sits on. They hold the globe up like Atlas, bearing long hours and even longer days. So crucial to the business world that civilizations would crumble without them. Upon losing them, the earth would spin out of orbit losing its gravitational pull….
Alright, alright, I may be exaggerating a bit. But there’s no denying the importance of small businesses in this world. And since I work at one, I have as much pride in our company as the next person. Because of that, I want every small business out there to succeed. So let me share four reasons why direct mail is essential for the success of small businesses.
1. Existing Customers Are Important
I know what you’re thinking about hearing that, “Well, gee wiz Ryan, I had no clue…” Existing customers are important in every size of business. But I would argue, they increase in importance even more with a small business. We can’t magnetize new customers like massive corporations like Amazon or Apple can. No, gaining new customers takes lots of resources and effort when your marketing is on a much smaller scale. That means retaining and delighting your existing customer base is critical in keeping your business successful. Here’s where direct mail comes in.
Tell me which of these two cards is more effective to your customers? A mass emailed eCard from Jacquie Lawson that never gets opened in their inbox? Or a personally crafted paper and envelope Christmas card wishing them a wonderful holiday season? Direct mail carries a huge impact especially when mailed to your existing customers. It gives them a personal touch from you. It shows that you care about them and they’re not just another dollar sign walking through the door. Direct mail is essential to giving your existing customers the attention they deserve.
2. Consistency Is Key
Statistics show that it can take somewhere from seven to 13 different touches for a prospect to recognize your company. That doesn’t even account for how many touches it takes to move them to a sale. The takeaway from this statistic is that consistency is key. You can’t keep customers or attract new ones by only sending out a quarterly newsletter or a blog post a year. It takes consistency to maintain those existing relationships and develop new ones. Direct mail is essential for developing this consistency. There’s no better avenue than sending a monthly newsletter. I would definitely recommend sending a print one. And at the very least, send a monthly e-newsletter. This gives your customers something to look forward to each month. You can use this newsletter to entertain, educate, inform, and delight.
Show your customers that you’re here to stay and you want to them to stick around too. You need to be reaching out often to stay at the top of their mind when they make their next buying decision. They may not be ready to buy in January, but when they pull the trigger in July, you can bet that reading your monthly newsletter will get them in your store.
3. Direct Mail Develops A Relationship
One of my favorite supporting arguments for why direct mail is essential is the scientific effect it has on the brain. Check out this article about the impact direct mail has neurologically. The UK’s Royal Mail, came to the conclusion that tangible materials leave a deeper footprint on the brain. That means with each piece you send to your customer, they are having an “emotional experience” with you. For a few seconds, they have some sort of relationship to your brand and product without any distractions. Digital media and email just don’t have the same type of impact.
So when talking about the importance of maintaining and keeping existing customers, it seems like direct mail is a no brainer. (pun intended). Sending them mail continues to build and strengthen your relationship with each piece they receive. Other media channels simply don’t have the same impact.
4. Stand Out Against Your Competition
We know better than anyone that competition can be a challenge in the way of your marketing efforts. It definitely shouldn’t be your focus at all times, but it’s always a good thing to be aware of what they’re doing. And lucky for you, they’re probably not sending out direct mail. Use that to your advantage and stand out from the rest. While prospects are dealing with pushy door to door salesmen, send them a no-pressure postcard with a killer design. Or reach out with a creative lumpy mailer. This will capture their undivided attention, giving you the advantage. Combined with an enticing offer, this can be effective in increasing sales conversions.
And you never know, you may even steal a few customers from your competitors with a jaw-dropping mail piece delivered at the right time. It’s much easier to separate your company from the rest with a mail piece, than a digital ad. Because think about it, most people skim over the ads on Facebook anyway. Be creative and find what works best for your small business.