How to Avoid the Summer Sales Slump with Direct Mail

It’s summer, and the heat isn’t the only thing threatening to drive you crazy.  You’re sitting at your desk trying to figure out ways to increase business.  You’re driving home from work trying figure out ways to increase business.  You’re in bed, staring at the ceiling trying to figure out how to increase business.  Every moment is consumed with trying to devise strategies to stimulate business.

Back to school expenses, vacations, higher gas prices and their subsequent effect on other prices, are among the factors impacting spending habits at this time of the year.  So what do you do?  You could adopt a ‘don’t worry, be happy’ attitude, and wait for better days.  Or you could be proactive.

Effective marketing and advertising impact wants.  Consumers do not need any prompting to purchase necessities, but a well-designed marketing campaign can entice customers to spend otherwise.  Direct mail is one of the most effective media for generating interest, particularly where options such as radio and television are not feasible.  You cannot get more cost-effective than social media, but is the right audience there?  Or most importantly, are they paying attention?   With direct mail, you know your business is literally in your customers’ hands.  The goal is to get direct mail to translate to direct action.

With direct mail, you know your business is literally in your customers’ hands.  The goal is to get direct mail to translate to direct action.

Consider how you handle your mail.  You read each piece and determine what action to take.  Even from a glance you decide whether something is trash or treasure.  You value your business and the time and money spent designing your campaign, and cringe at the thought of anyone casually tossing away your mailer.  Apply the same thought process you use when sorting your personal mail to your direct mail campaign.  Think of mail you tossed recently, and why you did so.

  • Don’t create something that won’t be noticed.  A creative, eye-catching design goes a long way.
  • So you have their attention, now what?  Make sure your mail speaks to your audience.
  • Will they care about your message?  Direct mail is not junk mail if it is relevant.

Through direct mail services, you will be able to segment across relevant criteria such as geography, income level and ethnicity.  The filters allow for better targeting and therefore a better response rate.  With a 79% open rate, not only is direct mail cost-effective, you also have greater confidence that your message is being seen by the right audience.

  • Will your message inspire action, or is it just information?  Customers don’t necessarily care for mail about a new product or service, or about what you do.  Consider including a benefit such as a special offer to increase the likelihood of response.

When funds are scarce, customers are especially eager for offers.  Your offer does not need to be anything elaborate.  It’s even better if it’s a tie-in with what customers need or want. For about a week, a store in my neighborhood gave away free slurpees with every purchase.  Now who wouldn’t welcome a nice cold drink on a hot summer day?  A simple offer, but it was amazing to see the increased traffic.

For about a week, a store in my neighborhood gave away free slurpees with every purchase.  Now who wouldn’t welcome a nice cold drink on a hot summer day?  A simple offer, but it was amazing to see the increased traffic.

Apart from acquiring new customers or general advertising, think customer retention.  Direct mail enables you to extend the personal touch.  You can sweet-talk your current customers – make them feel valued.  Send them a ‘thank you for being an awesome customer’, postcard.  You can customize messages to individual customers.  Maybe you know it’s someone’s birthday or anniversary; or you kept excellent records and know their purchase history, let them know you value their business.

For the slow summer months, you want to ensure your campaign is effective.  There are many demands on consumers’ attention.  Direct mail increases your chance of being front and center.  Think of direct mail as a one pot meal – all the essentials in one.  It should attract; it should inform or remind; and it should entice.  The power of direct mail rests on one basic concept – consumers can’t act on mail they don’t receive.

So it’s summer, and you feel customers seem to be thinking of everything else but you, and you can’t seem to think of anything but them – that’s a pretty one-sided relationship.  Let direct mail be the cupid that brings you together.  Corny?  Indeed!  But, oh, so true.  Give direct mail a try.  With options for tracking and measuring ROI, you can easily determine its effectiveness.

You can learn more about our Direct Mail Manager here.


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