Do you still use old fashioned snail mail to attract new customers and generate leads?
All of our focus for lead generation and prospecting is currently online. However, I have often wondered if a good old fashioned direct mail letter of introduction to an identified prospect actually cuts through all the email clutter and does a better job to warming up a prospect. Has anyone used this method of lead generation recently and successfully to drive new sales for an online product or service?
I don't use snail mail. The delay in reaching a prospect is too long. An email is much faster and cheaper.
I am. In Canada now, it's pretty much the only option of yesteryear, with our new Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL). It's illegal to send someone any kind of commercial email without having obtained their permission prior to July 1, 2014 when CASL went into effect. You're subject to up to a $1 million fine for an individual, and $10 million for a company. I'm starting to think old-fashioned mail may not be a bad thing. Everyone gets flooded with emails these days — we use it for too much, I think — and opening a letter and reading it is a novelty in the 21st century. Whether there's any return without following up, is the other question — but i suppose that applies to email marketing as well. If you send a letter and include a business card, you're at least putting something physical in the prospect's hands to perhaps keep you top of mind when they have a need.
Both options are really great, depending on the product/service.
Having said that, I have seen sometimes the emails going to the junk folder, so we really need to follow up.
In regards to snail mail, it looks more personal and shows the company is going an extra mile to get to the customer. but again, some people just trash the letter without opening.
I would say it would more or less depend on which customer are you trying to target. some customers prefer still the old fashioned method, some prefer emails.
Yes, my clients are successfully building direct marketing campaigns in the b2b, consumer and nonprofit sectors. We work with them in creating new prospects via direct mail, email, telemarketing and digital channels. Some do a single channel while others find excellent success with multichannel efforts. Please reach out if you would like me to prepare a targeted list recommendation for your next push for new customers.
Snail mail like any DM program is made up of three elements, List, Promotion and Creative. If you have a good list and a promotion that will grab the readers attention and it looks professional, the DM piece will work (whether snail or email). In fact, the rule of thumb on success is based on the following percentages, 40% is the list, 40% is the offer and 20% is the creative.
There seems to be a switch in that we now receive an overwhelming number of email promotions that we simply delete (toss in trash). While the number of snail mail DM pieces have declined and less is going to the trash. I'd venture to say that when a person receives a quality mail piece we now look at the piece before it goes in the trash, and if its something we're interested in, we will act.
As a consumer and a sales rep. I can see the positive to a snail mail to generate new leads. The cost to reach those people and grab there attention is extremely low. You can send out thousands of letters and get a 1% return on business. And only reach 5% of the criteria of demographics that you are looking for.
Where as with the right social media group that knows how to reach the right criteria of demographics that you are looking for, can reach 90% of them with at least a 9% return on business and makes your ROI much more affordable and worth the investment.
I have had success with snail mail---Especially if a $2.00 Jefferson is enclosed...They feel guilty not responding and taking the $2.00...I also agree that a well written letter gets through the e-mail clutter...Direct mail response is low in general, 2-3%, but a $2.00 bill or something like that helps...
I have used snail mail to successfully retain clients. I often send them a nice card or postcard when they continue my services, on their birthday's and anniversaries. Often times, I see my postcards on their refrigerators - which gets seen by other friends, etc. I use sendoutcards.com to automate this client retention process.
It often costs less to retain clients, build loyalty and increase referral/client advocates - then attract new leads. Consider spending some additional time and attention on converting satisfied clients into Raving Fans! (which can increase your sales force at no additional cost). Hope this helps.
It's never worked for me. I get my best leads from word of mouth/referrals.
We all get tons of emails daily. Most people delete emails from people or companies they don't know. Some for fear of viruses, and for others lack of time or interest. Snail mail can work to get their attention. I find that large postcards work well because there is nothing to open, so your message is staring them in the face. Make the reading easy with larger fonts and not too much information crammed on the card. Make it colorful and use both sides. It should get their attention.
Then follow up.
48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect.
25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop
I recently retired from a large company and now do some consulting. Cybersecurity has gotten to be such a big issue in large companies that ANY electronic communication with an unrecognized address goes straight to the SPAM box. So I doubt 50% of the electronic introductions I send out are ever seen by anyone. I've tried sending out introductory brochures and newsletters as those got my attention in the office more than the 250th email of the day. No major successes yet. On a lighter note, when going through my company SPAM box one day, I came across an important announcement from the company's IT security team :)
Steven, Yes I do ALL the time. That said, my targets are the CEO or Chairman of companies and I have refined my letter over a few years. This said, my service/offer is really something that only the Chair or CEO could make a call on and it's not for an online service. That said, I still favour 'an old-fashioned' letter. So few people get them these days, and they usually get past the secretary/gatekeeper IF they are highly personalised, professional and focused. If nothing else they give you a solid reason to call the person and follow up...and thats what you are really after. A reason to call and connect.
Now a days, promotion strategy is became a science, so there are so many theories are available according to our needs and our resources.
If you design video add and mail then you will get more result with respect to others.
It works, when used in the right manner. You have got some fantastic answers here to gain insight from. I use cards with vintage book covers on them to thank the local book store owners who stock my books. It has being a great relationship builder and so far no one as asked me to take my books away.
I'm a technical recruiter freelancer and I use a brief proposal mail for the tech guys in order to see if they would be open for a specific job. In that brief I try to concentrate all the important information that you can tease with, without cliche's and truthless stuff. So far, this method is the most non-aggressive one that works for me - if they are interested, they will reply. For each person I write to, I'm adding in the brief something related to his experience or skills, usually not so obvious details - this personal approach helps me to recruit software developers and tech guys in general after I search exactly what I need, not losing time and energy to spam with mass-mails or using ads where anybody can apply.
I'm very eager to find a better approach in this online world full of spammy good looking useless mails :)
I have been working with companies to create direct mail for the last three years. You can visit our website (mangosalute.com) to see more.
I do NOT recommend a cold letter. It is most often thrown out by the secretary and a waste of a stamp. Now if it is a client (read BIG BUSINESS) you are dying to land. The client is a dream client. and you want to send something to get their attention. Make sure you have called and made contact before hand, and then what you do send is a show piece!
I advise caution with the above tactic if you do not know your client well, industry norms and umm.. ensure it isn't bribery, it has to be unique to you and should have been personally designed.
On the other hand, we have "snail mail" is a wonderful tool to enhance the client/consumer relationships. Clients love to feel appreciated, informed and simply acknowledged. By sending a card (once again do not read boring, typed letter) or a hand written note, clients become engaged in the conversation and often are so chuffed they share how lovely it was working with you, to their friends and clients.
Some opportunities you can use to engage in snail mail
- Thank you (referrals, job well done, making an introduction, creating an opportunity)
- Congratulations (new job, new baby, new house, promotion, marriage etc)
- Condolences (loss)
- Encouragement (going after a big project etc.)
- Welcome to the team
Now don't go and overload your clients with a million cards, everything in moderation. Make snail mail, an opportunity to connect in a tangible and wonderful way.
Very few companies spend more on direct mail than Google.
What does that tell you?
We've been postal mailing our customers for years. It works great for us because many of our customers are older and don't use email like our younger customers. Telephone follow ups are huge and recommended. I read some where that it takes over five communications to break through so persistence best be part of one's DNA!
I am giving a sure win answer "snail mail works, but depend of situation". from the attractive view points ...snail mail holds certain authority, seriousness and importance by its nature of communicating mode. Products that rely on these criteria to attract people may adopt snail mail to increase conversion rate.
We only use it if we know the info is going to a lead we have made contact with prior to. The reason being is that we like numbers at our company and using facebook and google allows us to know who our leads are. With this kind of info I know how to target my audience with less money wasted. Giving them the tools to solve their pain points at hand.