Hit Your Target Every Time With Direct Mail

There’s a fine line between direct mail that builds customer leads and direct mail that ends up in the circular file — and that line is targeting. The right targeted direct mail strategy can save you time and money, get a higher conversion rate, and increase your return on investment (ROI). In fact, the median ROI with direct mail is 29%, only one percentage point behind social media. That’s a big deal — and direct mailers can turn that into big growth for their bottom line.


How Targeted Can You Get? Like, Remarkably Targeted.

Customer information is often willingly given to businesses through reviews, registries, and surveys that the customer has previously filled out. You can leverage this information and target your mailers in surprisingly specific ways, including:

    • Pet owners of specific dog breeds
    • Vehicle owners based on the year, make and model
    • Specific medical conditions
    • Homeowner vs. renter
    • New parents
    • Specific occupations or job titles
    • Age, income, gender, ethnicity, education, and/or religion
    • Travel habits
    • Online hobbies and propensities


Here are two examples of industries that make good use of targeting in their direct mail marketing.


The Doctor is IN

Medical practices can target potential patients by a number of criteria. These include age range (pediatric to geriatric), gender, medical conditions, health interests (sports or holistic medicine), geographic location, and income level.

For example, pediatric practices may increase their patient numbers by targeting families with children under the age of 18, as well as couples who are expecting. When summer comes to an end, they send direct mail to families with school-aged children, encouraging parents to book an appointment for vaccines, annual checkups, and sports physicals. And when flu season heats up, families with children of all ages are targeted to remind them about the importance of getting a flu shot.

Another smart strategy is to build loyalty early on. If you’ve moved to a new city or state, then you’ve probably noticed an increase of direct mail from family practices. Finding a new doctor can be stressful and time-consuming for families who’ve relocated, and marketers use this to their advantage. By getting a warm, welcoming message in front of a newcomer family first, they’re more likely to get a call or website visit for information, which puts them one step closer to turning a lead into a new patient for their practice.


Time It Like a Timeshare

The timeshare industry’s strategy for collecting information and generating leads is a solid one. Some useful demographics these companies frequently target in their direct mail campaigns include:

    • Married couples
    • Middle-class professionals
    • Retired or near retirement
    • Geographic area
    • Interests (skiing, horseback riding)
    • Families with young children


In order for non-owners (individuals who don’t own a timeshare) to vacation at a timeshare resort, they often have to attend a timeshare tour where the salesperson typically collects some personal information. With this information, marketers can target their direct mail in an effort to persuade them — and more people like them — to vacation at their resort, and eventually, purchase a timeshare.

Try to gather as much information as you can about the people who are interested in your products and services. But you want to do this in a way that is never intrusive. Better yet is to accomplish this by offering something of value to your customers. While you may not be able to give them a weekend in the Poconos, you can offer a free appetizer, discounted service, or small gift for filling out a questionnaire.

It’s important to be aware when demographic shifts occur in your industry. According to Consumer Reports, the median age of timeshare owners is 51. But changes in the industry — including increased transparency, more consumer-friendly policies, and the entry of big-league hospitality players such as Disney, Hilton and Hyatt — has made timeshares more appealing to younger people. Now, the median age is 39 among owners who have made a timeshare purchase in recent years. And 50 percent of them have children younger than 18 living at home.

Remember demographics can change within your industry as a whole and as your client base grows. So it’s important to routinely gather information from your customers so you can continue to refine your targeting.

If you have a tough target in mind, ask us about it. We can help you create and implement razor-targeting direct mail campaigns that produce results. Contact us today to get started.