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,


Mailers-EDDM’s, What Are They and What Can They Do For Your Business?


Today’s blog will consist of some marketing information about EDDM’s (Every Door Direct Mailers) that could be beneficial in your industry. First off, EDDM’s are a designed and printed piece that is then mailed to an area of either residential homes, commercial businesses, or both. They usually offer a discount, coupon, or simply serve as an informative piece to raise awareness about a new local business or cause. Surely, anyone reading this have received EDDM’s at some point or another within their daily mail.

EDDM’s can be either extremely useful in raising brand awareness and attracting new customers, or they can fall flat and not get the response intended. Some will produce mixed results. The advantage of spending a portion of your marketing budget on EDDM’s is that you are already in the hands of your intended customers once they pick up the mail. It is here that you need to make the biggest impact!

Have you ever grabbed the mail, saw the EDDM  <insert crumbling paper sound here>

then promptly tossed it straight into the garbage like we have? Probably. Let’s think on that for a second. Why did you do that?

Was the offer/discount not up to your standards? Didn’t need the service(s) listed? Hate the “junk mail” in your mailbox? Or is there something more to it than that?

Psychologically speaking, (and admittedly we are not psychologists here at 77, however, we have done tremendous amounts of research on the psychology of marketing) images and the overall visual appeal of the design are what immediately attract the eye. The human eye reacts in certain ways to specific images, colors, and fonts subliminally sending signals of interest to the brain which determines whether or not we’ll scan or read through something. These subconscious reactions pertain to web pages, brochures, social media posts, and almost every single marketing piece of your business. This is also likely one of the main reasons EDDM’s get tossed so quickly. A hastily designed mailer without attractive offers or professionally looking images stands less of a chance of hitting it’s mark than something that is put together creatively. Put all of this together and what many businesses, including some of the larger corporations with the budget to consistently flood homes with mailers, don’t understand is…people want to relate! They need a reason, or at least an identifiable image, to understand the business and the offer that is right in front of them in their hands.

If we see a stock template design (you know it when you see it,) a stock image (example: a photo with dopey white guys that don’t work for you in suits shaking hands in a board room that isn’t yours,) unattractive logo design (multiple color variations and /or a complicated design that is hard to understand,) we are OUT! It’s gone within seconds. This is something often discussed in detail behind closed doors at 77 about a great many marketing techniques. If it looks like the company didn’t take the time to create unique and aesthetic pieces to attract our attention, what are they going to do for us or our business that differentiates?! It’s a valid question, and many consumers feel this way.

EDDM’s need to be simplified, identifiable, yet powerfully visual with a superb offer in order to have the most potent impact on it’s intended customers. An EDDM also needs to match the same branding look and feel as your website, social media pages, or other printed hand outs and business cards. Everything needs to be flush. The offer should be quite visible and leave no room for confusion. Some ideas of identifiability for the images could include:

  • your product viewed from a different perspective others may have never seen
  • your team
  • A “WOW” image, something that will draw the eye to immediately
  • your office space
  • or even the process of production or service you offer

Without giving away anymore of 77’s inside trade secrets  😉 we’ll end this blog with simply saying if you, or a business you know, has any questions about a current direct mail program, or interest in starting one, give us a call. We’ll be happy to put you directly in touch with the customers you are looking for, find the best ways to get the most returns…and make it as attractive as possible!

Analyze. Create. Achieve.






Small Business Startup and Marketing

Small Business Startup and Marketing

So what’s been happening at 77 lately? TONS! Recently at 77 Design Co, we have been working hard to help several small local businesses devise full scale marketing plans that are both cost effective for them, and entice new customers to their products. We will be promoting and marketing these businesses in the near future, so stay tuned! You WILL want to know about them!

These marketing plans cover the whole gamut of supporting and necessary needs for a business to get off the ground running. Some of the services in these plans include:

*web design (several hours per month of support)

*blogging (1-4 per month for the ever changing website)

*photography and video (several hours per month)

*graphic design (several hours of design support for new brochures/cards/logo/mailers)

*social media management (an agreed upon number of monthly posts with trainings included)

*SEO help (support and training for best practices)

The monthly marketing plans we’ve offered have been greeted thus far with open arms. They also cover a wide range of important marketing aspects that are usually purchased separately, which typically means more expense 💵 too. These programs cover it all and help our customers reach their customers as soon as they open their doors. We love to help small business thrive!

Give us a ring if you know a new business starting up.

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Marketing is an Asset NOT an Expense

Stop it. Just stop! Marketing is not an expense. I know you’ve heard it before, but pay attention. Marketing is not an expense. I’ll say it again. MARKETING IS NOT AN EXPENSE.

Do you want to grow? Do you want your business to flourish? Why aren’t you telling people about the services you offer or the goods you sell? I know. I know… “I don’t have the money to invest.. “ “Sales are slow.” “We can’t do it right now.” EXCUSES! Stop it!

I met with some bankers the other day and we were talking small business over lunch. Their bank specializes in loans for small business that do less than $250k per year in sales. One of the things we talked about is how small business owners tend to look more at the now than the later.

Joe Small Business Owner wants a jet ski. Joe sells some services and buys the jet ski. Nothing wrong with that, but what if Joe reinvested that profit into marketing and waited a year, or six months to buy the jet ski? Where would his business be in that time with a strategic plan? A marketing effort? How much would he grow?

I know, again… “We’ve tried marketing. It didn’t work.” “Word of mouth is the only way.” I’m calling bullshit here. You met with some sales person who sold you some radio ads, or some online package for $2500 that never changed. It didn’t engage. The sales person never checked back in. They took your money and ran some ads, or did some “marketing.” Maybe you got one or two sales from it, maybe more… But it didn’t live up to your expectations.

Here’s where it went wrong. That sales person didn’t listen. They didn’t even ask questions, or the right ones! They didn’t look at, and I mean really look at your business. They didn’t analyze your pain points, they didn’t examine your best customer. They didn’t take the time to understand where you are and where you want to go. They came in filled out some paper work, had you sign on the dotted line, left with a check and said “Boom, now you’re marketing. Good Luck.”

At best this is a C- strategy. Why not try for an A?

Marketing is one of the most important things a business can do. Not only does it help to bring awareness, it builds sales, reputation, engages customers, and grows the business, but it also helps to stem so much including company culture.

Here are key reasons why it is essential to market your business in today’s modern marketplace:

It Grows – Marketing helps a business get on solid footing, and thus provides a basis for growth. While you should always maintain and develop your current customer base following the 80/20 rule, a continual drip campaign keeps you in front of your existing clientele and keeps you top of mind with them.

Marketing also allows you to reach new and potential customers that are in search of solutions to their issues.

It Sells –  Marketing helps to sell more products, solutions or services. The bottom line of any business is to make money and marketing is an essential channel to reach that end goal. Without marketing businesses wouldn’t exist because marketing is ultimately what drives sales. You have a good product but if people don’t know about you then how will you generate sales? Put simply: You can’t. Businesses need to content (social media posts, brochures, signage, imagery, etc) to bring customers in and lead them to a purchase. Marketing helps sales and sales help your business.

It Engages –  Customer engagement is key to any successful business, big or small.  Marketing provides a way to keep a conversation going. It provides a constant drip to keep you in the minds of your existing and potential customers. Consumers want to be engaged and will seek out reviews, social media posts and Google reviews. This is where marketing comes in, and whatever the medium, you can send your customers relevant content that is in-line with your brand to keep them engaged. Your audience wants to form a relationship with your brand, and marketing can do that.

It informs: On a base level, marketing is useful for customer education. When you are going about your day you’re not actively seeking out a 4,000 word blog or searching for a sales pitch on facebook. You happen upon something that piques your interest and you head down the rabbit hole. Next thing you know you’re considering a purchase.

And while you Mr./Mrs./Miss Business Owner know the ins-and-outs of your product, do your consumers? In order to buy into a product, your audience needs to have an understanding of what it does and how it works, and more importantly WHY they need it!

Marketing is the most effective way to communicate your value proposition to your customers in a fun and interesting way. If consumer education is on your priority list then marketing should be too. We call this Edutainment, and is one of our key philosophies to a successful campaign.

It’s equalized: Modern marketing is a less expensive game than ever before. Social media platforms, direct mail, geo-fencing, target marketing and email campaigns have made touching consumers a much more finance-friendly possibility. Utilizing these vehicles can help even the playing field when it comes to competing against big name competitors. Modern consumers value experience over pricing, so this kind of one-on-one interaction could push customers in your direction over bigger brands.

It sustains: Marketing is meant to build and sustain a company’s presence – not remedy a lack of engagement. In this sense, marketing is something that businesses need to create and manage every day to maintain a healthy relationship with their consumers. Marketing is important because it allows businesses to maintain long-lasting and ever-present relationships with their audience. It is not a one-time fix, it is an ongoing strategy that helps businesses flourish.


Psychology of Proper Marketing

Proper marketing of your business requires the simultaneous use of many differing things. In order for your ad, print marketing materials, signage, web/social media pages, and other handouts to resonate with a customer, you have to have visual appeal. If there isn’t an attractive design, logo, or image(s) included, you may be throwing away costly materials, or worse…losing a potential customers attention!

Creativity, color, strong photography, font styles, layout, and the overall design play important roles in how your business is perceived. Using “Gestalt Principles” to better your business’s message can greatly increase your reach and marketability, as well as create an appealing brand to share with the world. Gestalt (meaning unified whole) psychology is what marketers and advertisers have been using for years to create attractive ads. Its a German psychology theory on how the human brain processes, perceives, and then puts together pieces of something they see.

Although studies vary, most are similar in their results. The brain processes visuals 92-94% more than text alone. We, as humans, engage quicker and longer when there are images involved. The brain also processes these images 50,000-60,000 times faster than text.

As a business owner it is up to you to not only provide customers with the highest quality of work, but also to use every option available to cut costs, increase brand awareness and engagement, and get more reach. Give us a call to learn more on how we can help with all of the above.



Problems With Your Marketing?

Hi everyone,

Lately we have been running into some issues with clients and potential clients.

  1. Bad Logo Design:  A few business owners we have met with recently have sent over their logos to us for various reasons. The problem…bad or improperly  designed logos. Logos created without vector art or made into Photoshop files can lead to issues down the road with all sorts of printing. We’ve identified several problems, fixed them, and have made quite a few happy camper business owners.
  2. Disappearing Web Designers: Yep, you read that right. A couple companies in the last 2-3 weeks have described their web designers as MIA. They have said that repairs to the site have not been made when needed, or that the sites were improperly designed in the first place. We are currently working on fixing these issues.
  3.  Marketing Monies Improperly Spent:  Where and what is your business marketing budget going to? Is this producing significant results? If not, why are you continuing to spend in outlets that aren’t producing the results you want? In the last week alone, 2 customers have described to us that their print marketing budgets (significant amounts too, $XX,XXX) aren’t getting their phone to ring anymore. Both said that putting this money into these particular outlets was “always what we did in the past.” Not good. As with everything in the known universe…things change. Either you stay the course and keep pumping money into the wrong outlets, or get with the times and steam ahead. Currently, we are producing 2 proposals with what we feel are much more effective print marketing ideas that will resonate with the types of customers these businesses are seeking, and the best part…we will save them thousands of dollars!
  4. Of Course, Stock Photography:  My personal favorite, stock photography on your marketing materials! Ugggggg, for crying out loud, why?! Why do you want people, products, places, or even conceptual ideas in images that have nothing to do with your business to represent YOUR brand???!!! Make your own awesome photographs, or get someone that can. In the last week we’ve shot 3 separate photo shoots for 3 companies to use for their materials and websites…guess what…the sites are going to look KICK ASS when finalized!          

These are just a few things we are dealing with on a day to day basis at 77 Design Co. If your business suffers from any of the above mentioned issues, or you know a business that could use a helping hand, give us a call today and we’ll gladly give you a free consult!

-Bobby Drakulic

Rob Hoffman-412-889-3495

Bobby Drakulic-724-433-9142