3 Ways to Improve Direct Mail to New Neighbors

Did you know that 15% of the U.S. population moves each year? That’s 45 million people looking for new doctors, dry cleaners and even health clubs, annually. YMCAs have an opportunity to grow their membership every time a new family or individual moves into the community.


Ys commonly use direct mail as a marketing tool to connect with new neighbors. But, not all direct mail campaigns are created equal. Some are more effective than others, and Ys need every advantage they can get.

Here are three ways to improve direct mail to your new neighbors: 

1. Make it Standalone Mail

Standalone mail is any direct mail piece that’s not grouped with other advertisements. Postcards that are mailed individually are an example. This format is different than shared mail, where multiple advertisers share space, either on the same piece of material or in the same envelope.


Standalone mail offers many advantages over shared mail, including:

·      One-on-one communication with the recipient

·      Various format and presentation options

·      Ability to target audiences based on demographics, geography and other factors

·      Ability to personalize for each recipient

·      Statistically higher response rates


Really, the only benefit shared mail provides over standalone mail is that it typically can be less expensive. However, some vendors provide very affordable standalone mail programs that make choosing this option a no-brainer. 


2. Strategically Target Recipients

The more detailed your recipient lists are, the more effective your direct mail campaign to new neighbors will be. The right direct mail provider will be able to help your Y define targeted recipient groups by segmenting them according to such variables as:


·      Geography – Choose according to zip code or within a certain drive-time from the branch. If you have Primary Market Analysis (PMA) data showing where 50% or even 80% of your members live, that element can be used to refine the campaign’s distribution area.

·      Age Range and Child Status – For example, create segments like Seniors, Baby Boomers, Adults with No Kids and Families with Kids.

·      Income


The obvious benefit to targeting recipients like this is that your Y can avoid wasting money on sending mail to people who aren’t likely to join. In addition, it allows you to be more strategic in developing mail messaging. For example, perhaps your postcard to seniors features photos of seniors and classes designed for the over-65 crowd, while your postcard to families with an annual household income of $50,000-$75,000 highlights pictures of families and a special promotion for a free one-month family membership.


3. Use Results Reports to Refine Future Campaigns

Working with a direct mail vendor that can provide results reports for your campaigns brings many benefits.


First of all, you’ll be able to calculate your return on investment. If you know how many people joined your YMCA as a result of direct mail, you can decide whether the money spent on the campaign yielded an acceptable ROI.


Secondly, results reports can help Ys continue to hone recipient lists. For example, perhaps you’ll see you’re getting a great response from new neighbors within a 10-minute drive from the branch, but not so much from those with a 20-minute drive time. For the next mailing to that target audience, send postcards only to those within the 10-minute drive. You can save the money you were spending on the 20-minute-away neighbors, or roll it into a higher-performing recipient category.


Thirdly, being able to see the results of your campaign can highlight whether or not your artwork and messaging are converting prospective members. When split-testing different postcard messaging to the same target list, results reports will tell you which version was more effective. In the future, you can use the just the artwork with the highest response rates.


Don’t Miss Out on Connecting with Your New Neighbors

Seer Analytics’ New Mover Program features all of the above direct mail benefits and more. It’s a budget-friendly, hassle-free monthly marketing strategy that, on average, gets more than double the conversion rate compared to traditional direct mail campaigns. Contact us today for more information.