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4 Guidelines for Creating a Direct Mail Campaign Amid COVID-19

Posted by Emily Hegland on May 27, 2020

The pandemic has changed everyone’s priorities.

Right now, people are worried about their health, safety and financial stability. And further down the list is — ah, yes... business objectives.

In the midst of this crisis, you may want to rethink your marketing strategy. Any plans you made pre-pandemic may be off the table. So take time now to evaluate your method, your messaging and more.

Direct mail is a promising avenue for the current state of things. According to the WHO and the CDC, sending and receiving mail is considered safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. And with so many people staying at home, the mailbox is a direct line to your prospects.

Here’s how to craft a successful direct mail campaign during this difficult time:

Send the Right Message

It’s a good idea to mention changes you’ve made to your business, like contactless delivery, protective equipment for workers or payment forgiveness for customers. Times are changing… and customers will appreciate seeing you’ve made the appropriate adjustments.

But your message shouldn’t be centered on you, the business. The focus should be the customer… and how your business can help them. What can you offer people that will help them through this time? And how can you convey that without coming off as opportunistic? If it seems like you’re capitalizing on a crisis, you’ll turn customers away… now, and in the future.

Educate, inspire… maybe even entertain. Just make sure you communicate with empathy. Now, more than ever, it’s important to bring the human element to your marketing.

Choose the Right Photos

Now’s not the time for images of handshakes, hugging or highly populated events. With so many folks sheltering at home, those images don’t exactly portray the world we live in.

Instead, think smaller. A family at home is a good bet. Someone working at home office works, too. Or, if it makes sense for your brand, show essential workers in their element. Just make sure your imagery isn’t at odds with our reality.

Give Back

People are motivated to work with companies that share their values. It’s a good time to help and give back to the community. Are you giving PPE to hospitals? Share the news. Are you donating a portion of your proceeds to COVID-19 relief organizations? That’s a good motivation for your customers to choose you over a competitor who is not. Does buying from you help support small business? Let them know.

You can even give people advice on how they can help, too. Get creative. Can you include a pattern for a homemade mask? How about a hand washing guide they can hang on their fridge? Or include something fun, like a “coloring book” page for kids (and adults) to fill in. When you go the extra mile, it shows you care.

Rethink Your List

It’s not the time for a one-size-fits-all campaign. Really think about your prospect list and segment it out. Some prospects are better targets than others.

As always, the key to direct mail is reaching the right person with the right offer at the right time. So, make sure your message is relevant, timely and useful to the people who read it.

That means you should highlight products, services, or information they need. Does your product help stave off boredom? That’s great. People need a distraction. Do you offer a service people can use without leaving home? Perfect. Let them know they can feel safe. Do you have flexible payment options for those who are out of work? Share that information.

Keep in mind that how you communicate contributes to how your brand will be remembered. This will position you now and in the future as a company that your customers and prospects want to do business with… even if they can’t right now.

If your company needs to improve you direct mail efforts, J&C can help. Whether you just need to craft a better customer message or a whole new strategy, J&C is experienced in motivating customers to act. With new customer behaviors and new consumer patterns developing, direct response channels and tactics should be built into your re-evaluated marketing strategies.

Contact dquigley@jacobsclevenger.com. I’ll show you how we’ve helped other companies like yours get through uncertain times.

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Topics: Direct Marketing, Direct Mail

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