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9 Ways to Generate Direct Mail Leads


9 Ways to Generate Direct Mail Leads [Ideas for Direct Mail Service Providers]

In this article, we’re sharing 9 ways on how direct mail service providers can generate leads by using Who’s Mailing What!

In the last year, 44.4% of companies increased the number of direct mails they send to create brand awareness and increase customer engagement. Most of them outsource their direct mail printing needs to third-party vendors (like you!) — and if you’re in the market for new clients, lead generation can seem like a very daunting task.

There’s already a limited pool of potential customers, and most are already happy with their existing service provider. Persuading them to consider new, possibly better options seems like quite the challenge, however, there are still a few ways to identify customers you can offer improved services to.

1. Look at the companies sending EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail)

Many brands use the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) services to promote their business when they’re having a seasonal sale, offering coupons, or opening a new outlet.

While EDDM allows you to reach potential customers without knowing their names or addresses, the downside is that there’s little room for personalization. In the absence of a definitive target audience, your postcard, envelope, or self-mailer might not end up in the right hands.

According to an Accenture survey, 91% of customers are more likely to shop from brands that provide recommendations that cater to their individual interests. Therefore, more and more companies are focussed on tailoring their direct mail content for the receivers.

If you’re an agency, printer or data vendor capable of creating personalized campaigns using Variable Data Printing (VDP), you can offer your services to companies that primarily use EDDM and as a result, don’t personalize their direct mail communication.

Position your VDP offerings as a better alternative to EDDM; afterall, they encourage companies to opt for personalized communication as opposed to blindly sending bulk mails. Not to mention, most vendors also provide segmented mailing lists that can be very useful for companies looking to cater to a specific group of people.

Simply search for EDDM or “Every Door Direct Mail” on our platform, and apply relevant filters (like location and/or industry) to narrow down the results. Remember, adding inverted commas (“”) to your search query is important if you want to search for specific words or phrases. The bottom-line is to find companies that send EDDM.

Look at the companies sending EDDM

Once you’ve identified companies that are great leads for you, the next step is to check their profile to find out more details (campaign frequency, format-type, copy, design, etc) about their direct mail campaigns. You can follow and save these companies to your dashboard for quick access and to receive notifications about their latest activity.

Remember to check out at the available contacts for each company, and based on the job title, see which company personnel you should reach out to. Go ahead and save these contacts to the dashboard, so you can export them whenever necessary for further outreach.

2. Look at the companies that use direct mail formats that you specialize in

One of the most common lead generation mistakes that most marketers make is trying to appeal to everyone. You cannot sell a boat to a cat, no matter how good your sales pitch is.

Instead of targeting all companies that send direct mail, you’d be better off reaching out to the ones that send direct mail formats that you are the most well-known for.

If your business specializes in specific direct mail formats (for example, your focus area is postcards, wherein, you offer unconventional postcard sizes, in addition to the standard ones), then WMW! is a great resource for finding companies that primarily rely on postcard campaigns for outreach. You can reach out to them to offer better and cheaper printing solutions.

Apply the direct mail format filter to your search query to find companies that most often use the format you dabble in and save them to your dashboard. Later, you can export the entire company list and introduce your services to the respective decision-makers.

Look at the companies that use direct mail formats that you specialize in

3. Look at the companies using direct mail formats that are least likely to perform in their industry

Marketers often spend a lot of time perfecting the design and copy for their campaigns, however, there’s not much of a conversation around which direct mail format is best suited for a particular industry. Here’s when you swoop in and save the day.

For example, postcards are proven to garner more response for the restaurant industry, and they’re also cheaper to produce. You can use WMW! to find restaurants that are using envelopes and self-mailers, that are known to have lower success rates, and pitch them your services instead. For a prospective company, this goes to show that you have done your research; not only have you recognized the problem area in their direct mail strategy, but also proposed a clear-cut solution to improve things.

Look at the companies using direct mail formats that are least likely to perform in their industry

To understand more about what direct mail format type works best for each industry, you can take advantage of WMW!’s Free Look Up tool to get more insights — just select the industry of your choice and scroll down.

use free look up tool to search for direct mail insights

4. Look at the companies using premiums or inserts in their campaigns

It’s not uncommon for companies to send stickers, calendars, and other tangible incentives with their direct mail to increase engagement rate.

Depending on the types of inserts you create, you can use the WMW! keyword search to find direct mail formats that mention phrases like

  • “free <inserts you create> inside” – (e.g., “free calendar inside”)
  • “<inserts you create> inside” – (e.g., “magnet inside”)
  • “<inserts you create> enclosed” – (e.g., “stickers enclosed”)

Look at the companies using premiums or inserts in their campaigns

Review (and save!) the campaigns most relevant to your business model. Follow the prospect companies for quick access, and to get notified about their most recent campaigns.

Lastly, shortlist and export company contacts you want to reach out to.

5. Look at the companies not using premiums or inserts in their campaigns

As an addendum to the previous point, you can also reach out to companies that stand to benefit from premiums or inserts but are not using either at the moment. Demonstrate how your high-quality products can help them improve direct mail engagement rates across multiple campaigns.

Use the WMW! keyword search, and an assortment of filters to find companies that fulfill your specific criteria. Add a minus (-) to exclude certain words or phrases — for example, when you enter “- calendar enclosed”, you will be presented with all the companies that don’t use calendar inserts for their campaigns. You can save their contacts on the dashboard, and talk to them about how using calendar inserts will make their direct mail strategy more customer-friendly.

Look at the companies not using premiums or inserts in their campaigns

6. Look at the companies using Business Reply Mail

A recent WMW! research found that almost 50% of companies that used Business Reply Mails (BRM) are not doing that anymore. The reason is simple: Today, there are plenty of mediums, like QR codes, social media channels, apps, and websites, that companies can use to connect with customers. That being said, many of them are yet to take the leap of faith and you can act as a catalyst in making that happen.

Use WMW! to search for companies that actively use BRM and introduce them to the digital alternatives that can come in handy for collecting responses from customers.

Start by typing ‘Business Reply Mail’ in your search field, and apply relevant filters (like format, category of interest, time range, etc) to customize your results. Save all the companies relevant to you, so they’re easily accessible from your dashboard. You’ll also receive updates on newly-added campaigns from these companies.

Look at the companies using Business Reply Mail

For further outreach, you can export the contact list of the companies from WMW! dashboard with just a few clicks.

7. Search for prospect companies in your location

Previously, we went over the many ways in which you can search for leads under the WMW! Creatives tab (that’s available for all WMW! members). To take things to the next level, you’d need WMW!’s Sales Leads add-on (available for those having paid membership) to get a ready-made list of companies in your target location that are using direct mail to communicate with their customer base.

You can set your target location under the Mail Advertisers tab. WMW! makes it possible for you to search for several locations at once (as shown in the screenshot below).

Search for prospect companies in your location

In order to tailor your offerings as per company requirements, make sure you check out the company profiles to get more information about their campaign history. Save the ones that interest you to the dashboard for quick access, and export the contact list when you have an outreach plan in place.

8. Search for prospect companies in your industry

Similar to the previous point, you can also use the industry filter under the Mail Advertisers tab to search for companies operating in your preferred industry.

For example, if you specialize in printing direct mail for the Insurance industry, you’d have more success reaching out to companies like Geico, USAA, AutoCab, and the likes, instead of Domino’s, PetSmart or Google. You can follow relevant companies (and save them to the WMW! dashboard) to get regular updates on their campaigns.

Search for prospect companies in your industry

Finally, take a look at the contacts associated with each company and save the ones you want to reach out to.

9. Search for companies similar to your current or potential clientele

Companies that are in the same industry, or sell the same products as your existing clients are more likely to convert than others. This also includes companies that match your ideal customer profile and feature at the top of your prospects list.

You can either search for your current customers under the Mail Advertisers tab, or find the profile page of a potential customer and scroll down to the Similar Companies section. You can discover and save the companies you like. There’s also an option to export a list of these companies (and the contacts associated with them) for further outreach.

Search for companies similar to your current or potential clientele

In Conclusion

Remember, at WMW!, our goal is to equip direct mail service providers like you with valuable knowledge and insights about potential clients in your industry.

We provide access to 50,000+ top decision-makers who buy direct mail services. Our users can select from 22,000+ small, medium and large mailers by industry.

More importantly, we identify hundreds more and more sales leads weekly.

Since our collection only includes companies that are actively using direct mail marketing to reach out to their customers, you don’t have to spend extra time, money, or resources to target brands that are not interested in direct mail services.

We hope this article helped you understand the many ways in which you can target companies that use direct mail to communicate with their customer base. Once you’ve identified your prospects, it’s important to send a well-crafted, convincing personalized outreach message that will increase your chances of success. We will go into more details about that next time!

President at Who's Mailing What!

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