Variety is the spice of life. Business owners and consumers alike are presented with more variety in their everyday life than ever before.
Whether it’s choice of food, hair salon, plumber, gym, or dentist; we are fortunate to be able to have so many options.
The same holds true for marketing a business. There are seemingly infinite ways of conveying your message and overall, the marriage of a unique medium with a great response is what everyone is searching for.
On the broad spectrum, there’s social media, newspaper, radio, TV, billboards and of course, direct mail.
The direct mail option alone spans the gamut of shared envelope mail, newspaper inserts, flyers, postcard marketing, and much more. There is always a choice and it’s no surprise that being unique, although a step outside the box, many times yields a higher response.
But what is a “higher response” anyway?
Let’s look at these key marketing points from a two-step perspective.
First, what is a “unique” piece that can yield a higher response rate?
Secondly, what does a higher response even mean?
Business owners may not even be aware that their campaign is performing much better than their competition down the street.
Recently, this came to light when a restaurant owner decided to test a direct mail campaign using a scratch-off postcard.
First of all, why, specifically is this piece unique and why that is important?
The average consumer is used to various forms of direct mail such as a brochure, a flyer or a postcard. These pieces work well and capture consumers’ attention, but these are the “standards”. Why not give the consumer one more reason to engage the marketing piece?
That is where the scratch-off postcard comes into play. Who doesn’t love scratching to win something? That’s this owner’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in a way. You may not have a product of service that allows you to differentiate your business for the competition simply on the service alone. You need to differentiate using a unique medium which is, in this case, the scratch-off postcard.
Theodore Levitt, Harvard professor and advertising expert, wrote of marketing a business, “Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.”
Now, back to the scratch-off postcard campaign and how this strategy has played out.
Although the owner was at first hesitant to try something he’d never done before, he agreed to step outside the box and test the waters.
In addition to his scratch to win campaign, he also added additional offers to appease potential customers. Again, giving them more options; more variety, and a better chance of the customer utilizing the piece.
10,000 scratch off postcards were mailed over a ten week period.
387 of the scratch to win portion were redeemed.
That’s a 3.9% response rate.
No marketing company can predict an exact response rate for any type of marketing, but with direct mail, many will agree that a 3% response is a good average number to aim for.
On the surface, his scratch off postcard paid off, garnering above average response on the scratch portion alone.
But what about those additional offers that were added to give the customer more variety and options?
An additional 591 coupon offers were redeemed off of this campaign.
With coupon offers alone, that’s a 5.9% response rate.
Combined with the scratch off offers, this business yielded a 9.8% response!
From a direct mail perspective this is a huge success, with over 3x the average response.
However, the customer was still unaware if this was successful or not.
While each industry is different, anyone can agree that if 1 in every 10 households decide to use your business based on one affordable marketing campaign, then you’re on the path to continued success. Remember too that with the right amount of customer service, a one-time customer is very rare.
When something new and innovative comes along, a business owner needs to embrace a change and push the envelope. In this case, the customer reacted by embracing something new and unique, yielding not just an “industry average” response, but far exceeding expectations.
This owner, and many other businesses will continue to see sales and customer growth by being innovative.
When asked about the campaign, his exact response was, “I’m not sure if this is a good return, but I’m happy to see many new faces in the store.”
In the end, all numbers aside, his answer speaks for itself.
Looking to make your next direct mail campaign stand out from the competition?
Contact me for a free consultation.
Dave Scatchard – Account Executive