The marketing funnel explains the sales process from start to finish and describes the journey a customer takes towards purchasing a product or service, turning from a lead into a customer. Direct mail can be used at each stage of the funnel to turn your customer from a complete stranger to making a purchase and becoming a loyal brand advocate. This post outlines the different stages of the marketing funnel and which type of direct mail content to implement at each stage of the funnel for campaign success.
At the top of the funnel is the awareness stage. In this stage, prospects are strangers and don’t know anything about you, so you need to firstly educate them and start to build a relationship. This is where users will discover your brand for the first time so it is too soon to try to sell them anything or push your products and services.
Instead, focus on building brand awareness, making an impression, grabbing audience attention, and holding it. Prospects in this stage realise that something is missing in their lives and want to learn more about it, so catch attention by providing helpful and useful information, advice, and guidance that adds value, addresses their pain points, answers their questions, solves their problems, and offers solutions.
Educate prospects and build awareness of your brand by creating relevant and useful direct mail. For example, a dentist could send a postcard outlining oral health tips, or a gym could send a leaflet about how to live fitter and healthier with exercise and nutrition tips.
In the consideration stage, a lead is researching all possible solutions to their problem and considering your business’ services and products as the best option before making a purchase decision. Hence, you need to position yourself as the perfect solution to their problem and convince them that your product or service is the right fit for them and purchasing from you is the best thing they can do.
As a result, content at this stage of the funnel should focus on specific, relevant information of how you can solve their problem the best and help them the most. Highlight your brand story, your offering, your services and products, and their benefits. Educate your audience on the problems they can overcome with your product and how you differentiate from your competitors.
When targeting leads in the consideration stage using direct mail, the most effective types of content here include case studies, testimonials, product stories, demonstrations, user-generated content, positive reviews, and industry awards. This will allow the prospect to view your product or service in action through real-life experiences and demonstrates how you can help them too. These types of content also establish you as highly trustworthy, experienced, and authoritative, which further persuades a prospect to choose you.
For example, a hairdresser or beauty salon could showcase before and after photographs, as could an interior designer. Tradesmen such as plumbers or electricians can portray their positive reviews and testimonials. A solicitor could highlight their case studies and tell real-life stories of how their service has helped their clients.
Once your prospects are convinced that your brand is the best option, you need to drive a purchase. At this stage, you are ready to convert prospects into customers. Here you can focus on getting a sale rather than educating the audience as they have already demonstrated an interest in your offering, you now just need to convince them to act and buy from you.
To do this, direct mail at the conversion stage will incorporate exclusive offers, limited time promotions, discounts, and coupons with a clear CTA that leverages the scarcity principle. For example, a retail store could offer buy one get one free, and a restaurant could offer 10% off the bill.
The final stage of the funnel focuses on keeping customers and retaining them once a purchase has been made with the aim to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers and brand advocates. It is far more cost-effective to sell to existing customers than it is to try and win new customers, so don’t neglect existing customers to focus on new leads.
To do this, you need to keep delighting customers and always be adding value to encourage brand loyalty. There are many ways to do this through direct mail, and involves sending exclusive content that makes customers feel valued and appreciated. You could send personalised mail thanking the customer for their loyalty with a discount, provide loyalty rewards programmes, offer exclusive discounts and offers, personalised birthday deals, free gifts, special promotions, and upsell recommendations for similar products. For example, a loyal member of a whiskey club could get a discount on their next order or a sample of a new product.
Using direct mail, we can also turn loyal customers into brand advocates who will recommend your brand to friends and family. Do this through keeping it personal and thanking their loyalty and asking for their valuable feedback on a new product, ask for reviews and user surveys on ways to improve, invite them to join a referrals programme, offer family and friend discounts, provide exclusive member content, and upsell similar products based on their purchase history. For example, a builder could send a poll or survey asking for a review or testimonial along with a discount if they recommend their services to family or friends.
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