Nowadays, traditional print mail or “snail mail” feels retro and outdated. Sending things in the mail sounds very old fashioned in the age of instant communication, but there might actually be a lot to learn about snail mail even now.
Sending snail mail isn’t just to keep the post office open. It’s also a powerful way to connect with your customers. It’s inexpensive, and it’s an opportunity to really get a customer’s attention. Let’s explore why snail mail matters more in 2020 and how you can use it to your advantage.
Generate Local Awareness
If you’re marketing locally, snail mail is one of the best ways to gain brand awareness in your local area. You have the ability to target your zip code, specific neighborhoods, and demographics.
From letting local customers know that you’re open to enticing people to visit an in-person storefront, snail mail is the cheapest way to reach these individuals. When it comes to reaching your audience locally, there are few ways that work as effectively as a local direct mail campaign.
Consider how many emails you get on a daily basis. If you’re like the average American, you get so many that it’s hard to even bat an eye at any business-related emails in your inbox. This is just the reality of email marketing, and it’s no longer as effective as it once was.
On the other hand, people reportedly spend 42% more time scanning and reading direct mail compared to emails. This means people are spending more time reading your content, understanding your offer, and so on. If you want your messages noticed, it’s worth considering something beyond email.
In addition to recipients paying closer attention to snail mail, they also hold onto it longer. Most messages don’t live in the users’ inbox very long. However, advertising mail is kept in the household for an average of 17 days. This is significantly longer than the lifecycle of an inbox email.
Save Money and Time
Most importantly, snail mail is more cost-effective. Email marketing takes a lot of time and effort. Creating a full-scale email funnel that’s targeted to your ideal user is a great practice, but it’s no easy task. In addition, you’ll need to pay to manage your email list with a management service, and this could be expensive month-over-month.
On the other hand, printing things like postcards or catalogs is more affordable. When mailed to a targeted list, like repeat customers, it costs significantly less while still getting the right customers’ attention. If you’re worried about saving time and money, snail mail might be the best option.
How to Get Started with Snail Mail
The best part about snail mail compared to other types of marketing is you can easily start small. You don’t need a huge budget to start your campaign. There are a lot of different ways to use snail mail to help improve brand awareness and increase customer retention. You might consider using snail mail if:
- Opening or reopening: If you’re opening or re-opening your business, alert new customers about your in-person business.
- Sale or discount: If you have a discount or sale, sending an offer is a great way to let people know and get them interested.
- Networking: Snail wail can always be a great networking tool. If you recently met businesses or customers at a trade show, networking event, or in-person, sending a follow-up through snail mail is a great idea.
- Seasonal: You can also send seasonal cards (ie. Happy Holidays) as an excuse to send something nice to your customers and clients and let them know you’re thinking of them.
What type of things do your customers or clients want to receive via snail mail? There are a lot of options available at any price, but these are some of the most popular ideas:
- Postcards: While oversized envelopes have the highest response rate, postcards also get a high response rate (4.25%) and impress customers.
- Printed newsletters: Physically sending informative, valuable articles is also a good option for certain demographics. For example, older adults generally respond well to having short articles and tips they can review themselves in print.
- Discounts: Fliers featuring discounts, coupons, and promo codes are always welcome.
- Thank yous: Thanking your best customers for their loyalty is a welcome, kind way to build a relationship with your customers.
Think Strategic About Snail Mail
While snail mail often gets overlooked, it might just be the next hidden gem in marketing. By marketing to your best customers, local demographics, and key professionals, you’ll make sure your business is on the map.
Snail mail in 2020 is the best way to give your customers that “wow” factor without costing your budget an arm and a leg. From postcards to seasonal cards, you’re helping your business stand out with each stamp.