Offline Marketing-Direct Mail
To mail or not to mail, that is the question. Having now posed the question let me give you my best answer…YES!
Back in the day, I spent several years in the direct mail business, and by direct mail I am referring to the old-fashioned lick-it, stick-it and throw it in the post box kind of mail. In fact my introduction to the online gaming business back in ’96 was through the provision of print and mailing services to some of the early adopters in this industry. But these operators were visionaries in many senses of the word, and it took many more years before most online gaming companies started to look offline for effective marketing solutions.
What never fails to amaze me is the lack of direct mail that I receive personally. I am a depositing player with dozens of sites, some of them at an embarrassingly significant level, and I can truthfully still count the total number of pieces of direct mail that I have been sent on my fingers.
Does that mean that direct mail doesn’t work, or is it a case of a generation of online marketers that simply don’t understand the incredible power of placing a piece of personalized communication directly into the hands of their customers, and their prospects? I believe that it is the latter.
In marketing we have four customer communication goals; acquisition, conversion, retention through relationship management, and reacquisition. Direct mail can be used for all of these goals, and in fact is the only single cost effective communication medium that can. Personalized mail allows you to speak to new prospects, converse with existing customers, and address lost players effectively, all at a reasonable cost to your business.
A well designed mail piece is its own salesperson; containing visual images, written information, attractive offers, and of course a call to action. Mailings to existing customers can be further personalized to include information that is specific to each individual, allowing the sender to tailor offers to the individual recipients based on their history.
Determining if using a direct mail piece is a cost effective way for new customer acquisition is easy to determine. If you sell a product that provides you with an average profit of $100, and you get a 1% response, as long as your mailing package has a total cost of less than $1.00 per piece you are making money. If your customer is worth $200 the same 1% response and mailing cost means that you are making some serious profit.
Rather than get bogged down with math, the easy rule of thumb is this; if you use a well targeted list, ensure you have a great offer, and include both a response device and a call to action, you won’t go wrong. A response device is as simple as including your url and support department contact information – you just need to give recipients a way to take you up on your offer. An effective call to action is one that says “do this now and get this, and by the way, the offer expires soon”. Tell them what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and why they should. Do not leave any of this up to them to figure out.
Direct mail is also the single most effective way to cross-sell your existing customers to another product or service that you offer. Have two casino sites? Let the players at one site know about the other one. Tell your forum members about your rakeback site. Inform your sportsbook customers about the new poker site you are promoting.
We all know that communication is paramount to success – add direct mail to your advertising and customer relationship strategies. You will not be disappointed.
Gian Perroni is the President of the Canadian Affiliate Management Company, (CanAffco.com), and has been in the online gaming industry since 1997. A frequent speaker at gaming conferences, Gian has himself been an affiliate, an affiliate program director, and an operator. He and his team work with gaming and retail merchants, helping them manage their affiliate programs. Gian can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.