The holidays present a wealth of opportunities for businesses, but competition is fierce. Marketing channels are inundated. Customers are flooded with offers from countless brands. Cutting through the noise is crucial for success. In this case study, we’ll shine a light on a national retailer that pivoted its marketing strategy to incorporate direct mail and saw a dramatic lift in its holiday business.1
Planning for a Strong Performance
As the holiday season approached, the retailer searched for ways to increase its average customer spend. Having several eCommerce brands under a single umbrella—fresh flowers, gift baskets, popcorn, gourmet foods, and sweets—the company was ready for the season of giving, but it wanted to boost its sales. At first, it explored traditional channels. A cornerstone of holiday marketing is sending single-brand catalogs, so the retailer sent them to both previous and current customers.2 It also considered e-mail and other digital media, but they presented a challenge during the holidays. With e-mail open rates and click-through rates down during this critical season, it was time for another solution.3 So, the company set its sights on direct mail.
Doubling Down on a New Channel
The retailer decided to roll out a robust direct mail campaign that would bring its family of brands together for the first time in one self-mailer. Hoping to increase loyalty and encourage purchases across its many brands, the company sent the mailer to customers who had previously purchased from one or more product lines. Designed with six panels, it featured all the brands and included coupons for free shipping and $10 off select purchases. It worked. With direct mail part of their omni-channel strategy, the individual brands experienced a 13% to 35% boost in orders, with average customer spend increasing by $1.50 per order. Thanks to unified brand marketing, each company also enjoyed a lower cost per order. Needless to say, the campaign was a success.
Ideas Worth Implementing
The retailer got a lot right when it came to direct mail. When leveraged strategically, direct mail can bring value through sales, brand loyalty, and more. Here are a few ways companies can pursue their business goals:
- Think Beyond the Catalog: While this print piece is a cornerstone of holiday marketing, it’s an expensive investment for small to medium-size businesses. Direct mail presents a simplified, economical way to deliver some of the same information in a more digestible form.
- Print Multiple Offers: Consumers actively seek out sales and coupons during the holidays. Mail can be used to communicate a number of different promotions. By including more than one offer, businesses may be able to strengthen the potency of their direct mail.
- Synergize with Other Channels: Email, paid search, and direct website traffic often drive sales for online retailers. By creating a campaign that pairs one or all of these channels with direct mail, companies could increase their marketing reach and boost the campaign’s memorability.
The holidays are an exciting time. Consumers and businesses go full speed ahead in search of the best gift and the most effective marketing campaign. With some focus, one retailer was able to incorporate direct mail into its marketing mix and grow sales as a result. By seeking out the perfect medium and messaging—tactics any business can mimic—the company set itself up for a happy holiday season.