Are You Using the Right Type of Direct Mail?Although many companies know that direct mail is a highly effective form of contacting potential and existing customers and clients, they do not understand how it can be used differently for acquisition promotion and retention marketing.

In the quest for simplicity and cost savings, many people make the mistake of sending the same direct mail message to everyone.

This rarely works as well as they want because interested prospects and existing customers want different things from them. Customers who have done business with them before do not need to be wooed like potentials are. Their approach should be more personalized.

Acquisition Promotion Direct Mail 

The number one reason for acquisition promotion through direct mail is to attract more leads and get more business. The targets may have a general idea of what the company offers, but they also are introduced to it for the first time. In order to get a second glance, the direct mail piece needs to grab their attention. After that important goal is met, it needs to tell exactly why the company, products, or services can help them.

Attracting new customers or clients is all about creating a need for a particular company and what it has to offer. After these new prospects understand, they must be compelled to act on an offer or suggestion. This call to action creates a response. Much of acquisition promotion involves free items, trials, discounts, and special offers designed to make the direct mail recipient take action. This is the proverbial foot in the door. To boost the efficacy of the message, try limited time offers.

Retention Marketing with Direct Mail

Direct mail designed to hold on to existing customers or clients and encourage continuing transactions falls under the heading of retention marketing. If a company expands into a new market or offers a new product line, direct contact with existing customer base can boost sales.

Of course, most companies do not continually add new products or services to their offerings. This means that retention marketing contacts are limited and less frequent. Never send the same direct mail piece repeatedly to the same person. The message is more likely to end up in the trash and the opinion of your business may fall.

Retaining an existing customer poses less of a challenge than attracting new ones. The audience has already formed a level of trust and comfort with the company and is more open to receiving contacts from it. Also, a company understands what its customers and clients want best. The combination of these factors translates into cost savings and a greater return on your retention marketing investment.

The message sent still needs to be compelling and of value to the customer or client. Special offers and sales, new services, and the introduction of loyalty programs coupled with effective calls to action will get more responses. Even people who have had a positive experience buying from a company in the past can turn if bombarded with too much or too invaluable direct mail.

A combination of acquisition promotion and retention marketing may work is the same offer is extended to both possible and existing customers. The message needs to be clear so it speaks to both types of people. Many companies do this to save on postal fees. However, because acquisitions will usually make up a much greater percentage of marketing campaigns, it might be more feasible to separate the lists.

Retention-focused direct mail response rates will be higher than those for acquisition mailers. Marketing experts agree that 7 to 10 separate touches are necessary to build trust and transform an unaffiliated consumer to a customer. This includes all types of marketing including direct mail, telephone cold calling, Internet marketing, and print or media ads. Testimonials and positive reviews help acquisition targets trust a brand more quickly.

For best results, acquisition promotion and retention marketing through direct mail should focus specifically on the needs of the marketing campaign. Unique and specific attention and offers will encourage each group to take more action than if the message were combined.