Letters, Envelopes and Direct Mail Marketing
Letters are a fantastic way to engage with your customers and prospects. They’re cost-effective, reasonably simple to artwork-up – you can get as complicated and data-driven as you like – and, like other types of direct mail, they’re highly targeted.
So, if you’re thinking about using a letter for your next direct mail campaign, here are some points you might want to consider first.
Automatic Handwritten Letters
Did you know you can get your direct mail pieces ‘authentically’ handwritten by robots?!
The handwriting is based on real handwriting that’s learned by a computer. Then, a robot arm, holding a real pen, is used to write the letter based on one of a number of handwriting styles.
And the end results are truly astounding. It’s pretty well impossible to differentiate the letter from a letter written by a person – the ink, the paper, even the pressure of the pen – all match that of a human writer.
Except, perhaps, the robot-written letter’s a lot neater!
If you’re interested in usuing this technology, it does take time to actually write each campaign so it’s best suited to smaller, more personalised runs.
Like any print marketing these days, DM letters can be data-driven.
The rule of thumb is that whatever data you have in your database, it can be used to drive the personalisation. Which means the letter itself can be personalised in terms of basic elements such as personalised names and body copy, and if you want to include pictures or graphics – imagine a prospecting holiday letter sending pictures from a recently visited resort for example – they can be data-driven too.
So too, the envelope can have data-driven copy or artwork printed on it, with calls to action and personalised grapnhics if required. Or you might want to keep the envelope clean, leaving the recipient curious to ensure they open the letter.
And of course, targeting of direct mail letters is entirely data-driven too.
Addressing your Direct Mail Letters
If you have an opted-in house list of customers, then you can use that to address your letters.
If you don’t – you can of course buy in a GDPR compliant prospects list from a reputable data house. That’s something Webmart can help you with.
But beyond that, and you’d rather not go down the buying in customer data route, you can try Partially Addressed Mail.
If you understand your target demographic, PAM allows you to find lookalike customers and target specific postcodes where those similar customers reside. It’s cost-effective and can be a great way to find new customers without holding their opted-in data.
Direct Mail Examples
Here’s some common ways DM letters are used to acquire and retain customers:
- Marketing Letter
- Transactional Letter
- Fundraising and Charity
- Special Offers and Vouchers
Letters can be a great way to communicate with customers and prospects. If they’re done right, they can be a hyper-personalised way to nurture or retain customers, offering you a tactile and welcomed way to stay in touch and promote offers.
Marketing letters can be relatively plain and uncluttered or they can be full colour with lots of personalised offers and customer-relevant imagery.
Depending on the style of letter you’d like, we offer a variety of production methods – including in-line finishing, folding and enclosing – designed to streamline production and keep costs as low as possible.
Fundraising and Charities
We’re all familiar with fundraising letters from charities. Charities use letters because they’re relatively inexpensive and they appeal to a wide age range, with young and old alike loving receiving letters.
Successful letters from charities usually include a clear, specific call to action, a heartwarming (or tragic!) story to encourage engagement and if they’re an existing donor, a thank you message along with a campaign update.
Letters are particularly useful for charities because letter distribution covers over 95% of the UK population and doesn’t require any fancy technology to access messaging or respond to calls to action (such as a smartphone), making letters a particularly accessible way to communicate with your target audience.
Transactional letters are trusted ways to communicate with customers. In an increasingly digital world, many customers love to have transactional communications through the letterbox. They can be used for receipts, statements, updates, cover letters, policy details and so on. These often need to be securely printed and closely tied into your customer database.
Special Offers and Vouchers
Direct mail letters are ideally suited for distributing vouchers and personalised special offers to entice purchasing. These can be data-driven to appeal to specific customers or have more general messaging to target a wider demographic.
Special offers and vouchers can be crafted to really stand out to customers too. Perforated sections, golden tickets and even credit card style cards can be produced in-line and attached to your letter (if you know where to go!).
And if you manage your response mechanisms corretly, you can get excellent – measurable – results from your DM letter campaigns.
Letter Response mechanisms
There’s a range of reponse mechanisms that our customers use to handle enquiries, responses and orders from their letter camapigns. Whichever route is chosen is often dependent on organisational preference which, in turn, is dictated by customer preferences.
Popular response mechanisms include:
A personalised website landing page that’s dynamically created for each customer with offers and online ordering.
Non personalised landing page
This might be an ordering page or a direction to a specific campaign-relevant landing page to capture traffic and ordering metrics.
Products, offers or other content can have a QR code which will direct customers to online products, stories, videos or order pages.
Call centres and phones
If you have a call centre, DM campaigns can be timed with staffing levels and campaign response rates measured directly by asking the customer.
Offer & voucher codes
Include a specific offer or voucher and allow the customer to quote it when ordering. Offers are a superb way to encourage actions and track responses.
Old school but still popular with some demographics, mail-in vouchers or postcards can be useful to capture feedback, enquiries and orders.
If you’re thinking you’d like to use a letter as part of your next direct mail campaign. Or if you’d like to improve or optimise your existing letterbox campaign, we’d love to talk to you and chat through your options. Please fill out the form below or call us on 01869 321321.