Effective Direct Marketing – The Krispy Kreme Model

Remember a few years ago when Krispy Kreme® ruled the universe? New stores were popping up everywhere and they all had lines snaking out their doors and around the block.

Krispy Kreme donuts were synonymous with guilty pleasure. There was nothing quite like a still-hot Krispy Kreme original glazed donut.  We thought they were heavenly. We couldn’t get enough of them.

But do you also remember those rare occasions when a stray donut survived the feeding frenzy until the next day? Remember the experience of biting into a day old donut and the accompanying feeling of disappointment?

Direct Marketing messaging can be like that-especially with marketing taking on more and more social networking characteristics. Whether we’re engaging customers through a website or a blog, content is king. If your content is stale-like a day-old donut-it won’t take long for your customers to walk away.

This doesn’t mean reinventing who you are every week. It does mean constantly thinking about how you can help your customers. And it means thinking of fresh ways to communicate with them about solving their problems.

How often should you update your content? That depends. Some industries change daily. Most don’t. I’d rather receive one really good piece of information every week or every month than wade through a bunch of mediocre stuff to find one gem. A business colleague of ours who builds high-end websites recently shared that 95 percent of his clients haven’t changed the content on their sites in the last 12 months.  That’s too long.

When’s the last time you updated your blog or the content on your website? Are you giving customers a reason to check in with you-or is your content like a day-old Krispy Kreme donut?

What keeps you from delivering fresh content?

Tips and Tricks for Building an Effective Direct Mail Marketing Campaign

To begin your direct mail campaign, break down the process into manageable steps and take these factors into consideration. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

Who is your target audience?

The first step is to identify your company’s target audience, or target audiences, and understand these demographics as well as possible. The more knowledge you have of their purchasing habits, needs, and wants, the more effective your direct mail campaign will be in helping them understand how your business can benefit them. Are your clients male or female? Old or young? Where do they live? The more detailed, the better. Look at the demographics of your existing customer base, but also imagine what other customers you might want to reach out to. Who uses your services, and who could use your services?

Who is on your mailing list?

Once you have a good understanding of your current and prospective clients, create a mailing list. Better yet, create different lists for different campaigns; the material you send to existing customers might look different and contain different information than that which you send to potential customers. The more tailored your pamphlet, postcard, flyer, etc. is to the specific recipient, the better the chance he or she will respond positively, if at all. Keep detailed and organized records of your lists for reference when creating future campaigns.

What do you want to say? How are you going to say it?

Now it’s time to design the actual promotional material that you will send out. There are many types, including postcards, flyers, and pamphlets explaining your services and detailing special offers. Thank you cards and greeting cards for previous clients are just as important; they’re instrumental in fostering a sense of community and letting customers know how much you value them and their business. After all, one of the principal reasons people respond so well to direct mail marketing is that it’s more personal than electronic communication. Identify which types of mail you will be sending to which people and the text to include. Make sure to double-check spelling and grammar.

Next, focus on the visuals. Pictures are crucial. If you are a company that sells home products for elderly customers, include photos of people making it clear just how easy-to-use your products are. Other businesses, like law firms and real estate companies, traditionally utilize photographs of lawyers, agents, etc. because they are businesses that rely on personal, one-on-one trust. Make sure whatever pictures you choose are high-quality and professional.

Graphic design plays a crucial role in representing your business as well. If your material appears outdated or aesthetically displeasing, you jeopardize the perceived reliability and quality of your company, which can greatly affect business. If you have no experience in graphic design, it is best to leave it to professionals. Some direct mail services offer in-house graphic designers.

With these tips in mind, you will be off to a great start designing an effective direct mail marketing campaign!