Customer Retention, Loyalty, and Win-Back With Direct Mail

As a business owner, you probably spend a lot of time and effort searching for ways to acquire new customers. But there’s actually more value in focusing on the customers you already have.

Knowing this, it’s vital to focus your marketing efforts on reaching these customers. Direct mail can help you do just that-retain existing customers, inspire their loyalty and even win back the ones you’ve lost.

Direct Mail Campaign for TAG Development franchisee of Subway and Auntie Anne’s in Greensburg, PA.

Retaining Customers with Direct Mail

Retention is a good starting point for a direct mail campaign. Repeat business both drives incremental purchasing and spurs more recommendations to others from these frequent customers. Not to mention, it costs less to retain customers than it does to acquire new ones.

Imagine you own an outdoor-gear store. Your customers like to go on adventures, so use direct mail to remind them of the fun they’ve had while using your products.

35%Targeting customers who have purchased from your business in the past can boost sales up to 35 percent.1

In this case, it might be helpful to appeal to their senses with beautiful outdoor imagery to recapture the sense of accomplishment they might have felt in association with your business.

Chances are, you already have some information about your customer. The key to creating mail that drives your customers to buy again is knowing your audience and providing information about the products or services they care about. If a customer has purchased cycling gear in the past, you probably want to show them the best you have to offer in cycling apparel or bikes, rather than, let’s say, winter jackets and snowboards.

In order to retain customers, make sure your direct mail is targeted, has a time-sensitive offer and a strong call to action. This will strengthen your brand connection and motivate repeat visits.


Gaining Loyal Customers with Direct Mail

Direct mail can also help with creating loyalty. Because while returning customers are great, it’s your superfans who purchase frequently and spread the word about your business.

Let’s say you own an apparel store. It would be important for you to showcase the latest styles and create a customer base that comes back each season. These loyal customers are valuable because nearly 80 percent of an organization’s revenue is generated by the top 20 percent of customers.

Mail can be a cost-efficient, effective and measurable way to keep in contact with your customers and grow your base of loyal customers. Create mail that makes them feel appreciated and rewards their loyalty.

Use these three ways to refine your loyalty mail:

  1. Assess available data to create the right messaging.
  2. Choose a motivating reward that targets your most passionate fans and inspires them to act.
  3. Integrate with existing marketing to guide customers to your website or social media to redeem offers, make purchases or sign up for your company’s newsletter.

That’s why building a loyalty program can drive sales and reward your biggest fans. A simple brochure can act as the perfect entry point: part content, part exclusive offer.

Show them what you have to offer and give them an incentive to become a loyal customer.

A URL can lead customers to your website where they can redeem the offer, join your program and-more than likely-make a few more purchases along the way.

Winning Back Customers with Direct Mail 

You know those customers that shopped once and then disappeared? You can win them back with direct mail.

For example, if you own a home decor store, you wouldn’t want to lose a customer’s business after they only purchased one item. Ideally, they would come back when decorating their entire home. Customers leave your business for a reason, so just letting them know about your new stock of picture frames won’t be enough.

Using direct mail to reach lapsed customers can be highly effective in grabbing customer attention, sending specific messages and reaching a highly targeted group of customers. To do this, you need to send a message that grabs customer attention, addresses the reason they left and then makes it easy for them to return.

Personalized messages that show you want to understand why they left can be very effective.

Including a Business Reply Card will motivate customers to respond to a short survey in exchange for a reward.

You can also ask about their shopping experiences and leverage this feedback to improve your business and better identify customer issues in the future. After gaining a better understanding of why your customer didn’t return, you can remind them of what they’re missing and then provide an incentive to win back their business.

In Conclusion

There are many tactics for converting the customers you have with direct mail. You can remind customers of their visits, offer loyalty incentives and gather the information you need to improve their experience. By using direct mail for retention, loyalty and win-back, you can inspire customers to continue coming back, again and again.



1.“Holiday Marketing Case Study: Boosting Flower Sales with Direct Mail.” USPS Delivers,