In a world where the battle to win customers is fiercer than ever, devising effective lead generation strategies should be a priority for all businesses. Direct mail is the secret weapon that can help your mail order business win the war.
What are Mail Order Businesses?
The simple definition, as per referenceforbusiness.com, states that a mail order business is one that “receives and fulfils orders for merchandise through the mail”. In essence, then, it is a term that defines any company that allows customers to make purchases using a mail order form before sending the ordered goods to their door via postal or courier services.
Changing consumer habits and expectations have forced the industry to evolve in recent years. For example, up to 76% of consumers will conduct online research before making a product while 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.
When combined with the growing need for speed, a mail order business may now take telephone sales and process online orders. Nonetheless, the fundamentals of mailing details of products to the consumer will remain at the heart of their ventures.
Is Mail Order the Same as Direct Mail?
When discussing mail order businesses, many people incorrectly use the terms “direct mail” and “direct marketing”. While they do not mean the same thing as “mail order”, the other two phrases are interchangeable and explain the marketing methods used to promote the company products.
Direct mail can take many forms, but will rely on printed materials to showcase the company’s stock. In most cases, a product catalogue that is accompanied by a mail order form is the ideal solution. However, other forms of brochures or leaflets may be used, especially in today’s climate where businesses can direct customers to online catalogues to see a full inventory.
In short, then, mail order is the business process while direct mail is the marketing strategy used to make customers aware of the products.
Engaging Your Customers with Direct Mail
On the face of it, a lot of business owners would be excused for assuming that direct mail has become obsolete. After all, why wait a few days when an email can be sent and received in seconds? The answer is all in the open rates.
Stats show that, if you’re lucky, the click through rate of emails delivered is 2.5%. So, for every 1,000 emails that you send, just 25 will actually make an impact. And that’s not counting emails that bounce back or are wrongly caught by spam filters. When you only have a small mail list to start, those low open rates simply won’t suffice. Direct mail has a far greater impact for many reasons, including but not limited to;
- Postal communication is far less common than in previous generations, so people are more likely to read it.
- Readers can browse products and brand information at their convenience.
- There are no issues with waiting for content to load.
- Direct mail feels more personal than other forms of brand communication.
- The direct mail marketing materials may be read several times over a few days rather than having a single interaction.
For direct mail to have any hope of success, however, it needs to encourage strong engagement levels. There are several ways to achieve this. Personal touches like adding the recipient’s name can boost success rates by 500% while something as trivial as the package size can influence the consumer’s next move.
Working with experts like Snapmail enables you to maximize the impact of your direct mail marketing strategies through an understanding of consumer habits as well as B2B client interactions. From grabbing the attention with colour schemes, branding, and headline offers that pique their interest to presenting product details in the right way, every element will be built to guide recipients towards the intended CTA.
With a modern approach to a traditional marketing strategy, the future of the mail order business will look brighter than ever.