Indianapolis, IN—Whether we work tirelessly to create those Mother’s Day and spring event invitations, or simply buy a catalog from a vendor with our store name stamped on it, don’t forget to plant “seeds” into your mailing list.
It is amazing how reliable the postal service is, but it is still far from perfect. Once you let go of a mail piece and send it off (along with your über-valuable mailing list of customers) it’s a waiting game. Before you send your next mailing list in, implement these TWO important steps described below. Yep, just two.
Step one: Create a seed list, as it’s called in the direct mail business. You need to remember to do this when you are in the flurry of compiling your all-important customer mailing list. This seed list should include owners, managers, and a few employees who live in varying counties and zip codes. Once your seeds are planted, follow up with those people to track when mailers are hitting homes. You can also see your mail piece as your customers see it. Does the addressing style look nice? Did it arrive in good condition? Does it look compelling amongst whatever else it arrived with in your mailbox that day, that week, that season? And try, try your best to look at your piece with fresh eyes: don’t be too enamored because it’s yours, or too critical because it’s yours.
Another happy accident: it keeps your staff informed. Put a person from each department on your seed list and ask them to bring the book in to you the day after they receive it at home. Word that the mailing is delivering will organically spread, which leads me to step two.
Step two: The worst of the worst things that can happen is a customer receives your beautiful marketing whatchamacallit in the mail, loves something they see, and calls your store immediately. Sounds great so far, right? Here comes the “worst” part—the person who answers your phone is caught with the proverbial “deer in the headlights” look. Oh yeah, the customer can see that deer look, even through the phone! It often sounds like this, “Uuhhh, can you please hold?”
Don’t be a deer. Make sure every employee in the building who could or would ever face this situation knows about the mailer BEFORE your customer does. Seems so simple, right? Yet it’s a very common oversight! A super-easy tip to avoid the deer scenario: always keep a copy of current mailers by your phones and in a key central location behind the counter.
Easy, right? I’m sure yours are there.
Lori Roberts, vice president of Tufts Communications started her marketing career early. As a middle-schooler, she flipped through magazine ads, dissecting each one to figure out how they were supposed to make her “feel” then writing letters to the companies that ran them. As a grown up, Lori has enjoyed a long marketing career in the exciting industries of movies, shoes & apparel and most recently in the world of jewelry & watches. She spent the past 18 years leading marketing and strategic planning for two of the country’s top independent retailers, Reis-Nichols in Indiana and Fink’s Jewelers on the east coast. Returning to her original passion, she now lends her expertise to create custom magazines and marketing materials for luxury retailers across North America. email@example.com or (765) 819.2400