Christmas is one of the most significant times of the year for buying and selling – making direct mail a wider part of the broader Christmas marketing strategy for any brand or business. Running a direct mail campaign can be a quick and effective way of attracting new customers to the brand, while potentially re-engaging established customers.

Make a statement

What better time to make a statement with a direct mail campaign than Christmas?

Christmas gives brands and businesses a wealth of opportunities that allow them to be more creative in their approaches and utilise more exciting ways of reconnecting and re-engaging with customers. Instead of opting for more traditional marketing materials, like leaflets or brochures, brands can sync their marketing activities with the season, and connect with customers through items like Christmas crackers, advent calendars or tree decorations.

In addition to this, brands and businesses are also presented with the opportunity to utilise the commercial season surrounding the Christmas period. Brands can sync up their marketing activities and efforts with significant events, like the twelve days of Christmas, and incentivise the purchase of products or services with vouchers and coupons.

By opting for campaigns that revolve around more original direct mail materials, businesses can help guarantee a way of starting a conversation with the customer. Direct mail items could be delivered to the customer paired with a hashtag, that the customer can then post about on social media. By encouraging the customer to share the direct mail material in this way, the brand or business will generate free word-of-mouth promotion. Collectively, these means can help to create buzz and excitement around the products or services.

As well as this, it is vital that brands or businesses are able to fully immerse the customer across a range of platforms and experiences. Now more than ever, if a brand is able to utilise a truly seamless omnichannel experience for their customers – ranging from direct mail to ecommerce – the customer is more likely to feel fulfilled by their experiences, thus meaning they will regard the brand or businesses in a positive way.

Personalisation

Personalisation, 2018’s marketing buzzword, really came to prominence this year, as marketers’ began to act on the links between tailored marketing communications and increasing sales. Customers have become accustomed to this, and now expect the experiences and customer service that they receive from a brand or business to be tailored to their interests, based on the data they have previously shared, in addition to their buying history.

When a brand or business customises their direct mail to suit the preferences of their customer base, they will potentially witness a notable increase in response rates. When a customer receives a piece of tailored marketing communication (such as a preview of a personalised product on the cover, or with a voucher for future purchases based on their buying history), they are more likely to follow any calls to action, and ultimately complete their customer journey.

Timing

Like any successful marketing campaign: timing is crucial. In reality, sending out direct mail in December is regarded to be very ineffective, with many marketers electing to send out Christmas communications in mid-November, or earlier (depending on the business).

By sending out communications at this point, the brand or business is more likely to engage with potential customers not only in the run-up to Christmas but also for any corresponding Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.

Planning also makes up a huge portion of the overall campaign, with many brands and businesses working six-to-twelve months in advance when preparing for Christmas. As the festive season presents brands with so many new and unique opportunities when it comes to connecting with old and new customers alike, getting the Christmas campaign “right” can potentially generate an increase in revenue and boost the brand’s status within the industry.

In addition to this, direct mail is inherently more memorable for customers. During November, when many potential customers are likely to be planning their Christmas purchases, they will potentially remember the communications they received, and act on it nearer to the big day.
If a brand or business can get the timing of a campaign “right”, they will engage with potential customers at the right moment, thus increasing the likelihood of the individual completing their customer journey, whether that be through completing a purchase or enquiring about services.

When done correctly, a direct mail campaign can have a positive impact on sales, thus subsequently giving the brand or business a positive return on investment, as the following brands have proven in previous years:Personalised Emma Bridgewater Postcard A5 size.Image Credit: Romax

By utilising personalised direct mail, Emma Bridgewater improved their ROI by 25%. Their Christmas campaign revolved around sending customers a catalogue, that was personalised with their first name. By digitally mapping the individual’s name onto the brochure, the brand witnesses not only an increased purchase rate, but also an increase in the number of conversations taking place about the brand on social media. This proves that even simple personalisation can be effective, and have a huge impact on the customer’s value to the brand, and their subsequent purchases.

Image Credit: Citipost

As a retailer, Boots have utilised the same direct mail campaign since 2010. When potentially faced with the worst Christmas since the financial crisis, they wanted to find a way of driving customers into stores to buy Christmas presents. After discovering that incentive-based direct mail campaigns had previously generated the best results, customers were mailed coupons that were tailored to their buying history, with the aim of persuading them to visit stores.

The results of the campaign were substantial: incremental profits increased by 60% and coupon redemption also increased by 25% due to customers receiving more relevant offers.

Ultimately, Christmas offers brands and businesses the opportunity to experiment with previously untested direct mail communications, that can help them to potentially entice new customers while reconnecting with the already-established customer base. Utilising direct mail can be a highly effective way of achieving this, as customers are more likely to remember the marketing communications they received via post, as opposed to being inundated with emails.

To help build a bespoke direct mail campaign this Christmas, contact Telescope today.