How to Use Direct Mail for Customer Reactivation

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January 23, 2018

After all you’ve been through, are you going to let them walk away without even checking in to see how they’re doing? Do you even know why they broke up with you? It’s not you, it’s them. Ok, it might be you. There are many possible reasons why some customers haven’t done business with you for a while. Maybe they’ve moved, found a better deal, or just forgot why they started doing business with you in the first place. You can’t know for sure what it is, but if they’ve bought from you in the past then there’s obviously something they like about you. They just need a little nudge to know you’re still there.

I always hear about companies sending email blasts to reach inactive customers. A random self-congratulatory mass message like “Hey, look what we’ve been up to” will go ignored because they’re impersonal and irrelevant. People get enough of those emails already and it results in inbox overload and un-subscriptions. There are more strategic ways to do email marketing, but it’s not a good strategy for customer reactivation. Postcards, however, are fantastic.

Postcards are such a simple, inexpensive, and effective method of customer reactivation. Your message will be seen right off the bat since a postcard doesn’t have to be opened, and a well-designed card will keep eyes on it longer. Just saying “We miss you” and offering a discount or coupon will go a long way. It will show consumers that you care, you’re smart, and they will remember you for future reference. Be sure to use the person’s name on the card because people like to feel special and they really like saving money. And now that digital marketing is the norm, sending a postcard will help you stand out even further from competitors because it’s so rare. Plus, if you know the physical addresses, you might be able to use IP Targeting.

Targeting inactive customers is much easier and cheaper than recruiting new ones. You don’t have to tell them who you are or what you do because they already know. When you lose a customer relationship, they will more than likely switch to one of your competitors, so not keeping in touch with them means you’re actually helping your competition. Try reaching out to your most recent inactives, perhaps people who haven’t bought from you for 6-12 months.

Belgian clothing retailer Outlet-Avenue did this in 2013. They discovered 45% of frequent customers were no longer buying from them and they had a lower rate of email subscriptions. They usually marketed through email and SEO but determined the main cause of the inactivity was overflowed mailboxes and decided instead to send postcards because they still had access to the customers’ mailing addresses. Outlet-Avenue created postcards that said “We miss you. Enjoy this generous discount” and included a €20 coupon for their next purchase. It worked. 64% of recipients used their coupons and it greatly helped with Outlet-Avenue’s brand awareness. This demonstrated that direct mail is an excellent retention and reactivation tool.

Maintaining your current clientele is essential for the future of your business. Frequently remind customers they made the right decision by choosing your company and you appreciate them. Even if they found someone else, there’s no reason why you can’t still be friends.

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