5 Last-Minute Ways to Use Direct Mail to Boost Your Holiday Sales

5 Last-Minute Ways to Use Direct Mail to Boost Your Holiday Sales

The holidays are upon us. People are closing out the year and considering the coming one. Marketers are flurrying to reach their audiences; nurturing and creating connections with Q1 coming up on the horizon.

Email marketing has been a pillar of holiday marketing campaigns in the past few years, but inboxes are getting more crowded. In fact, email volume during the 2016 holiday season was up by 23% from the previous year, according to Experian. Because of this, marketers are searching for creative ways to stand out.

Enter direct mail. Sending physical pieces of mail, especially during the holidays, is a good way to reach your audience. According to the United States Postal Service, 69% of people feel that physical mail is more personal than the internet and 98% of Americans check their mail daily. Not to mention that these same recipients report spending 30 minutes a day with their mail.

This holiday season, consider how you can creatively integrate direct mail into your overall marketing strategy. Here are 5 different ways to use direct mail for the holidays.

1. Offer deals and promotions

The best way to generate sales during the holidays is to offer deals and promotions. There’s no better way to clue an audience into a deal than with a postcard. Many postcards offer traditional coupons with barcodes, but you can also use direct mail to share that a sale or deal is happening on a specific date.

Try it yourself:

  • Personalize deals to specific customer segments, based on geography
  • Create unique deals based on interests that you’ve discovered from building your list

2. Promote retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Businesses large and small participate in holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday. Consumers are often looking for deals around this time, and direct mail provides a great opportunity to alert customers to your offers.

You can even segment your lists, sending particular deals to customers who will be interested. For example, you might send different postcards to loyal customers than you do to prospective ones.

Try it yourself:

  • Be very specific in the products that you’re showcasing in your offers.
  • If you find yourself scrambling to come up with Black Friday or Cyber Monday offers, consider sending a postcard mailer after the retail holiday when shoppers are in a bit of a lull.
  • Use postcards to drive foot traffic to your store from last-minute shoppers.

3. Automate direct mail based on past behavior

Direct mail APIs allow you to integrate your campaigns with CRMs and other platforms. Using these integrations, you can automate direct mail during the holiday season, ensuring that people are automatically sent the right messages.

For example, if customers have previously bought certain items from you, you can automate messages based on past purchases.

Try it yourself:

4. Say thanks

Now is the perfect time of year to say thank you to loyal customers. It’s actually much easier to upsell to existing customers than to find new customers, and saying thank you is a good way to create a connection with those who already trust you.

Direct mail is much more personal than an email, and APIs make it easy to thank your audience for specific actions. For example, if a customer bought a house with your real estate agency in the past year, you can automatically send them a personalized thank you card with an image of their new home.

Try it yourself:

  • Especially if you’re in crunch mode, consider developing a basic thank you campaign: acknowledge your customers without pressuring them into a sale.
  • Create a CTA on your mailer that creates an incentive for Q1. You can even include a promotional code or mailer to track performance of your thank you campaign, long-term.

5. Spread good cheer, and celebrate

The holidays are a time for warmth and good feeling. We work extra hard to be considerate of others, give gifts to those we love, and spend as much time as we can with friends and family. Sometimes, the best direct mail campaign you can send is a simple one-- it’s a campaign that spreads good cheer and warmth at a time when people are brimming with good feelings.

Try it yourself:

  • Come up with a few templates for holiday cards: choose messaging that’s funny, heartwarming, smart, and optimistic depending on your customer segments.
  • Instead of running what could be a basic branding campaign, turn your outreach strategy into a relationship-building process with your sales and account management team. You can even include a CTA with a link back to your blog or newsletter, to continue the dialogue and conversation with your target audiences.

Empowering direct mail at scale

With the holidays around the corner, you probably have countless action items on your agenda. If you’re a B2B business, you’re likely focused on Q1 renewals and pursuing new business for 2017. If you’re a B2C business, you’re likely looking to make last-minute marketing pushes with your highest value customers.

If you find yourself strapped for time, do not fret.

Especially when it comes to Black Friday and Christmas, "last minute" and “crunch time” began weeks, if not months ago. Even still, it’s not too late for you to automate your direct mail marketing campaigns. For instance, you could use your existing CRM data to trigger a postcard mailing. You could even acquire a list of potential customers, based on demographic or psychographic criteria that you set.

In the spirit of simplicity and execution, we’ve published a postcard template for you to download and try: a basic "thank you" to spread some holiday cheer. Test it out, and let us know what you think. Of course, Lob’s team is here to help you set up a campaign in a matter of days.

Download Template