Direct mail entrepreneur Tony Kemp knows a thing or two about building a brand. Now the brains behind digital print and direct mail firm DMP and its platforms Hello Market and Giving.Cards, has come up with his own top tips for companies wanting to make the most of their direct mail opportunities to engage with customers in a busy marketplace.
Said Tony: "Up to now it has only been big businesses with deep pockets who could afford this kind of brand building activity. Now small and medium sized businesses can join in. Big company tactics at a small company budget is out there.
"The Federation of Small Businesses latest member survey indicates that more than one in five companies feels their lack of marketing skills is holding them back (1). With advances in technology, marketing tools which anyone can use are now readily available and offer a great opportunity to boost brands of all sizes."
One to one communication
"Speaking directly to your individual customer via a direct mail campaign can trump anything else you may do to market your business - if it's done well. The more it is personalised, the more it makes the client feel special, it's friendly and shows attention to detail. So the logical progression is to individualise as much as possible in your direct mail marketing activity," said Tony.
Electronic or traditional?
Research suggests that most people prefer traditional mail rather than email.
According to the Royal Mail's MarketReach research (2), direct mail is seen by consumers as being more authoritative and informative than email. They are also more likely to go online after considering a direct mail missive. Emails are perceived as being more informal and quick - but 70 percent of respondents also said they felt they received too many emails.
And research has shown that 51 percent of emails are deleted within two seconds (3) whereas 69 percent will open a letter from a company about a promotion or special offer. Furthermore, 60 percent will open mail if it's from a company about a product or service they don't currently have.
Add to this a poll of 9,000 people for CMS Ltd (4) which suggests that 83 percent of people feel direct mail is easier to take in than email and it is becoming obvious that targeting doormats makes business sense.
Said Tony: "Use this knowledge to your advantage. Contact via email, but ignore the power of the post through the letterbox at your peril."
Remember to make your direct mail attractive and eye catching.
Tony commented: "With software such as Hello Market readily available and so easy to use, every business large or small has access to literally thousands of really well-designed, fully flexible templates to create direct mail which will make an impact. Hello Market allows marketers and businesspeople to produce professional looking direct mail adapted to suit individual recipients."
"Pictures can make a significant impact on your customer. Choose wisely and vary where possible. Beware using a poor photo - something which isn't up to standard doesn't create a very professional impression. Luckily Hello Market has a huge library of quality images which can be used," said Tony.
Print techniques and clever colour
"Think about how the customer will feel when handling your communication. Full colour is standard these days, but there are clever techniques available such as gloss and watermarking which will make your mailing special," advised Tony.
DMP offers traditional litho and digital print technology from its base in Royd Way, Keighley. Its Hello Market platform, which allows businesses of all sizes to create personalised, fully flexible, online direct mail campaigns, is constantly evolving as the company reacts to customer needs.
1 FSB Member Survey 2013-2014
2 Royal Mail's MarketReach report 2014
3 Litmus Email Analytics 2013
4 Direct mail statistics as quoted http://www.centralmailing.co.uk/direct-mail-statistics-2014/