direct mail for retail

Direct mail marketing can be one of the most expensive tactics you use, but the return on your investment can also be the highest. To make the most of your direct mail campaigns, you must first understand your buyers, their usual objections, and the types of mail they respond to. Next, and this is the most important part, you must know where those buyers are in the sales cycle.

By knowing how soon your potential customers might buy, you can send highly specialized mail pieces to reach them exactly where they are. Instead of sending mass-produced, generic postcards and flyers, consider these specific direct mail marketing pieces for better results.

We’re Here!

There is nothing wrong with letting the consumers in your area know you’ve recently opened for business. You may not have all the necessary information about your new neighbors to segment your contact lists according to buyer persona, but there are some other clues you can use. For instance, you can separate according to income with some success by determining the more affluent neighborhoods. This may help you choose the products or services you advertise with your first hello.

You can also personalize these pieces with family names to let your potential buyers know you’re excited to get to know them. Include individual phone numbers or landing pages for each mailer you send so you can keep track of responses. This will help you determine the beginning of the buying cycle.

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Losing customers due to relocation isn’t easy, but you do have the excitement of new potential buyers moving in. Take the time to reach out to those who move into your general location and let them know you’re glad they’ve arrived.

The beauty of this and the first example is that everyone is at the starting line. You know exactly where these consumers are in the buying cycle, which makes your job easy. Now, coming up with creative ways to say “hi” may not be as easy.

New Products or Services Announcement

The next part of the sales funnel is all about information. By this point, you should have some idea of which customers in your area have shown an interest in your business. You can move onto pieces that keep those potential buyers up to speed on what you’re doing. When you bring in new products that will appeal to particular buyers, send a personalized card out inviting them to come in and see everything for themselves.

Sale and Coupon Announcements

Sale announcements work for anyone in your contact database, especially since some buyers may have been waiting for a good deal before making the leap. If you do have some familiarity with buyers in your area, you can personalize those sale announcements to feature products or services that will generate some excitement.

For instance, if you have a loyal buyer who comes in once per month to buy a particular lotion from your body products line, you may put that brand front and center on her particular mail piece. Not only will she be excited to see her favorite on sale, but she’ll also be touched that you remembered her.

Special Events Invitations

Everyone in your contact list should get an invitation to your next special event, whether it’s an open house or a chance to try brand new products. You can, however, target specific buyers with personalized invitations. Take the opportunity to point out why he or she will enjoy the event. If you can hint at past purchases or the amount of time that buyer has been a loyal customer, they’ll be touched that you remembered them.

You may also consider bestowing VIP status on those who’ve been customers or show signs of making their first purchase. Special attention could be exactly what they need to make a purchase.


The buying cycle doesn’t end when a customer makes a purchase. If you hope to continue building your customer database while also increasing the amount of money those buyers spend with each purchase, you have to keep in touch after the first purchase is made.

Not only is a congratulations letter or card a great way to keep in touch, but it’s also the perfect way to help buyers justify their purchases. If you want those buyers to come back for more, you can help curb the possibility of buyers’ remorse.

We Want You Back

When you notice some of your most loyal buyers haven’t been around in a while, you may want to send out a little note welcoming them back. These work really well if you call your customers by name and include a special offer just for them. By paying close attention to their purchase histories, you can choose the perfect item to offer at a discount. For instance, if one of your most loyal shoe buyers always buys flats, offer 15% off your entire collection of flat sandals, slippers, and boots.

One last tip: always as a PS to your mail. This is the most-often-read line in every direct mail piece, so make sure it packs a punch. Reiterate the offer and the terms, confirm the date and time for special events, or share your social networks and web address.

When you’re ready to start growing your retail business, give AMi a call. We’ll walk you through each of these mail pieces and help you spark great relationships with your buyers.