Direct mail coupons have been used for decades to get special offers into the hands of shoppers. The three typical components required to execute a direct mail campaign is a mailing list, the offer/content for the mailing, and a production shop to produce and mail the pieces. It boils down to the “who” the “what” and the “how.” The mailing list is where customer segmentation and database marketing begins. Marketers may choose to send an offer to people within their current database that meet certain criteria. Alternatively, marketers may choose to use a 3rd party list of “new” customers to execute a campaign aimed at acquiring new customers.
Most direct mail coupons are part of a larger direct-marketing or database marketing effort. As such, it requires marketers to have a database of customers. Without an “owned” database asset, marketers are left mailing coupons to anonymous lists they rent from outside vendors, often with dubious quality. It is important to gain a deeper understanding of one’s customers or shoppers and the various data around a customer’s interaction with your brand. If you don’t have a customer database starting with names, emails, addresses and basic preferences, now’s the time to start. It’s the cornerstone for executing continuity marketing strategies and creating and building buyer loyalty. It’s important to capture the right data on who your customers are, such that you can tailor a program over time and drive optimized results.
Direct mail coupons strategies require the right customer data to segment and execute campaigns effectively. Direct mail coupon strategies are often tied to a CRM database strategy. Customer Relationship Marketing, or CRM for short, is an important part of gaining a deeper understanding of one’s customers or shoppers and the various data around a customer’s interaction with your brand. A marketer without the right data might send a direct mail coupon to the wrong customer or bombard a customer every week until the customer is ready to buy the product again. Alternatively, if the marketer had useful purchase frequency information, she might execute a well-timed email 2-5 days before the customer is ready to buy might to drive another product purchase.
Segmentation can be laborious and time-consuming, but fundamentally relies on the quality of the customer data the marketer has access to. Inaccurate or incomplete data can create segments that don’t respond to the mailer. Given the cost to product and mail coupons, marketers need to be extra careful that they are reaching the right shoppers.
With the right data and customer mailing lists, direct mail coupons can help build customer loyalty and ensure continuity of purchase. It’s an effective way to remind shoppers to keep buying what they’ve been buying or to try related products. It all starts with understanding who your customers are, what they want and need, and what makes them tick. It’s the cornerstone for building customer loyalty and sets you up to execute continuity marketing.
However, doing direct mail coupons doesn’t equate to building customer loyalty. It’s how you use the data and coupon frequency to create better customer experiences in all possible marketing communications. That’s a key reason why good continuity marketing programs can be effective. It’s as simple as reminding the customer they might need product X, Y or Z in the near-future and not to forget to put it on her list.
Direct mail coupons can be an effective tool at increasing purchases and frequency by customers. However, they can be even more effective if marketers leverage data to deliver more value to that specific customer in a timely fashion based on that specific customer’s preferences and desires. Technology, data and personalization solutions can help automate and scale a customer-centric direct mail coupon program.
If you are interested in discussing how direct mail coupons can be leveraged dynamically with data to increase customer relevance and loyalty, please contact us today. We partner with forward-thinking marketers like you to bring strategic thinking and digital innovation that build the type of customer relationships that empower meaningful growth.
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