5 Ways to Build Brand Awareness for Your Service Business Using Direct Mail Marketing

By Bob Baldridge July 29, 2021 print, direct mail

With a number of different channels to choose from, why use direct mail? With its staying power as well as its ability to grow brand awareness through personalization and effective content, physical mail is an impactful way to set up your service business for marketing success.

According to a study by MarketingSherpa, direct mail marketing overwhelmingly tops the list of marketing channels that consumers trust the most. Direct mail marketing received a high trust rating of 76% versus online banner ads, which earned a 39% score. So how can businesses like yours take advantage of the boost in credibility that direct mail offers? Here’s a list of five ways to build your brand using direct mail.

1. Personalize your outreach

From adding unique names and addresses on each piece to personalized copy, imagery, and maps, personalization allows recipients to enjoy a custom experience. 86% of consumers prefer when mail is tailored directly to them, and simply including the recipient’s name on a piece of mail can increase response rate by as much as 135%.

Variable data printing (VDP) is a technology that allows you to custom tailor your marketing campaigns to the demographics of each recipient. 

With VDP, you can:

  • Call recipients by their names. Using recipient names throughout your content reassures them that you took the time to customize your message.
  • Personalize designs and images. You can match the visuals in a mail piece to the recipient like local scenery and landmarks to foster a feeling of familiarity.
  • Provide customized contact information such as phone numbers, addresses, and photos of the recipient’s point of contact.
  • Include a unique call to action. Because VDP can be customized, mailers can include unique URLs, QR codes, and more to drive engagement and measure the success of your campaign. 
  • Create variable offers according to the demographics of your list. You can add custom offers to your mailers with a higher discount to segmented groups who are more likely to become returning customers.

2. Build trust - and your brand

An excellent way to foster trust from your direct mail marketing recipients is to include specific information about you and your team on your direct mail outreach. Adding a photo of yourself or your team, along with contact information for your business, on your marketing collateral allows your audience to meet the people behind the company. Another way to target leads in your area is to include a testimonial quote, which adds the credibility of showing a happy customer while adding a personal touch.

Consistency and persistence is also key to building your brand. Sending direct mail on a regular schedule can help increase awareness of your business over time. Direct mail can also drive your target market to the internet to do more research on your business, which works effectively in conjunction with your digital strategy.

3. Hypertarget your list

Creating a targeted list of potential customers is key to making sure that your mailers reach the right hands. Introducing a list of distinct leads or members of your customer base allows you to hone in on specific demographics, helping you build stronger relationships with them. Details to consider for creating an effective segmented list can include geographic area, demographics such as age, occupation, and income, and psychographic information like lifestyle and hobbies. This way, only those people who are most likely to already be interested in the services you provide receive advertising from you.

For service businesses like dry cleaning and auto repair that would benefit from reaching out to a certain area, you can combine your list with services such as Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) to make sure you’re reaching the right people and locations to increase ROI. By honing in on your community, you can hypertarget a specific area like a zip code or mail route. This is helpful for spreading awareness, but adding in your own list of past customers allows you to do some retargeting as part of the same campaign, making it even more effective.

 

4. Create a promotion

One powerful way to get customers in the door is through promotions. Direct mail marketing campaigns can include promotions with calls to action — for example, a 15% off coupon for a consultation or service for a limited time.

Effective promotions will include design elements and content that appeals to your target audience. Offering incentives increases awareness for new and existing services your business offers while adding urgency, encouraging your audience to take action to redeem the service during the time allotted.

 

5. Add value and set yourself apart

As you raise awareness for your brand, it’s important to focus on adding value and distinction. This can be accomplished by creating content that provides information to your audience in ways they may not have easy access to otherwise.

For example, a tax attorney might send a postcard that includes helpful information on an approaching filing date or tax code that has recently changed. The goal is to share content that your audience will want to hang onto. This way, your branded mail will remain in their home or office for longer periods of time, along with your company’s information.

Whereas people typically spend only 13.4 seconds reading an email, mail is kept in the average household for 17 days, giving it ample opportunity to be seen, read, and reread. Mail that contains valuable insights encourages readers to keep it to use as reference material.

Another key detail to consider is including content to tell your recipients how your company excels from competitors. What makes your business unique or what specific problems can you solve for your customers? Provide information on what sets you apart to encourage readers to explore the services you provide.

By adding helpful content and targeted personalization, physical mail is a powerful tool to inform audiences, foster trust, and drive revenue. Want to know how much ROI to expect from your next direct mail campaign? Download our ROI calculator to find out.