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How to Effectively Utilize Direct Mail Marketing to Increase Sales

By Mike Tinz

A fresh, balanced approach to marketing can be the key to bringing both old and new business back through your doors and away from your competition. A strategic combination of direct mail, online and mobile marketing and promotional elements can help entice consumers and create long-lasting relationships with local community members.

Below are a couple of strategic techniques for increasing your direct mail ROI (return on investment) and reaching the final goal of turning potential customers into regulars.

Creating promotions based on consumer trends

The general consensus that consumers aren't dining out as frequently poses several questions as to why this trend persists - if time constraints and empty wallets are to blame, then how can restauranteurs combat stale sales? A promotion that aligns with local consumer trends can help boost business; if your market is noticing a shift in the popularity of happy hour, offer a free appetizer from 4-6 p.m. If fast casual concepts near you are booming, create a limited time discount for carry out orders to help families who need dinner in a pinch.

To be as effective as possible, the coupons associated with each promotion should offer broad based choices that appeal to a wide variety of customers. For example, offering a buy one pizza, get one free OR a free order of boneless wings with the purchase of two pizzas will entice new customers while appealing to current customers. This strategy will increase the ROI for the business owner.

Understanding effective print ad design

Knowing that most consumers make a decision within three seconds of looking at an ad, the images, colors and language you use in your ads and coupons are crucial to its success. A visually appealing ad/coupon utilizes a hierarchy of colors to create synergy between the background, base and accent colors. This creates an eye-catching ad that will, in turn, generate a higher conversation rate.

Additionally, a single item that stands out in the ad is more likely to be remembered. Therefore, any call to action that is included should be in a contrasting, yet complimentary color from the background and base colors of the ad. A good example would be a green color palette as the base with an orange accent color to draw attention to your call to action in a quick and effective way.

While the colors utilized are used to grasp consumers' attention, the photos you choose to include can be the deal breaker in a potential customer's decision. It's a tried-and-true practice to incorporate a high-quality, appetizing photo of one of your most popular menu items in your promotional materials that will appeal to both old and new customers alike.

How to properly use social media to engage prospective customers

Social networking sites are a great way to increase interactions with your target audience while building a strategic presence online. Publishing a consistent flow of quality content can be an effective way to enhance your online presence while engaging your target audience. By regularly posting useful content with easy-to-personalize messaging, your followers will be more apt to engage with and share your content.

It's important to keep in mind that depending on your product or promotion, the messaging in your marketing mix may need to be educational rather than promotional and provide a clear value to the target audience. More often than not, a consumers' first reaction to an ad is going to be "What's in it for me?" To catch their attention and drive a response, your message should focus on the benefits they will enjoy by making a purchase from you, such as charitable initiatives you've implemented or the introduction of locally sourced produce. Additionally, properly tracking your ROI and utilizing that information to determine what works best for your business and target audience will lead more effective marketing material for current and future efforts.

These direct mail guidelines, supplemented with an online and mobile marketing campaign, will allow your concept to have direct and personal communication with potential customers in order to drive a steady stream of traffic to your business.

Mike Tinz is Vice President of Sales and Training at Money Mailer and has over 20 years of experience within the direct marketing industry. Money Mailer is a leader in the U.S. direct marketing industry, has been certified as a World-Class Franchise by the Franchise Research Institute and is Entrepreneur magazine's #1 Business Services/Advertising Services franchise for 2016. Prior to joining Money Mailer in 2012, Tinz held positions at Valpak as Vice President of Sales and has also managed sales teams in territories across the country.

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