In-house mailings are great ways to stay in touch with your customers — and to contact prospective customers. Mass mailing, in small-business terms, ranges from sending out a dozen invitations to bulk-mailing several hundred coupons. In any case, your company's message is repeated and your company gains top-of-mind familiarity.
You can do your own mailings, or you can purchase mailing lists from outside brokers. Purchasing customer contact information puts you in the realm of direct mail — you can read more about the logistics of that type of customer acquisition in our article, What's the Difference Between Mail and Direct Mail?
Whether you buy a list or collect your customer information yourself, small-business mass mailings can take several forms, some more creative than others.
- Sales letters to generate sales.
This is the traditional goal of a mass mailing. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to create a letter campaign that generates immediate sales all by itself. You'll need to follow up, so a good mailer should build some rapport, deliver a compelling reason to call later, and prepare the recipient for your follow-up. Sales letters are also a good way to follow up on prospects and leads developed at trade shows. Together with personalized sales contact, sales letters are a critical step in translating prospects into sales.
- Informational flyers to expand awareness of your company, its products, and its services.
Although flyers aren't likely to result in immediate orders, they should be suggestive reminders of who you are and what you offer. Flyers should be brief and to the point. They generally announce some type of positive change in your offerings or operations and create curiosity about what's new and different.
- Special discounts to build customer loyalty.
Whether they take advantage of your offer or not, everybody appreciates a bargain. Special offers let customers know your appreciation for their business. This develops customer loyalty and draws customers closer to your business.
- Educational newsletters to gain credibility and answer common questions.
Because they require research, educational newsletters are the most time-consuming mailing tactic. At the same time, they also offer the most value to your customers. Newsletters can enhance your credibility and authority in the marketplace and are very effective marketing tactics. If you're not comfortable producing an entire newsletter, type up a practical advice or tip sheet. Don't hesitate to leverage your knowledge and position yourself as an expert in your business. Just make sure that your advice is sound.
- Greeting cards to foster good will.
Do not pass up an opportunity to be courteous and thoughtful. Send holiday cards with personal notes to everyone in your company database. Anniversaries are also good opportunities to thank customers for their support.
Of course, more and more businesses are turning to e-mail to boost their mail marketing efforts. At the same time, however, legislation on e-mail spam is stepping up the parameters for businesses using the Internet in their marketing efforts. Read our article, Four Rules of Permission Marketing, for an overview of the limitations of an e-mail campaign.