A marketing brochure is your best bet when you want to highlight the features and benefits of your service or product, but a cover letter is more effective when it comes to convincing potential customers that your product/service is something they need.
Combine both of these marketing mediums in the same envelope, and you’ll have a direct mail marketing kit that not only educates your target market but also gently pushes them to take that next step.
Something for everyone
After opening a direct mail envelope, most recipients will grab for either the brochure or the cover letter. But this isn’t random. Some people prefer to dive into the details of a brochure first. Others want to know what’s in it for them before they spend more time perusing things, so they start with the cover letter. It’s personal. Include both in your marketing kit, and you’re sure to satisfy everyone’s preference.
Many small- and mid-sized businesses are loath to launch a segmented marketing campaign. They’re so used to generic campaigns that the idea of launching a marketing effort that only appeals to a sub-group can be downright frightening.
The key: Remember that marketing to sub-groups is almost always much more lucrative than any generic campaign. Sub groups with a real affinity for your product or service will buy more, buy more often, and spread the good word about your business.
Generic advertising is everywhere, and people have learned to simply tune it out. If you want to open their eyes to what you have to sell, you’ve got to present it in way that resonates with them on a personal level. That’s what segment marketing is all about.
Direct mail can produce results, but in order to get those results you have to execute it correctly. Here are five common direct mail marketing mistakes you’ll want to avoid:
- Launching a mishmash of marketing efforts without an overall plan. In order for your direct mail marketing program to be a success, you’ve got to embrace every stage of the customer lifecycle:
- Lead-generation phase – Everyone understands this stage. This is when you try to attract the attention of potential customers.
- Nurture phase – Once you’ve developed some leads, your next challenge is encouraging those prospects to take the next step. This is the time to feature customer testimonials, make special offers, compare your products/services to those of competitors, and send out regular announcements regarding any awards, improvements or new offerings.
- Purchase phase – Once money changes hands (or contracts are signed), the purchase phase is in play. Your goal at this stage is to maintain the customer’s trust and confidence so they’ll happily segue into the “loyalty” phase. At the very least, send a welcome card that congratulates the person on their purchase and reiterates some of the benefits and advantages of your product or service.
- Loyalty phase – Instead of letting customers fall through the cracks after they’ve made a purchase, offer them special discounts on follow-up services, upgrades and new purchases; ask for feedback (surveys are great); and request their help with referrals.
Most small businesses have a niche they like to target with their marketing (a particular neighborhood, an age group, people from a specific socio-demographic, etc.). But there’s one niche that just about every business can benefit from: new-movers.
“New-movers” are households that have been living at their current address for 12 months or less. And boy are they eager to develop relationships with the service providers in their new neighborhood. Think about it: These are folks who need to find a new bank, a new gym, a new gardening service, a new tanning salon, new service providers for their pets, new doctors and so much more.
Congratulations, you made the sale! Now it’s time for some follow-up marketing.
Say what? Why bother a buyer after they’ve made a purchase? Well, because ….
- Finding and acquiring a new customer costs about five to seven times more than simply maintaining a profitable relationship with a current customer.
- Recent buyers are interested in accessories, upgrades and related products / services.
- Satisfied buyers are excellent sources of referrals.
- Satisfied buyers make great success stories.
- Being proactive with tips and advice can cut down on customer-service calls.
A five-step process
Everyone knows making the sale is key. The problem is, most small- and mid-sized businesses focus so much on making those initial sales that they miss out on the post-sale growth and income opportunities.
Don’t let new customers languish. Use this five-phase follow-up marketing plan to turn them into long-term sources of revenue, referrals and more:
Most of us don’t plan exactly what we’re going to say, and how, before striking up a conversation. That’s life. However, that’s not good marketing. Launch a direct mail, email or social media marketing effort without contemplating the key messages, the market, the medium you’ll use and the design of the materials, and you’ll most likely regret the results.
Before launching any marketing effort, the first thing you’ll want to determine is, who’s going to be on the receiving end. Will it be current customers, past customers, prospective customers, or perhaps customers that live in a subsection of your target market? Before you answer “all of the above,” consider this: Marketing efforts that speak directly to a subsection of your total target market will always perform better than mass mailings.
One of the best real estate marketing ideas is to use promotional products, such as pens, notepads and other items, branded with your company logo, yet many companies overlook the benefit of such products. Branded promotional products keep your logo and company in the mind of everyone who uses those items, as well as the people around them who see the products being used.
According to the latest survey from the Promotional Products Association International, 88 percent of people who received a promotional product during the past year remembered the advertiser imprinted on those items. In addition, the survey found that 53 percent use a promotional item at least once a week or more often. With such a large percentage of people remembering your company because of a free pen or coffee mug, it is easy to see why promotional products are one of the best real estate marketing ideas.
The final step in your real estate marketing plan is to measure how your campaigns and strategies performed. While there is no one exact way to measure the success of real estate marketing strategies, several methods can indicate whether the campaign was a success.
Review Original Goals
Remember, the first step in evaluating the effectiveness of any real estate marketing plan is to review the original goals. If the goal was to increase lead-to-client ratio, check to see if the leads generated from advertising were greater than in previous campaigns. If the goal was to increase sales, check sales figures from previous periods against the period of the real estate marketing campaign to see if sales increased.
So often you hear direct-marketing experts talk about the need to “break through the clutter” and grab your target audience’s attention. Makes sense. Heck, it even sounds fun. But just how do you go about doing it?
If you really want to make an impact (especially with a marketing postcard, where space is limited), try the question-and-answer format. Instead of the usual canned messages and marketing doublespeak, you address your target audience’s biggest concerns head-on in a simple Q&A format:
Once you have determined the budget, set goals, identified the target audience and defined the message for your real estate marketing plan, it is critical to choose the right advertising channels for your campaigns. The message may be perfectly crafted, but unless the correct distribution channels are used, the message runs the risk of not reaching the intended audience.
Choosing the Right Channels
There are many real estate marketing channels, including social media, direct mail and email, and it may be difficult to decide which channel best fits your real estate marketing plan. In reality, the budget and your target market should determine the channels that will give your agency the best return on investment. Although many agencies consider social media as “free” marketing, this channel is one that must be handled properly in order to generate the desired results (leads and sales). Review all options for real estate marketing and build a plan of action that works based on your budget and how your target market shops.