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How Direct Mail Drives Repeat Purchases

January 11, 2022 In Marketing Tips

If you’re like most companies, you’re always trying to figure out how to increase sales for your business – and you’re trying to do that while limiting the amount you spend to acquire these customers. For years, data has shown that driving repeat purchases is more cost effective than reaching a brand-new audience who isn’t yet familiar with your brand. According to the National Law Review, acquiring new customers can cost up to five times more than keeping current customers.  

As a printing company, we’ve seen firsthand how direct mail campaigns can lead to an increase in second, third, or even more purchases. Keep reading to learn some of the best strategies we’ve seen to try in your next mailer. 

Encourage Loyalty 

Many companies choose to use their direct mail pieces to promote exclusive offers or coupons, which can be an excellent strategy to drive traffic to your business. However, we also recommend using at least a portion of the real estate on your mailer to promote your loyalty program, if you have one. (And if you don’t have one, get one!) Customers who join a loyalty program are more likely to make multiple purchases with the company, especially if they were on the fence about a product and notice they can get a special perk or reward with your program. Your brand is also more likely to stay top-of-mind for any customers who join the program – and keeping your direct mail piece in their home can’t hurt, either. 

Send a Bounce Back Offer 

Speaking of offers and coupons, be sure to create your special discount for your mailer with repeat purchases in mind. One strategy you could consider is a bounce back offer, which asks customers to come to your store or visit your website to place an order, after which they will receive a coupon or discount for their next purchase. A bounce back offer nearly guarantees an increase in repeat customers, because the coupon only comes once they’ve made an initial purchase. It’s a win-win for both parties: your company gets the returning customers it needs, and the consumers receive a helpful discount. 

Choose Your Recipients Wisely 

Most direct mail audiences are selected by choosing specific mail routes, which is great for ensuring your message goes to members of your ideal audience but isn’t always helpful for reaching specific past customers. Instead, if you’re hoping to drive repeat sales, consider creating your mailing list by compiling addresses of former customers. An appealing offer from a company they’ve used before can be quite motivating – the customer knows the purchase is low-risk, and they can get the product or service at a good price. The mailer can also renew their interest in your company overall, leading to additional return purchases down the road. 

Make It Personal 

The little details in your mailer can also make an impact on your audience, making or breaking their decision to make future purchases with your company. These days, many consumers pay close attention to the experience businesses create for their customers and base their buying decisions on it. Adding personal details to your mailer, such as the recipient’s name, product suggestions based on previous purchases, or special offers during their birthday month, can signal to your audience that you care about them and will cater to their unique needs. Even these relatively small, personalized details can leave a lasting impression on consumers. 

Gain New and Returning Customers 

As great as it is to retain existing business, a company also needs new customers to survive. A direct mail piece that rewards current customers for spreading the word to their friends and family is a smart way to kill two birds with one stone. This kind of bonus is typically sent to your member base, offering them and their loved ones a discount if they can successfully refer a new customer to your business. Banks, cable providers, and other companies often run similar programs with impressive results. Consider giving the strategy a try to strike a healthy balance between growing and maintaining your customer base. 

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