The holiday season sneaks up on you. It seems as though just yesterday you were sunning yourself in the backyard, and now suddenly it’s November—time for large feasts and gift giving.
Although this year’s holiday season may look a bit different with less traveling, smaller gatherings, and more online shopping, it’s crucial you, as a marketer, keep your messaging positive and festive. Current and future customers are excited to focus on something new and hopeful to continue some family traditions in any way they can.
As you head into the most wonderful time of the year, you should start thinking about changing your marketing campaign to include new messaging. To maximize your impact and improve returns on investment, you’ll need to transition to a holiday-based strategy. During the holidays, the mailbox is the first thing people check. They’re excited to find cards and gifts, meaning they’re more likely to check out the direct mail piece you sent them—especially if it conveys positive messaging.
Check out these tips for creating the perfect direct mail campaign during the holidays.
Tip #1: Keep It Cheerful & Sympathetic
The holiday season includes songs, decadent multi-course meals, festive cards and decor, and time spent online shopping. Your campaign should convey this sense of holiday cheer. Include messaging such as “Happy Holidays” or other timely puns. Add holiday images such as snowmen or a cozy cabin covered in a blanket of snow.
Of course, this year is quite different from previous holidays. Some customers will be unable to visit family members or friends, may be grieving a loss, or cannot celebrate in ways they traditionally have. When creating your message, keep these things in mind. Ensure it reflects what your customers may be going through.
Tip #2: Ensure It’s Memorable
Add the “wow” factor that will make the recipient keep your marketing piece for a few days. To do so, you can try several additives to surprise and excite your audience. This can be fragrance or scratch-and-sniff components that radiate smells of the season: cinnamon, pine, cedar, sugar cookies, peppermint, cranberry, or apple. Adding a 3D object to the package could dramatically increase your campaign's success. This could be a free gift such as a pen and pad, magnets, USB drives, or free samples with festive patterns. You can also use textured paper or raised lettering to help your direct mail piece stand out.
Tip #3: Send Postcards
Of course, include all types of mail—postcards, self-mailers, letter packages—in your holiday campaign, but ramp up your use of postcards. They resemble holiday cards sent by loved ones, grabbing the attention of recipients. If you choose a small postcard, you can take advantage of faster in-home dates at less cost than marketing mail. This can be extremely important considering how busy the USPS gets during the holiday season.
To find out which postcard size is right for you, read our blog “Choosing the Perfect Postcard Size for a Successful Direct Mail Campaign.”
Tip #4: Use House Lists
Your house lists contain the contact information for customers who have already opted into receiving content from you or made purchases from the company. In 2018, the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) reported house lists see response rates of 9 percent in comparison with prospect lists, which garner 5 percent. Ensure you engage this list with general “Happy Holidays” messages and specialized offers.
Tip #5: Include an Offer
Including an offer can give your customers an extra incentive to purchase your services or products—especially during times when they’re spending on gifts, groceries, and decorations. During a year where some may have lost their job or be struggling to pay their bills, coupons and other offers can be the encouragement someone needs to make a purchase.
Tip #6: Incorporate Other Channels
To develop a successful holiday campaign, it’s crucial you incorporate all channels in your strategy. This means you’ll want to use direct mail, digital ads, email marketing, telemarketing, television advertisements, and social media to convey your message. This ensures more people view your campaign. Plus, it creates multiple touch points for consumers to interact with. The more times they see the advertisement in its many forms, the more likely they are to remember and, ultimately, make a purchase.
Tip #7: Don’t Forget About New Year’s
Often, everyone is so swept up in developing campaigns for November and December holidays, they forget about creating messages for this annual celebration. It’s a crucial holiday to promote associated sales or end-of-the-year clearance events. Utilize New Year’s resolutions to shape the message of this direct mail campaign.