Direct Mail -- Restaurants and Small Businesses
With consumers’ email inboxes full and mailboxes much less so, direct mail is returning into a more important way to advertise your promotions.
While it’s impossible to capture real email addresses for every person who walks through your door, you can send a restaurant postcard or mailer to just about every customer residing within your delivery zip code. The benefits of direct mail for restaurants or even a small business: it can help build brand awareness, improve consideration and even drive traffic to your business. It can also be easy to track your return on investment through profit analysis after your mailers go out.
If you decide to implement a direct mail campaign, here are a few small tips...
Direct mail allows you to reach consumers in a real and physical way, so make your mailer useful. Chances are that customers and potential customers alike will put your coupons, postcards, menus up on their fridge, especially if it has a promotion that can be redeemed later.
If you’re looking to expand your delivery service, consider a coupon for free delivery. Or if you’re promoting a new product, maybe you can offer a discount with a purchase. Delivering value to someone's door will keep your business memorable.
Many customers who receive your postcard or mailer will still visit your website before they visit your place of business (or even lookup reviews of your business). Include your new products/services on your homepage or even a temporary splash page.
Just like any marketing strategy, direct mail is an investment. If you don’t track results, you won’t know if it’s working.
If you are mailing out coupons, put systems in place for your staff to collect them, or if you’re using online coupon codes, track how many times customers cash in on those discounts. Use this data to track which orders can attributed to your direct mail campaign, and optimize future campaigns accordingly.
Track your profit increase after your mailers are delivered to see how your audience responds. If it is not the result you had hoped for, mark it down and remember next time to make the necessary adjustments.
Alternatives to Direct Mail
Very few marketing strategies work for every single business. Because direct mail can require a significant investment in materials, graphic design and postage, some choose other strategies to reach their potential consumers. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google, or pay-for-performance – like through online ordering on Yelp24 or grubhub – allow restaurants to forgo the printing costs associated with direct mail and pay for results instead.