Why lockdown is the perfect opportunity to connect with your customers – by post!

Choosing to send a letter might feel like an odd choice today. Surely it’s quicker, easier and more cost-effective to send an email?

Well yes, that it true – up to a point. 

However, we are living in a new normal, and people crave greater connection more than ever. We are either working from home, or at work in some way but with limited access to the office and our colleagues.

Indeed, any personal interaction with clients is highly restricted. Which makes physical things we receive through the post so much more powerful – and gives you an opportunity as a business to make a significant impression in the day of a new lead or a respected, long-term customer.

Like with any communication from your business however, you need to ensure any letter represents your brand and maintains your relationship with your customers.

With this in mind, here are five of the most essential steps to take to create your perfect mailing strategy.

1) Know your audience

The starting point for any communication with your audience is understanding what you need to say, how to say it and for what purpose it serves.

You will have a clear understanding of your demographic and will likely have undertaken some audience segmentation. This should inform the branding in your letter and the general tone and approach you take.

When you are sending mail directly into someone’s workplace or home, you need to show more sensitivity to the needs of your audience. If the contents of the letter are relatively formal and of a legal or business nature,your envelope and labelling should demonstrate suitable discretion. You might only include your logo and the phrase “For the addressee only” or “Private and Confidential”.

However, if this a marketing campaign, then your envelope could become an instant message on your customer’s doormat.

2) Branding is essential

Your envelope and your letterhead are a vital part of the communication with your audience. Even though you are communicating in a way that gets directly to spot your client sits, you still need to stand out on their desk. So put some creativity into your design.

Play with shape, size, colour and format – but all within the branding of your whole marketing message. Think of the large companies who still use mail regularly, such as Sky TV. The envelope that comes through the door is like the vans that drive around the towns. A huge photographic image from one of the star-studded television programmes takes centre-stage on the envelope. 

3) Personalisation is the whole point

The reason for sending a letter is to make a connection. It is this point that makes it such an excellent marketing tool in this new, adapted times. People are seeking personal communication with others – and a letter offers this 1:1 interaction but at a suitable social distance.

So, if personal contact is the point, then you are going to have to make the communication individual to the customer. You can use their name in the salutation, which is relatively straightforward. However, if you want the customer to perceive, you have made a special effort – then, make that effort.

You could use details from the customer’s purchasing history with you, or you could make mention of something from the local area in which they live.

Your brand will not benefit from the perception that you are spamming your customers. You need to give the impression that you knew exactly who you were writing to and with a specific purpose.

4) Persuade powerfully

While a letter might give you a little more time in the consciousness of your reader, you don’t get that much more than an email.

So you need to use similar strategies in your letters to a more instant form of communication. You should use a compelling subject line, in bold, which communicates the entire message, and a clear call to action.

Your letter should also make maximum use of bullet points and be written in concise English – jargon-free and to the point. Use bold text to highlight the core message of your letter, so if this is all the reader scanned through – the job would be done.

In short… keep it brief. If you are going to write beyond one side of A4, you have better have a convincing reason for doing so. Psychologically, it is a challenge for anyone to commit to turning the page – which sounds a little pathetic – but you know there is a hint of truth there.

5) Add value

The perfect mailing strategy will come with an extra-special reason for sending the letter. You might want to send a voucher or a coupon. It could be that you are having an exclusive event, and the message is the personal invitation to this specific customer.

Give the impression there was a reason a 1:1 individual communication was essential to this purpose.

Make it personal – and make it count

Sending someone a letter through the post could feel unique to the recipient. If you get it right, brand it well and add a little extra thought and value, you will stand out in these times. So get your pen, paper and a wonderfully labelled envelope and get writing!

Photo by erica steeves