The Power of Soft Touches

mail /  13 February 19 / by Iain Schofield    
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When you think about creating a direct mail campaign, what messages spring to mind?

Special offers? New products? Big company news? Direct mail is great for all of these. But sometimes, it’s the soft touches that make the biggest impact.

A soft touch mailing is any mailing that doesn’t overtly advertise or promote your specific product or service. Instead, these mailings check-in with your customers, build/maintain a relationship and cultivate that ever-elusive loyalty.

But what should I send and when?

Birthdays are a no-brainer. If you have the data, a personalised birthday card is a great way to make a connection with customers.

Depending on the type of business you run, you may have a calendar full of key dates specific to your customers. For example, say you run a charity that rehomes dogs, why not mail someone on their adoption anniversary and check-in with them. This same logic can apply to lots of big purchases or commitments.

Car dealership? ‘Happy car-versary’ - Happy car-versary

Mortgage provider ‘Cheers to a year in your new home’ - happy anniversary card

Major public holidays (Christmas, Easter, New Year etc) are a great excuse to send a personalised mailing and show customers you care.

Identify key dates for your customers and use them as an excuse to touch base.

Here’s how we did it

As a direct mail specialist, key dates for our customers are pretty varied. So we stuck to the public holiday approach. For Valentine’s day, we thought it’d be nice to send a personalised card to our clients (existing, lapsed and potential). No hard sell. No offer. Just a card.

Well, sort of. Our card came with an extra interactive component. Each card had a custom greeting on the cover, a rhyme inside and a QR code with a prompt to scan. We wanted to play on the secret admirer theme and create some suspense.

So, we purchased an intriguing web domain (whoismyvalentine.co.uk) and created a personalised greeting and a short video. When our client scanned the code (or entered it manually) they received a custom message and a prompt to watch the video. The video is sincere, silly and hopefully a bit of fun. Right at the end, we reveal our identity and offer our thanks.

The hope is, clients (be they existing, lapsed or potential) will watch the video and remember us. We want to make a lasting impression, not bombard them with impersonal promotions.

Promotions and special offers are great. Just be sure to include appropriate soft touches to mix up your approach. Regular soft touches are powerful marketing tools, they help create lasting relationships built on a conversational, customer-centric approach.

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Check out our gallery at the top of the page for more pictures

Note - Since publishing, our campaign has been a huge hit. A simple personalised Valentine's card got us a huge 20.5% open rate / CTR which is massive! We even had clients call us just to say thanks, opening up dialogue and building relationships. This just goes to show the power of small touches.

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