Using direct mail to promote events

(Belinda Booker) #1

I was interested to see in the 2018 Pulse Report that 24% of organisers are planning to increase their use of direct mail to market their events. It seems quite an old school technique but I guess with fewer items coming through the letter box these days it’s easier to get attention. Is anybody doing this and finding it effective?

(Sachin Bhalla) #2

I was talking about this only yesterday with my business partner. We were thinking of sending postcards with discount codes through a direct mail campaign. His concern was the cost involved. I wonder what the ROI on a direct mail campaign would be.

As well…While it’s true that people don’t receive much in their mail anymore, most of what does come consists of bills and junk mail, and I don’t know which is worse. I’d be concerned with how much of the marketing material from the event promoter would be simply thrown out with the toothpaste coupons.

That being said, depending on the target market, a direct mailer could work. Not to sound too ageist, but I think those of us who remember getting mail (GenX and above?) would have their attention grabbed by something other than a credit card statement.

(Melissa Saunders) #3

I recommend this a lot to clients. Not that long ago we were all complaining about junk mail, now you get more stand out this way.

(Belinda Booker) #4

I think it could work if you had a highly targeted mailing list and if it was a niche event i.e. if it’s a conference for solicitors and you only send the mailer to solicitors. That would keep costs down and ROI up, I would imagine.

(Melissa Saunders) #5

Yes I would definitely save it for very targeted events and sometimes designing it to look like a personal invitation or conveying that the recipient has been carefully selected/identified can work wonders. I get a lot of theatre/arts direct mail so it’s clearly working for that sector.

(Julianne Johnson) #6

The only problem fast approaching is the new GDPR regulations which may stop Event Professionals being able to contact a huge amount of customers. Its different if your customers are you colleagues or if you can get your customers to opt in to such communications.

That aside, I definitely think that e-shots are one of the most cost effective and user friendly forms of event promotion.

(Belinda Booker) #7

Have you started compliance yet? How are you tackling the challenge?

(Julianne Johnson) #8

Luckily I’m part a large enough plc. to have a team who are taking care of this regarding our customers. They’ve had to create a who new data handling system to collate all records in one place and are in the process of sending out ‘opt in’ emails to our existing customer base. As we’re a motor group we’re explaining that we use it to let them know when their MOT or Service is due (as well as great sales offers :stuck_out_tongue:).

I organise colleague events only so can continue to contact them without needing new permission… phew!