How to get the most out of direct mail

If you follow a few simple guidelines, direct mail is an excellent way to make potential customers aware of your micro-brewery and taproom.

  1. Advertising is not a one-shot, winner-take-all proposition Think about it, how often do consumers need to see an ad before they respond to it.  Use your own experience as a guide.  The safe bet is somewhere between four to seven exposures.  If you only plan to run one ad and see how it does, DON’T BOTHER!  You are throwing your money away.  When you go fishing do you reach your limit in the first six casts?  Who buys one lottery ticket and wins $1,000 on their first try?
  2. Create a monthly budget and stick to it Some brewers are very fortunate and have managed to grow a healthy business spending virtually nothing in the way of marketing.  However, as more competition arrives on the scene this is getting to be less of a viable strategy.  When people have more choices, they tend to respond to where they are called.  If all things are equal, the quality and variety of beer and foods are above average, the locations are convenient and the help is friendly, the differentiator will be the brewery that does the best job of telling their story on a consistent basis.  Try to set up a budget of between 3 to 4% of sales and use this as your marketing/advertising budget.  If your weekly revenue is $10,000 that means plan to spend $300 to $400 per week promoting your micro-brewery.
  3. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. With relatively small advertising budgets your choices of media are somewhat limited.  Electronic media like TV and radio are not feasible.  Nor is on page print advertising like newspaper or magazine ads.  Leaving out billboards, subway, and bus ads, you are left with direct mail email marketing and social media.  The best way to stretch your ad dollars is to run campaigns which combine direct mail with email announcements and paid ads on social media.  Your average cost per impression between the three media will vary dramatically with email marketing and social media having a lower cost per impression.
    Why not just go with email and social media in that case?  Two reasons, not all the folks that you hope to reach have provided you with an email address and others don’t respond to social media advertising.  Every household in your trade area has a mailbox and people do get their mail every day.  However, just because they have a mailbox doesn’t mean that they are good prospects, that’s where targeting comes into play.
  4. Ready, shoot, aim,,,, err, aim shoot Your best spent advertising dollars are those used to prospect people with a high propensity to buy your product or in your case visit your taproom.  Some marketers will suggest simply drawing a radius of say three to ten miles around your establishment and calling that your trade area.  That certainly is an easy way to do it but it’s seldom the best.  We recommend that you have us do a demographic analysis of your market and help you select carrier routes (subsets of zip codes) where the inhabitants best match your customer profile.  Looking at this type of trade area may resemble a piece of Swiss cheese. It won’t be a circle and there will be plenty of holes (omitted carrier routes with the wrong demographics).
  5. Analyze, adjust and repeat. You now do your mailing and in a relatively short period of time, we see how well it worked and where.  We measure this by getting the recipient to return the mailed piece in return for a special offer or we create another means of capturing their name and address.   At this point, you have gone full circle and are back to start.  Remember in step one we learned that a one-time mailing is a waste and in step two we set a budget?  You can skip those two steps after the first time and simply review where the mailing did best and concentrate in those carrier routes going forward.

Designing your direct mail piece

The layout - You have often heard the term less is more, correct?  It’s very important when designing your postcard.  There are two sides to the postcard, the front, and back.  On the front, you want a clear headline that ties to the imagery used and there needs to be a call to action and your logo.  That’s all.  The back of the postcard needs to be more informational.  It must contain the recipient's address, your address and perhaps a locator map along with your hours of operation and your web address. Remaining space can be used to highlight one additional feature but DO NOT try to cram in too much.  White space is good and less is more.

The offer – This is where far too many promotions fail.  The offer needs to be a strong one to motivate someone to consider changing their habit.  Said another was it needs to be strong enough to convince them to save the postcard and make plans to use it before the offer expires.  Don’t make the mistake of being too gun shy to spend money on a strong offer because if very few people redeem the offer you have spent a good deal of money for no results and the efforts and expense are all in vain.

Direct Mail Pricing

Using our turn-key program we will work with you to select your targeted mailing area, help you determine the offer, provide you with finished art for the postcard ( or you can have your agency provide finished copy) and we will supply you with an analysis of the results of response by carrier route if you can furnish the information. We offer two size postcards large 6” x 8.5” and oversized 6” x 11”.

These prices are complete turnkey. They include trade area targeting, creative, printing, mail preparation and labeling, postage, and post redemption analysis.  If you prefer to provide finished creative, (ready for press artwork) we will provide a $100 credit off the base price.