Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It’s Valentine’s Day and you have your eye on a special someone. Do you send them flowers? Chocolates? Invite them on a romantic outing? Your approach may determine the outcome of the courtship.
Much like wooing a valentine, your company must figure out the best ways to attract customers. You likely won’t use candy or roses, but rather effective marketing tactics that grab attention.
In this season of love, I have a few ideas on how you can market your business like a Casanova charms his paramour.
Make 70% of consumers feel special by sending them direct mail
According to a study on direct mail, 70% of consumers reported that mail makes them feel valued as a customer. And it’s no wonder because there’s something special about receiving a card or letter in the mail — whether it’s a Valentine or not.
I’ve been in the mailer marketing business for over 25 years, and it’s still true that people prefer getting snail mail over an email.
Statistics also prove that direct mail has an average engagement rate of 95% and is interacted with at least four times at home. This means you have more time to make a significant impact.
But starting a direct mail marketing campaign doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. With automation, you can schedule a postcard or letter campaign once for the entire year — in response to whatever trigger you want, like an abandoned shopping cart — and then watch the leads come in.
You can also automate postcards or letters to website visitors who poked around your site but didn’t convert, and you don’t have to lift a finger.
Sway 64% of consumers to purchase with a motivating offer
Just like a suitor courts their sweetheart, give your prospects a discount or free item to keep them interested. Even though Generation X and Boomers are the most likely to respond to an offer, few people can’t resist a good deal. A recent study found that 64% of affluent consumers say a coupon or discount speeds up their decision to purchase.
Your mail pieces should always feature an offer, but don’t forget to also provide that offer throughout your website, email marketing and digital advertisements.
Pop-up email sign-up forms help capture prospects’ contact information. Most people don’t like giving out their personal information, so offer a freebie or coupon code to persuade them to enter their email, phone number or address.
Depending on your industry, you might want to give a free guide, a free gift with a first purchase or a free week trial of services. Do some research, scope out your competitors, and find out what your industry’s most alluring offers are.
Once you have a prospect’s contact information, the sky is the limit for how often you make touchpoints along the sales-to-conversion journey.
You can also leverage abandoned shopping cart offers to bring an interested customer back to complete the sale. It’s cost-effective and has a super high return on investment.
If you want to supercharge these abandoned cart offers, include the prospect’s first name and the item they abandoned, like, “Sally, come back to your cart and receive 20% off!”
A free gift or discount may not be the only reason someone chooses your company over a competitor, but it certainly helps sway their final decision!
Get 60% of consumers to respond with integrated marketing
How do you keep your prospects interested enough to convert them to loyal customers — aka a committed relationship? A 2023 study shows that 60% of consumers are likely to respond to an advertising promotion when they see it across multiple channels.
So, in order to woo your audience, you need to consistently communicate with them through different types of platforms.
My business, PostcardMania, maintains a consistent email drip marketing campaign to stay in touch with both interested prospects and clients. It’s a comprehensive sales funnel (something designed to funnel leads to buyers) that includes emails, phone calls, digital advertising and mailers that keeps our brand in front of prospects.
Then, we constantly tweak, prune and maintain our funnel to maximize conversion, and I always encourage other business owners to create their own sales funnel.
Even if recipients don’t respond right away, don’t give up! I have one direct mail integration client who received our emails for years before reaching out to us to schedule a meeting. I’m glad we kept at it because he is one of our biggest VIP clients now and gives us great feedback!
When looking at your sales funnel, pay attention to where your leads are coming from, which channel they are most often responding to, and how those different mediums drive activity.
For example, if you notice a lot of people abandoning a shopping cart, implement a trigger-driven postcard that automatically reaches everyone who abandons their shopping cart. Include a special promo code, like EXTRA20OFF, that isn’t offered through any channel other than the postcard. Then, after a few months, check to see how many people made a purchase with EXTRA20OFF. If the revenue from those sales is more than you’ve spent on mailing the cards, that’s a successful funnel action you can implement in other parts of your funnel as well, or simply increase your budget for this action to see if that creates a better return on your investment.
Tweak the frequency of contact and your funnel as you learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Eventually, you’ll find a good routine, but I’d recommend re-evaluating your sales funnel every quarter. If you notice a drop in activity, start checking in on it earlier of course.
And never forget, the courtship phase never ends. Treat your returning customers well, and they will stay with you forever — much like a wife who is treated like royalty on the first date as well as the last.