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In a previous post about “Fun with the (Marketing) Funnel,” we explored how email can be a powerful tool for bringing people into the fold and moving them through the purchase journey.

Today we’ll focus on direct mail.

Recently I presented a program called “Making the Dinosaur Dance” at the LeadingAge annual meeting with my colleague Erin Read. The entire presentation explored how the direct mail “dinosaur” still can be incredibly effective with a senior target market.

Why would I recommend direct mail as a part of this integrated strategy? According to Direct Mail News, the average response rate for direct mail is 4.4%. Marketing Charts data shows direct marketing as a top purchase influencer for boomers. It is an avenue that works very well with our boomer and senior target markets.

Direct marketing can be used in so many ways to help nurture your relationship with prospects through every step in the purchase journey. Google offers an interactive tool that looks at how marketing channels contribute to customer decisions. This image illustrates the healthcare industry (which, for some strange reason, the tool is no longer tracking):Graphic that illustrates the place of direct mail / direct marketing within the purchase journey

For nearly every industry analyzed, direct marketing acts as a final interaction. We’ve found that for marketing real estate or senior living, direct mail also can be an important catalyst while moving people to that final step.

So, how can you do this, you ask?

Awareness/Interest

A newsletter is a great way to further focus on your key unique selling propositions, whether that is the quality of your homes, the lifestyle of your community, milestone celebrations or a special promotion. Highlight new and unique insights of your organization that appeal to the aspirations of your prospects.

Consideration

Leveraging an opportunity to experience your offering can help move someone from general interest to consideration. Use a special event invitation to reward your prospects and encourage an engagement with your community – be it a milestone event like a model home opening or a lifelong learning program.

sample direct mail / direct marketing campaign that influenced consideration

I love this direct mail example because it tells the recipient exactly what they will be able to do – experience the community.  And as long as the experience matches the expectation it will be easy to move prospects to desire.

Action

Move recipients closer to action by offering incentives that are exclusive to those within your mailing list. Direct mail gives you a perfect place to highlight those opportunities.

By incorporating a powerful, limited time offer you can move people to action quickly by creating a sense of urgency.  They don’t want to miss out so they will have no choice but to act!

Advocacy

Referrals are consistency the number one source of traffic and sales. Reward them for sharing their experiences with friends with a special incentive, like K. Hovnanian did in this promotion:

Direct Mail sample - advocacy, retention

Just like email, direct mail can help extend your messaging and reach as you continue to move prospects through the purchase funnel towards action and beyond.

Have a direct mail success story?  We’d love to hear it (and learn from it) so be sure to share in the comment section below.

PART 1: Funnel Fun – Email Marketing That Gets You MOVING

About The Author

Beth Mickey

With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Beth serves as Client Services Director for Creating Results. As an expert in e-engagement, Beth applies her experience in strategic planning and execution of email and online marketing efforts for her clients to identify opportunities to leverage online and offline marketing avenues as part of an integrated marketing approach. Her experience serving both in a client and agency capacity helps her gain an understanding for her client’s needs and goals to maximize program performance and return on investment.

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