Image via Flickr user Horia Varlan.
If you own or operate a small business, sending out direct-marketing mailings targeted and tailored to local residents is a great technique to reach potential customers. The mailing list
, copy, offer and design can all be instrumental in addressing a local audience. Here are some tips on designing a successful local direct-marketing mailing. 1. Use a saturation list
The idea behind a saturation mailing is to reach every house in the neighborhood with your promotion. List brokers
offer local lists, which blanket entire zip codes and can usually be purchased for a lesser cost than custom lists, which target particular demographics and other information. If you meet all of the US Postal Service's requirements for a saturation mailing, then you can achieve lots of savings on postage, too. With the cost savings on the list and postage sides, most marketers find they can afford to print and send out a greater number of pieces. 2. Show a photo or map of your location
If there is enough space on your postcard
or direct-marketing mailing, show a photograph of your storefront or map of your location. This will drive home the point that your business is local. The strategy is for prospective customers to see your office, store or location on the mailing, and keep that information top of mind, so that the next time they drive down your street, they will stop in! 3. Add local flavor
Another creative idea is to use a photograph or illustration of a local landmark in your mailing. The image could sit on the outer envelope
, near the return address, or stand alone on the image side of a postcard. It could be a natural site, such as a waterfall, mountain or park, or it could be a piece of celebrated architecture such as a courthouse, town hall or lighthouse. Also, if your area has any common slang or lingo, that might be something worth slipping into your copywriting. Using recognizable images and copy on your promotion show recipients you are part of the community and have something in common with them. 4. Demonstrate your sense of community
If you do any personal or professional volunteer work that benefits the community, it can be a nice touch to mention this in your promotion. A blurb about volunteering or community service can be worked into the copy of a letter or offer, or just mentioned on its own as a bullet point or caption. You can also tailor your offer to reward community members. Try offering a discount to parents with children on the local honor roll, or to those who voted in a local election. Promoting and rewarding community involvement shows that you care about more than just profits, and it can be good for business.