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Marketing Your Illinois Business

Traditional Marketing in Your Bar: Direct Mail

February 27, 2019

I’m sure we can all agree that today, many young professionals and entrepreneurs in the business world are always looking for better ways to work smarter - not harder.  Everyone is looking for the most effective and efficient way of doing business, and they want everything done fast. To accomplish this, many have adapted an online approach when it comes to conducting business. Here at Accel, we think it’s very important to have a strong online presence when it comes to promoting your brand - but it’s also important to keep in mind the potential customers who aren’t always online.

When trying to reach these offline customers, we’d suggest running a direct mail campaign to promote your establishment. I’m sure you’re now thinking about all the direct mails you’ve received in the past. After shuffling through the day’s mail, you perhaps barely notice the direct mails in your pile, or at most glance it over front and back and then toss it in the trashcan. What’s stopping people who receive your direct mailer from doing the same?

We believe direct mail campaigns can be incredibly effective if done correctly. Here are a few ideas and recommendations to ensure that your direct mail campaign doesn’t turn into a paper airplane or get used in the next game of trash-ket-ball.

Keep in Mind the 40/40/20 Rule

If you’re unfamiliar with this rule, just know that it has everything to do with your ROI (Return on Investment) and the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign. Here are the three factors that make up the 40/40/20 rule:

40% of the success of your mail campaign will come from the effectiveness of your mailing list. Before you even begin the process of creating and designing your mail campaign you have to figure out who your target market is. This is crucial when it comes to the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign. Say you’re a new local bar owner looking to get the word out about your establishment. You may want to consider creating your mailing list based on the addresses within the same zip code as your establishment.Download our workbook to create a winning customer experience in your gaming location

40% will depend on how enticing you make your CTA (call-to-action). When running a direct mail campaign, you should always add an offer that will get people through your door. It’s one thing to put your establishment’s name, address, and a tasty photo of a burger on your mailer. It’s another thing to add an incentive message like, “show this to your server and this burger is yours for free”. Although this may cost you a little bit of money upfront, once you gain a loyal customer, the ROI will be well worth it. Additionally, when people bring your direct mail in to receive their offer, you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaign!

20% of the success of your mail campaign will come from everything else. These things include but are not limited to: the design and layout of your mail campaign, the day or month your mail campaign was sent, or the company you used to help you create and distribute this mail campaign. This is where many people get confused. Many believe that in order to run a successful mail campaign they must utilize time, money and effort to come up with the biggest and best mail campaign that will stand out among all the rest. Although all of this is key, it is not the most important tactic for your mail campaign’s success.

Don’t Forget to Proof Read Before You Send

Nothing says “throw me away” like a big typo in the middle of your mailer. This can be embarrassing and will appear to your audience as unprofessional and sloppy. Potentially worse – you could end up giving your recipient incorrect information, like the wrong address, sending them to the restaurant down the street! Run your mail campaign by your friends, family, neighbor, everyone and have them proof read! Double check every detail, and the more eyes on it the better.

Partner with a Trusted Vendor

Once you’re happy with your direct mail campaign, it’s time to send it to print. We suggest you partner with a trusted vendor to help you. Typically, these vendors are direct mail campaign experts and can even offer suggestions and finishing touches to your mailer to help aid in your success. Many vendors can also provide help with your mailing list and will even help mail everything out for you.

Once your direct mail campaign is complete and sent all you need to do is sit back and watch your new customers come rolling in. Since you added an enticing deal to this mail campaign, you can also track how successful it was based on how many customers come to your establishment to take advantage of your call-to-action. Here at Accel, we are always working to engage as many customers as possible through many platforms - including direct mail campaigns. If you’re interested in running a direct mail campaign for your establishment but don’t know where to start, reach out to us in the comments below! We are always happy to help!

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