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Making Direct Mail Work: Grow Your Retail Store

Nov 02, 2011

There are numerous ways to get customers into your retail store (and buying!) – online marketing, social media, radio and TV advertising, the list goes on – but direct mail is still one of the most powerful tools you can use to drive business.  Why?  For one, direct mail gives you more flexibility (no restrictions on format or message filtering like with online marketing).  Another reason, it’s proven successful.

So direct mail works to drive traffic into your retail store.  How to do it?  Here are four basic direct mail tools to help you generate quick and effective sales:

1. A postcard.  Postcards are a short-and-to-the-point way of getting your message out.  They’re easy to design and print.  And in what other marketing medium is a 100% open rate guaranteed?  The point with a postcard is to grab your customers’ attention the minute they open their mailbox, so go big, use images, and highlight your offer and call to action above all else.

For example, say you just got in a new shipment of denim jeans and want to promote them to your existing customers with a 10% off coupon.  Remember that most people don’t thoroughly read postcards – they glance at them. So make the words “denim jeans” and “10% off” stand out and keep your store’s name and logo easily (and quickly) identifiable.  Note that customers need to bring in the postcard to receive the discount – that way they’ll hold on to it and keep you top of mind…all the way to your door.

If you’re targeting new customers, it’s extra important to have your phone number, website and street address big and noticeable so that customers can’t miss it; you might even print a map right next to your 10% off coupon.

2. A flyer. Flyers are an effective form of direct mail for small or large retail stores of all types. Again, even though there’s more room than a postcard for images and content, customers are most likely to skim over your content (remembering only the most important pieces) – especially as they’re deciding whether or not to actually sit down and read the flyer.  So if you’re advertising your grand opening, for example, then make the words “grand opening” stand out.

Design the outside of your flyer to tease your customers to open it (and eventually come into your store). A flyer should offer information (like what type of merchandise your store carries or relevant news and tips) but can also contain marketing elements, like a printed coupon and map to your store.

3. A self-mailer booklet.  If you really have a lot to say (and show) then self-mailer booklet might be your best choice. They’re colorful (like a postcard), but can hold more written content (like a flyer) – and more. If you design them right – to include relevant, useful information that people will want to hold onto – they can be a great way to keep your business top-of-mind with your customers.

For example, if you own a shoe store, use the booklet self-mailer to show colorful photos of the latest back-to-school shoes and explain why you’re the best choice for school shoe shopping.  You can even offer a back-to-school shoe coupon on the back cover.  That way, you’re giving enticing product information (think of it as a mini-catalog) and at the same time giving customers a compelling reason to come into the store (the coupon).

4. Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) EDDM Retail is designed to reach a broad audience in a localized area, so it can work great for local businesses that serve lots of different kinds of local customers. The bakery or pizza shop, video store or dry cleaners, lunch spot, or grocery store whose customers are grandparents at the local retirement center, young people from the nearby apartment complex, business people from the nearby office park, and young families in the surrounding master planned community.  There’s no need to purchase a mailing list, and with postage just 14.2 cents per piece, EDDM makes an effective and affordable direct mail tool for growing your retail store.

Click2Mail makes designing, printing, and mailing direct mail for your retail store easy. Whether you use a postcard, flyer, booklet, or Every Door Direct Mail (or all four), be creative as you want. Visit us at Click2Mail to see all of our products and get started today.

This is the second in our new article series on making direct mail work to grow your business.  We’ve combined this with 13 other articles on making direct mail work for different types of businesses.  For your free copy of the full white paper complete with all 14 articles, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).