By: Angela Medlar on August 17th, 2017
Maximize Your Direct Mail at Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Consumers hardly make purchases on a whim. Especially for bigger purchases, they undergo a multi-step decision process – a process called the Buyer’s Journey.
People advance through stages of decision making by conducting research and considering their options before ultimately choosing the best product for their unique situation and budget.
The buyer’s journey is broken up into three stages:
Prospects in each stage can’t be marketed to in the same way. How would you react if you just began researching which neighborhoods you may want to live in and a realtor called pushing a house you’ve never seen, in a neighborhood you’re unfamiliar with? Let’s just say Vegas would set some steep odds for you purchasing that home. You simply can’t be salesy to someone in the awareness stage – or maybe anyone, for that matter.
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In fact, 70% of the buyer’s journey occurs before a sales representative is involved. So how can you make an impact at each stage of the buyer’s journey? How can your direct mail help you make the most of your marketing efforts at each stage? What message will resonate with your audience at each stage of the buyer’s journey?
The Awareness Stage
At the beginning of the buyer’s journey, your prospect is in the awareness phase. Your prospect may not even know your company exists. They may not even understand that they have a problem you can solve.
This initial stage is when a consumer discovers that they have a problem and begins researching the issue. They want to understand their problem(s) more thoroughly.
For these reasons, the awareness stage is all about education and addressing your prospect's pain points. If you can help them to better identify their problems – and discuss how they might be able to solve them – you’ve done your job in this stage.
How to Maximize Direct Mail in the Awareness Stage
When you market to these prospects, you need to use language that identifies and addresses the problem that you can solve. What problems are these prospects experiencing? Do they know that they can solve these problems?
Help inform your prospects by offering educational content. Your mailers should touch on their pain points, captivating them with the valuable information they’ve been searching for. Don’t mention your company’s products or services – you don’t want to put the proverbial “cart before the horse.”
If you cater to your buyer personas and simply offer your knowledge and expertise, you’ll develop a trust – a sense of loyalty to your brand before you even delve into how your company can help them.
Send awareness prospect mailers with links to landing pages or videos so you can leverage your digital content, too. You also want to personalize your message to these individuals as much as possible. This starts with offering them the information that speaks directly to the pains their experiences. Your content needs to answer their questions and address their concerns.
Because the awareness stage is likely your largest segment, make sure you properly track prospect engagement. Using personalized URLs, QR codes, or other hyper-personalized solutions will help you learn which prospects you’re capturing. The latter solutions can also integrate engagement data with your CRM to give you clear insight into the effectiveness of your direct mail.
The Consideration Stage
The next stage in the Buyer’s Journey is the consideration stage. In this period, your prospect has identified and defined their problem. They’re now beginning to research and even seek specific solutions.
These prospects know they have a problem they can’t solve on their own. And they’re trying to determine what kinds of solutions would work best for their unique needs and situation.
How to Maximize Direct Mail in the Consideration Stage
Now is the time to start messaging around your industry and how specific products can help solve these prospects’ problems. Your mailers need to offer information about how your company can solve the problems your prospects expressed in the awareness stage.
You should be addressing questions such as:
- “How can your company address my pain points?”
- “Is your solution affordable?”
- “Is your solution efficient? Is it fast?”
Use your buyer personas to tailor your efforts each the individual. You can’t answer concerns of an upper-level executive in the same manner you would a middle manager, or even a small business owner. Their pain points are not the same.
Communicating relevant information to your individual buyers is key to keeping them engaged and interested in your company.
In fact, 53% of buyers believe that information relevant to their needs has a positive impact on their purchase decision – the highest such form of communication by a wide margin. 33% of buyers said that including their name or other personal information in marketing materials positively influenced their purchase decision – the second most influential aspect of communication.
The Decision Stage
In the final stage of the Buyer’s Journey – the decision stage – your prospects have collected most of the necessary information they need to make an informed purchase. They’ve decided which solution is best suited to solve their problem. Now, they're simply deciding between companies that offer the best solution for their budget.
With the finish line in sight, your goal is to rise above your competition and stand out as the perfect company to address their issues.
How to Maximize Direct Mail in the Decision Stage
Finally, you’ve reached the stage when you get to toot your own horn a little bit. Direct mail pieces for these prospects should communicate what makes you different from your competitors. The aim of these marketing efforts is to aid your prospects in making their decision. Help them understand how your solution is the right solution – the solution they need.
Like all other stages, personalize and align your messaging with your buyer personas’ language and personality. If you run a software company offering different-sized program packages, don’t send the owner of a small business information about your enterprise packages.
If you want to maximize the success of your direct mail campaigns, you must cater your mailers to the individual and give prospects the exact information they’re looking for.
Boost Your ROI From Top to Bottom (of Your Sales Funnel)
No matter where your prospects are in the buyer’s journey, you can leverage direct mail to guide them further down your sales funnel. With modern tools and integrations, you can (read: should) even hyper-personalize your direct mailers to every individual, tailoring to each of and every buyer’s needs.
If hyper-personalization seems too difficult or burdensome, fear not. Read our guide to learn how personalize your direct mail marketing at scale. You’ll also learn how personalization can dramatically improve your marketing ROI.
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