It’s easy to understand why people can be skeptical about trusting digital communications. Every week brings new stories about phishing, hacking, “fake news,” and more.
Direct mail is not immune from encountering skepticism. Maybe customers don’t know much (or anything) about your brand or your reputation. Maybe they’ve seen a lot of direct mail that didn’t make them feel comfortable enough to take action.
To build or strengthen the foundation for this relationship, here are a few tactics you can try to get customer buy-in.
1. Make A Comparison
When customers ask “Why you?”, one possible answer is to talk about how your company’s product or service stands out in your industry. Cite independent research or news studies to make your case. And if you have the figures to prove it, mention your competitors by name – and how you’re better than them. Telecom and insurance companies do this all the time in their mail, showing the advantages of their rates, coverages, and more.
2. Use A Professional Design
This should be pretty easy, but yes, your mail should make the best possible impression about your company or organization. This means easy-to-read fonts, crisp, high-resolution photos, and no cheap or dated graphics. And your copy should be absolutely free from spelling, grammatical, and factual errors. Taking care of all of these elements shows that your company pays attention to detail.
3. Deliver Content
Content can let you illustrate what you can do for your customers. It doesn’t always have to be long copy either. Photos, illustrations, or infographics work as well. Your objective is simply to help, without expecting anything in return from them, at least in the short term.
Use tips, checklists, quizzes, or go big with a newsletter or magazine that gives you an opportunity to let your company’s expertise, as a curator or creator of solutions, shine brightly. And telling your story strengthens that connection.
4. Highlight Your Endorsements
Remember the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval? Have you seen the Charity Navigator or BBB rating? People respect outside or independent authorities. They convey at least some legitimacy on your company. Look for ways to proudly call attention to your industry association memberships, awards, and professional accreditations.
5. Run Testimonials
Word-of-mouth – the experiences of other people – can be a gigantic factor in persuading your prospect to act. This is why testimonials are a time-honored technique in so many direct response channels. But be careful. Their accounts need verisimilitude. They should not only be real, but sound real, from people that your customers can easily identify with. In some of its direct mail, identity security company Lifelock goes beyond the usual testimonial by using screenshots and pull quotes from videos of satisfied customers found on its website.
6. Provide Social Proof
Let’s face it. An impressive multi-channel presence is an important part of your company’s brand identity in today’s world. You want to demonstrate a consistent, seamless experience of your brand. Putting icons for your social media on your mail is simple enough. But there’s an additional step toward credibility that you can take. Look for ways to include reviews and testimonials about your company from those online platforms – ones undoubtedly used by your customers – on your mail piece. This can be a especially powerful tactic for small and local businesses with an active two-way social presence.
Keep in mind that direct mail is not always perfect. No communications medium is. But considering the saturation of inboxes, and the never-ending parade of pop-up and banner ads, direct mail is a tangible way to achieve trust in the eyes of your customers.
Ideas in Action
-Because so many people buy based on what other people experience, make it easy for customers to contact you with their feedback, and ask for their permission to use it in your marketing.
-Leverage content in your direct mail and online to position your brand as both a market expert and a leader.
-Social media and the web give you an opportunity to define your brand across multiple channels, so be sure to provide a similar experience for your customers across them.
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