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Direct Mail Strategies for the Multi-Location Business

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


Optimizing your direct mail investment dollars for multi-location campaigns is done by considering the printing and mailing service efficiency of the entire campaign.  With cost cutting strategies to be shared among franchise owners to data capturing techniques for the head quarter marketing arm, the multi-location business can benefit from a number of simple strategies as shown below.


Printing Efficiency


Probably one of the largest expenses to your direct mail campaign is printing.  And with each store location all mailing various messages at differ times to different audiences, the process can be a monumental headache.  Ideally, your goal is to shore up as much of this print waste as possible.  One of the things you should consider is garnering all the information from each of the franchise owners in terms of what they are mailing, who they are mailing to, and what kind of response they are achieving. 


Most multi-location business owners believe they know and understand their current customers already, but there is a difference between how they would describe their customers, and how one of the several national databases that compile mailing list information would describe their customers.  It’s an important distinction to be made because with this understanding, not all locations are the same.  The goal is to develop uniformity throughout your locations. 


The more each of your store locations can share in their information, the better their overall response will become.  And printing the same or similar mail pieces all at the same time is far more efficient than each location manager going through the campaign execution process. Many printers will have partnerships throughout the U.S. where it makes economic sense to print your west coast location pieces on the west coast, and your east coast on the east coast, rather than have all printed in the Midwest and have the U.S.P.S. deliver all of them individually.  Today’s digital technology allows us to easily forward the digital copy to anyone for a quick quote per volume right along with the mailing list provided in digital format.


Direct Mail Competition


Though there may be a strong demand for your product.  People may see your products and services differently as compared to they see your competition.  In one market, your product may be well received, while in a different market your competition may maintain the market lead.  Therefore, direct mail can be an excellent medium to capturing new business if you know who to go after.  Some multi-location mailers will combat the competition by mailing heavily in area’s their competition has a strong hold, while mailing less where they already have a strong presence. 


This defensive strategy works well when your product and your client’s product are more similar.  The mail focus with defensive direct mail is to build brand and position your brand differently as compared to the competition. The more you know about what your competition is doing, the better you’ll be able to campaign against them, differentiate your business products and services, and learn from your competitions mistakes.


Data Mining Opportunities


Your current list of customers may be the single most valuable asset to your business.  When it, you can make better decisions as to who to mail to in the future, and how to communicate to them. One of the more popular data mining techniques it to enhance your mailing list database of existing good customers with a variety of demographic elements.  This is done by appending information to your existing customer database in an effort to better describe what these people look like, and especially what they do not look like. 


What’s really interesting is to then compare how your customers look like as compared to the average population within the market they reside.  In many cases, you’ll find that your customers have something in common and capitalizing on this commonality is the key to mailing smart and lifting response. With multi-location mailing, data mining can help predict both who to mail to in a new market, as well as identifying a new location for your next business opening.


Pooling Interests


Many franchise businesses utilizing direct mail as a way to increasing their business traffic will pool their marketing efforts to achieve higher discounts on printing, mailing, and mailing list data costs.  They will also share the results of their direct mail campaigns to learn from each other faster.  As a way to avoid competing with each other, they will also identify store boundaries so as to not duplicate the efforts of the other store.