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Direct mail is one of, if not the, most effective ways to attract attention and business on a local level. However, executing a direct mail brand-to-local marketing strategy for your franchise system can be tough when it’s necessary to take into account and balance the unique needs of several, often diverse, communities of customers in each of the local marketing territories of your franchisees. From list selection, creative localization, printing costs, mailing and measurement scaling, direct mail has been a challenge often leading to a fragmented marketing strategy. In this article we review how franchise systems can leverage direct mail effectively for your franchise network.

1. Implement content management,  list acquisition, asset management, personalization and ordering through one convenient through-channel management platform 

Franchises are realizing the tremendous advantage to be had by managing every facet of print and digital marketing with content marketing platforms that help them strategize and coordinate direct mail campaigns. 

From one user-friendly interface, franchises can manage content distribution and delivery for multiple direct mail campaigns across several locations, maintaining brand and messaging consistency with pinpoint data accuracy. The backbone of every successful direct mail campaign is the mailing list, and management software systems like Marketing.com’s dot platform allow franchises to strategically segment customer data to make sure the direct mail arrives in the hands of the intended audience.

2. Control Direct Mail Costs with Innovative Print Technologies

Franchises are capitalizing on the ability to enhance direct mailings with variable print personalization, interactive direct mail and print solutions powered by Augmented Reality (AR), and real-time tracking of delivery and response data. These emerging technologies give them tools to let households connect and engage in marketing and promotional print campaigns through QR codes and personalized website URLs. They also provide benefits through real-time response analysis, which is a rather recent development that has strengthened the impact of direct mail to gauge and adapt campaigns. A study by Beaconstac found that in some cases QR Codes can let companies reduce printing and operational costs by up to 98%.

As an added bonus, the flexibility to keep content fresh with QR codes and other embedded coding reduces costs and bridges the gap between print and digital channels, turning previously static content into vibrant, interactive messaging. According to DemandGen Report, 88% of marketers said that interactive content is effective in differentiating their brand from their competitors.

3. Enhance Personalization with On-Demand Printing

On-demand printing works hand in hand with variable data to customize and personalize each piece of direct mail. It also adds a cost-effective way to keep messaging targeted with quick turn-around scheduling without a sacrifice in print quality. On-demand printing reduces the amount of space local businesses need for storing marketing materials and helps keep materials from becoming outdated with old contact info, addresses, and expired promotions. Relevancy matters to shoppers. According to a joint study by OneSpot and the Marketing Insider Group, nearly 80% of consumers said personally relevant content increases their purchase intent for a brand’s products and services.

In fact, failing to make direct mail content important to the recipient can actually turn the customer away. That same survey found that nearly half of consumers won’t spend time with branded content if it’s not relevant to their interests. Adding print-on-demand capabilities through an effective content marketing platform lets franchises develop trust with their customers by sharing valuable information that’s needed to make informed decisions. Personalization creates relationships that feel more authentic.

4. Initiate and Build Franchise Loyalty Programs with Direct Mail

Direct mail holds tremendous opportunities for franchises to increase the lifetime value of relationships with customers through loyalty programs. The advantages that make direct mail managed with a content management system a valuable tool in a franchise’s marketing toolbox – trust, personalization, relevance, and triggered, print-on-demand flexibility – can lift loyalty program participation and increase revenue. According to Que-it, the top performing loyalty programs boost revenue from customers who use them by 15-25% annually.

A successful loyalty program is a franchise’s confirmation from their customers that they’re doing things right. Loyal customers want to stay informed, and will share data with a franchise in order to receive discounts and personalized rewards. Best of all, they help franchises control customer acquisition costs. A study by Forbes found that, depending on the industry, it can cost five to seven times more to attract a new customer than to hold on to an existing one.

5. Strengthen Local Marketing in Real-Time

Through channel systems that offer direct mail functionality can help you tailor local offerings and communications for your franchise system. They’re able to build upon unique local characteristics to form deeper connections with customers. It’s a matter of meeting the customer where they are, integrating their location and personal data, and creating experiences that reflect the needs, customs, and buying preferences of local audiences.  

Localized direct mail campaigns take advantage and build on the brand awareness and familiarity created by other local marketing components, like store signage, billboards, and even positive recommendations shared on social media by friends. Franchises use direct mail to get local audiences to take action, whether it’s redeeming a print coupon, scheduling an appointment, or attending a special promotional event. Small Business Trends data found that a significant 62% of people who responded to direct mail made a purchase.

Innovative print technologies and the ability to easily manage franchise direct mail with through-channel platforms like Dot™ increases the impact that direct mail already makes with customers. Franchises should seize on the benefits of personalization, cost savings, customer loyalty, data optimization, and visibility that make direct mail a valuable component of all omnichannel marketing strategies.

Contact a Marketing.com franchise marketing expert today to learn more about Dot™, our comprehensive, technology-centered, people-powered platform that seamlessly manages direct mail and omnichannel marketing campaigns and connects the dots across all your franchise marketing channels.

Posted in Direct Mail | Posted on 11/16/2023