An Old-School Tactic to Drive New Sales | International Franchise Association

An Old-School Tactic to Drive New Sales


Digital marketing may not be the only answer to grow your business.



By Joy Gendusa


Which marketing channel’s response rate do you think tops that of email by a whopping 750 percent, according to a 2017 DMA Response Rate report? Hint: This same marketing channel is considered “old school,” yet huge companies (like Google) depend on it to drive revenue up. That’s right — tech giant Google uses this marketing tactic to drive its $100 billion revenue up! Want to know what it is?


It may surprise you that it’s in your mailbox. Yes, despite our social media and smartphone-saturated world, 81 percent of consumers read or scan their mail every single day. Plus, 70 percent of consumers prefer to receive marketing through traditional direct mail, according to the Direct Marketing Association. But if you thought this 70 percent statistic applies only to older generations, then hold onto your seat. The young generation notoriously glued to their smartphones (of course I’m talking about millennials!) love receiving direct mail — 95 percent, according to a 2015 Gallup study. Moreover, the U.S. Postal Service notes that 82 percent of millennials view print marketing as more trustworthy than digital marketing, if you can believe it.


Heed the Stats


So what is this all driving at? If you’ve allocated your marketing budget away from direct mail assuming no one cares about it anymore, you may be losing leads and new customers. Consumers still pay attention to, enjoy, and some outright prefer direct mail for marketing communications.


“You may fall short if you only use digital means.”


Here’s just one example of how a Sylvan Learning Center franchise owner generated 80 responses and 40 new students from one direct mail campaign. First, they purchased a mailing list of 6,000 records with these demographics: 

  • Female
  • Income of $100,000+
  • Children in the home ages 5-17.


The mailing list isolated homes with school-aged children, which is Sylvan's exact targeted demographic. This brings us to a little-known nugget about direct mail lists: You can target prospects with direct mail that no other marketing channel can.


Here are just a few of the demographics you can target exclusively with mailing lists:

  • The age of children in the home
  • Number of children in the home
  • Credit score
  • Year the home was built
  • Renters
  • Length of time in a residence 



Diversify Your Marketing

If you want to target your location’s ideal prospects so that your marketing generates calls from people likely to grow your business — You may fall short if you only use digital means. Here are a few other highlights from that Sylvan franchise's marketing campaign:

  • It was well-timed – mailed in May, right as summer begins and summer tutoring can take place.
  • It was well-targeted – see above for their specific mailing list.
  • It was successful – 40 new students registered for a projected $72,000 in revenue.


3 Tips for Direct Mail


So how do you, as a franchise owner, use direct mail effectively in the digital age to drive leads to your location?


  1. Get a laser-targeted mailing list.


Start by getting a quality mailing list from a company that guarantees at least 90 percent of your mail will be deliverable.


  1. Commit to a consistent campaign before you begin (three to six months minimum).


You should mail to your mailing list at least three times. Note: This is the No. 1 hardest concept to teach small business owners! Marketing consistently to a group of people, whether it’s a mailing list, or people on Facebook, is the most important marketing lesson I’ve taught small business owners over the past 20 years. Your prospects must see your marketing message repeatedly to go from unaware or neutral about your business to aware and then interested. By only marketing your franchise here and there, you open the door to competitors who do market consistently and then it's goodbye leads.


  1. Run digital ads on Google, Facebook and Instagram that match your mail piece (and amplify its reach).


Here’s where the multi-channel strategy enters in: You need to match your Google, Facebook (and even Instagram ads) to your direct mail marketing and display those ads to the same people you mail to. It’s a coordinated, multiple-platform approach. Use the same design, special offer, and messaging – all marketing ad elements should match. So no matter where your prospects are – at home, browsing hundreds of websites in the Google network, social media – they’ll see your marketing again and again. And considering the average household receives only two pieces of direct mail a day — versus a crazy 157 emails per day, according to USPS — the opportunity for you to reach your prospects with your franchise’s message could be much larger than you think!


With this formula, you can create the impression that your location is the No. 1 choice for your product or service in your area … by marketing everywhere your prospects spend their time.


Joy Gendusa is Founder and CEO of PostcardMania, an Inc. 500, nationally recognized marketing company based in Florida. Learn more about PostcardMania.