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Improve Customer Engagement

Top Tips and Ideas on How to Improve Customer Engagement

It’s almost impossible to discuss how businesses can connect with their customers without mentioning customer engagement. To keep your business up and running and profitable, you need to build a community of loyal customers — those that will stick with your brand through thick and thin.

Defining customer engagement

You can think of customer engagement as maintaining a healthy or close relationship with your customers.

Customer engagement can be measured through regular interactions with customers via emails, reaction on social media channels, testimonials and customer feedback, click-through-rate, and re-purchasing.

Think about it. What better way for customers to show loyalty than re-purchasing?

All forms of customer engagement are intended to increase brand awareness and exposure, build customers’ trust and confidence in your brand and assess your level of customer satisfaction — with a view of enhancing customer experience.

Building a customer engagement strategy?

While reaching out and connecting with new customers is an essential aspect of doing business, another aspect of business that is equally important is holding on to the ones you already have. Think customer retention.

As we mentioned earlier, customer engagement hinges on building a relationship or connecting with people who patronize your business. It comprises every means of communication between you and your customers that you can think of — phone calls, social media conversations, emails. You name them.

Having mentioned that, you need a strategy to determine effectively communicate with both existing and prospective customers. The idea is to keep them happy and satisfied at all times.

What is a customer engagement strategy?

With all we have shared so far, you should already have an idea of what a customer engagement strategy is.

Any ideas? If you say, it is a plan that is developed to increase customer satisfaction. You are right.

But that’s is not all.

Customer engagement strategy also involves building a profitable relationship and having positive communication with customers — either online or offline. An effective strategy demonstrates proactive methods of customer engagement.

It should cover how your customer service team interacts with customers when customers get in touch with you and how your company can actively engage your customer base.

We are moving on.

Why do you need a customer engagement strategy?

It was forecasted that customer experience would be the leading reason why customers will patronize businesses by the end of 2020. And that forecast is already coming to fruition.

Still on customer satisfaction, if you can deliver a spectacular customer experience and get your customers to feel good about your business, the chances are that price will no longer be an issue.

A happy customer will spread the word

The extent you will go to ensure that your customers get maximum satisfaction can also lead them to recommend you to other people — their friends and family. And that is organic campaigns that will impact your business significantly.

Think of what referrals by a satisfied customer will do for your brand. The result is priceless.

Considering how customer engagement can impact your business, you may want to have a rethink and start paying more attention to your customer engagement strategy.

How do you track customer engagement?

If you already have a strategy going on for your business, you should track the performance of your customer engagement strategy. The easiest way of telling whether your strategy is yielding results is by checking the metrics.

1. Social media interactions

One of the quickest means of telling if your customer engagement strategy is working is a spike in your social media interactions. You may begin to notice more likes and comments on your social media channels and pages.

2. Positive reviews

Suppose customers are impressed by your customer services (which is key to customer engagement). In that case, they will shower you with praises and won’t hesitate to drop a fantastic review of Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other popular platforms where people go to check reviews.

3. Increasing number of happy customers

Another quick means of assessing your customer engagement is an increase in the number of happy customers.

You can measure this via surveys. Your survey question should revolve around satisfaction levels and if they will recommend you. While you are at it, remember to keep an eye on the response rate from your survey. Higher response rates equal high engagement and vice versa.

Customer engagement strategies you should consider

You can never run out of ideas for engaging your customers. All you need to do is be creative and think outside the box.

One popular trend in customer engagement is the “tag a friend” campaign you see on social media these days. You may have participated in one of those without noticing.

How to do it.

It is pretty simple. If you deal on products, you can take a picture of the product and post it on your social media channels.

Then ask your followers to tag their friends to win the prize. Remember to communicate the start and finish date of the campaign and how the winner will be selected.

You could end the challenge when you hit a certain number of followers, and the winner will be the person with the most number of tags.

Post shout outs across your social media channels

You will be amazed at how much engagement you will get from taking a screenshot of a review or referral message and posting it on social media.

Tag the writer and thank them for the kind word and cleverly encourage others to do the same. Now, that is customer engagement at its best.

Can I use direct mail postcards?

We did say think outside the box. So, Yep! You can use direct mail postcards for customer engagement. Sending postcards to your customers is another excellent customer engagement strategy you should add to your strategy.

Postcards show that you have your customers at heart, and you value their relationship with your brand or company. You can send a postcard mailer, say once every month.

Other great customer engagement ideas for your business include starting a fan club, rewarding engagements by sending gifts to active customers or long-term, saying thank you to those who referred you and checking up on customers you haven’t heard from in a while.

We are rounding off!

There you have it. Great ideas for customer engagement and how to get your customers to keep your business on top of mind. Regarding direct mail for keeping in touch with your customers, we have all the resources and expertise to help you run a successful customer engagement campaign. Do get in touch with us soon.

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Business Owner Tips

6 Things Business Owners Should do in 2021

Reassure and Reconnect

It is still very much a time of great uncertainty for many. It can be hard for people, customers, and business owners to look past the short-term challenges that they might be facing right now (especially off the back of a difficult 2020). That’s why one of the best things you can do right now is to reassure your customers you are still there for them, even if that looks a little differently from how it did a year ago. Reconnection is the best way to do this, keep the lines of communication open as best as you can. Direct mail is the best way to do this; send something real, honest, and tangible. 

Forecast for Uncertainty 

If last year taught us anything it was that when it comes to strategizing and forecasting hurdles, we should always expect the unexpected. 2021 has the potential to throw anything at us; as does every year after that. We should have this at the forefront of our minds now. When carrying out forecasts and predictions be sure to build in a fail-proof back-up plan with multiple possible directions for success. 

Consider Changing Track

Sadly, things might have changed in terms of what is feasible for your business right now. It’s easy to focus all our energy on getting ‘back on track’ to where we were before a crisis or challenge occurred. Sometimes though, this is counter-intuitive and it serves us better to start from scratch. Assess where you are now and what is doable right now with the resources and challenges you currently face. It’s okay and even advisable to change track. 

Forge Your Unique Path

It’s comforting to look at what other similar businesses are doing right now. It can offer reassurance, spark inspiration or even give you a much-needed wake-up call. The negative side of this is that it’s hard to assess your unique standing and create a competitive advantage that works to your own internal strengths within your organization. Sometimes the best thing to do is block everything out and focus on your unique business offerings. Try not to second-guess yourself if something feels right. 

Look for Opportunities

It is always best to invest at the bottom of the business cycle, just before the economy starts to expand. We often don’t know where we are in the business cycle until it is too late – economic growth is a trailing indicator. We do know that we experienced a downturn in 2020. That could open up opportunities because some competitors are weak, new partners are hungry for business, and this can give way to bargains. We want to accumulate cash, to the extent that we can, and be on the look-out for amazing opportunities.

Add Value 

Everything you do and everything you offer to your customer should add real value to their lives. If you have a service or product which isn’t filling this criterion, it’s time to address that. This probably sounds like the simplest of things. You’re possibly reading this and thinking, ‘well of course my service is of value’. But what we mean by ‘real value’ is:

  • Is the price fair and beneficial?
  • Is customer service the best possible experience it could be?
  • Are you selling more than just a ‘service’ or ‘product’ what are you doing for the customer in terms of enhancing their life? Is this clear in your messaging?

Your potential customer needs to recognize that what you do adds value, not just you. 

We hope that 2021 will see things improve for you if you were impacted by the pandemic and continue to be. We are here to help you get back on your feet in any way we can. 

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

Holiday Postcard

Stay ‘Top of Mind’ During the Holidays

The holidays can be a tricky time for businesses to navigate. It’s easy to come off as too aggressive and promotional – no one really wants that around the holidays. Especially not previous customers you already have a relationship with. The same is true if you’re in an industry that doesn’t really work for the holidays. 

The question is, how can you make the holidays work for you?

Think of your customers as you would a friend. The holidays can be stressful, it’s also been a very stressful year for everyone, much more than usual. A good approach would be to offer a supportive helping hand through your words, offers, and your actions. The holidays are supposed to be a season for giving.

The long-term goal is to build a strong connection with your brand. We can do that by putting our customers’ needs first and being sensitive to all the season represents. We can send good wishes and bright feelings their way, just as we might do for our own family.

It’s these types of seemingly small and unimportant actions that are crucial to building and maintaining a solid relationship with past and future customers. Remember, our clients are one of our most valuable assets – even if they are not buying today.

Let’s take this example, a business that sells barbecues and outdoor furniture for outdoor living might feel as though they have no business reaching out during the Winter holidays. No one wants to buy a barbecue to use in the snow, right? This frame of mind couldn’t be further from the truth. Those summer months come around quicker than you know, and by then, if you’ve worked on maintaining brand awareness the rest of the year, you will be the first one that customer thinks of when they need a shiny new barbecue for a hot summer’s day. This tried and true method has been proven over and over again.

Selling is based on authentic relationships built over time. It takes time, investment, and regular communication to build a strong brand (customer bond).

A Cost-Effective Solution

You might be thinking… that’s all very well but what do I NEED to do as a business. Here are some simple actionable steps you can take right now.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, just the gesture is often enough. 

Try sending a holiday postcard, but not just any postcard, drop the postcard in an envelope to create a festive greeting card. This technique is a fraction of the cost of a traditional card and the goodwill is every bit as powerful.

With Zairmail this type of campaign is super-fast and easy to launch.

Greetings cards are a staple of the holiday season, but they are also an expensive option. Postcards in envelopes act in a similar way but at a fraction of the price. You can send a postcard for as little as $0.99 including postage and mailing costs! All our postcards are barcoded and pre-sorted which means we can meet super-fast delivery targets.

We have ready-to-go designs for the holidays or you can add a fully customizable design of your own; add a company photo, personal design, logo, or signature. Zairmail can even supply a mailing list if you want to send a Season greeting to a list of potential clients. 

Our cards are UV coated to add a polished professional look and you even have the choice to include a premium in the envelope or a coupon/offer on the back.

First, sign up for a free Zairmail account or call us at 1.888.898.0066, and let us know you would like to send postcards with envelopes. We will support you from start to end and have your message in the mail within 24 hours if required. 

Direct mail over the holidays

Sending Premiums Over the Holidays

When you send a piece of mail to a customer or potential customer with a free item, you are harnessing the power of premiums. The holidays are a time of spreading joy, love laughter and, of course, a time of giving! What better time is there to use premiums to build on that relationship and increase customer engagement?

Freebies act as a fantastic response device for several reasons:

They create excitement that passes over to your brand itself and any surrounding offers you’re trying to promote. If you think about it, how much more exciting is it to receive something free in the mail Vs seeing a digital advert on your phone? 

They build trust because they offer the receiver something tangible and hopefully useful or interesting as well. If you have instant trust, you will naturally have a higher response rate.

They increase open rates because ‘lumpy mail’ is not something you come across every day. Lumpy mail will spike curiosity. 

They can create direct action. An alternative to the lump mail approach is to make the customer call in or carry out some other simple connection/communication to claim the freebie. 

Best Types of Premiums for the Holidays

Once you’ve decided to send a free item with your mail, the most challenging task is choosing what to send out. The best place to start is by selecting the type of mail. Here at Zairmail, we are BIG FANS of postcards with envelopes during the holidays. 

Postcards with envelopes are more affordable than traditional greetings cards, but they will do the same thing in terms of delivering a heartfelt or empowering message this year. You will probably be surprised to learn you can send a postcard with an envelope for as little as $0.99 including postage and mailing! As well as this, you can send them quickly thanks to Zairmail…. and we mean QUICK!

With this type of campaign here are some premiums for you to consider:

Insert a generic gift card, e.g Starbucks 

Send a personalized voucher for your own store/website

Send free samples in the form of sachets if you sell something edible or health/beauty related. If you don’t fit this category, consider partnering with a brand that does offer small samples. E.g ‘a hot drink sachet on us’

A fridge magnet (Hopefully the customer will use the free magnet to put your postcard on the fridge… that’s always the goal with a good postcard mailing)

Free stamps for your customers to use on their own greetings card for family and friends

The idea is to simply offer something of value to show your customers you value them. It’s a simple concept but highly effective. 

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.


The NOT so Secret Recipe for Direct Mail Success

Direct mail is one of the most effective forms of promotion available. Direct mail returns, on average, $12 for every $1 spent by advertisers. When done right, the response rates and returns, are far greater than other digital channels and targeting is much more accurate.

There are still some simple tips that can help us increase response rates and return on investment (ROI) even further. Here are five that you can use to improve your results.

Use the right class of postage.

The two primary types of postage used for direct mail at First Class postage and Standard A. Standard A used be called bulk mail; the USPS is now re-naming it Marketing Mail. First Class postage is the fastest – it can usually reach any household or business in America in ~3 days. There is also a return service, so if the postcard or letter is not deliverable, the USPS returns it so the original list can be updated. On the other hand, it is much more typical to see delivery times of 7 – 10 days with Standard A postage. If the mail piece can’t be delivered with Standard A, the USPS will recycle it (e.g. no return service).

The trade-off in service level does come with a price. The retail price for First Class postage is $.55/piece and there are size/weight restrictions. The price of Standard A varies based on mailing (carrier route) density; however, a savings of ~$.10/piece over First Class rates is typical. The response rates for Standard A can also be slightly lower if recipients view the use of discount postage negatively (e.g. appears to be unwanted junk mail). Over a long period of time, with regular mailings, the postage savings can add up. In many cases, the difference in response rates between First Class and Standard A when using an indicia (see below), are negligible.

One simple trick, when mailing on a regular basis, is to start out sending both First Class mail and Standard A for the first couple of weeks. Then in week three, just cut over to Standard A postage. The First Class mail will help generate near-term responses, while the Standard A fills the funnel for future responses. Once there is a steady stream of responses from the Standard A mail, it will not matter if it takes 7 – 10 days, it is just topping off the funnel, and the postage savings should start to accumulate.

Try to mail at least 500 pieces when possible. 

70% of the cost in direct mail can be traced to postage. There are two ways to save money on postage for short-run mailings. The first comes from using an indicia rather than a stamp. A postal indicia is the box (message) printed where you would usually place the stamp on a personal letter. An indicia allows the USPS to charge the mailer or direct mail service provider electronically. The indicia is printed directly on the envelope and avoids the labor (cost) associated with placing a stamp on each envelope. A mailing must have 200 pieces or more to use an indicia.

The other way to reduce the cost of postage is by pre-sorting the mail. Pre-sort is a work share program offered by the USPS to mailers who pre-process the mail to assure accuracy and efficiency. The mailer (service provider) must process the list to assure accuracy. Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) software is used to standardize addresses and assure they are deliverable. The list is also processed using the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. An Intelligent Mail barcode is assigned to each piece to speed automated processing and allow for tracking. The mail is then sorted and bundled depending on its 5-digit or 3-digit zip code, each tray is inserted into a sleeve, and then the tray is strapped and tagged based on USPS rules. Pre-sort requires 200 pieces for Standard A (bulk mail) or 500 pieces for First Class postage.

Start small, find a winning formula, then step on the gas.

It can be frustrating to send out a mail piece you know is a winner, and then there is nothing but the sound of crickets – the phone just doesn’t ring. It is even more frustrating (and expensive) if this first campaign is 10,000 pieces or more. 

Creating a winning mail piece usually requires testing and tuning. The best way to do this is by sending out smaller batches, experimenting with the variables (e.g. list, creative, call to action, mail format, …), and finding a piece that produces reliable results. With that formula in hand, you can start increasing campaign size, being careful not to overwhelm your capacity to service responses. In other words, if you have a call center with 4 agents, you probably don’t want/need 200 calls at once. In an ideal world, demand would be regulated so that each response can be serviced at the moment it arrives.

It is usually best to start testing with small campaigns of 500 pieces (or more) to take advantage of discount postage rates. Several different concepts (A/B testing) can be mailed at once to speed the testing cycle. The results of each campaign need to be tracked. This can be done by using a response code, tracking the names from the lists used, or using a different toll free number for each campaign. The results should be analyzed to identify those that pull the best, and then the winning concepts should be used as the foundation for the next batch. 

Once you have a reliable formula, you can start to systematically increase volume. Still, testing should never really stop, we should always be on the lookout for techniques that will do even more.

Avoid features that don’t produce a return.

Creativity is often essential to break through the clutter. However, the goal in direct response marketing is to maximize return on investment (ROI). ROI is calculated as (sales produced – costs incurred) / costs incurred. Anything that increases expenses without growing sales reduces ROI.

One example of this is full bleed artwork. Digital printers require a small white (clear) space around the edge of a print piece. This allows the press to grab the material for printing without damaging the print. In order to produce full-bleed materials, the mail piece has to be printed a larger size and then trimmed to fit. This increases the number of production steps and the cost of the piece. Creatives or artists often insist on full-bleed artwork to preserve the integrity of “the design”. Based on the experience of our clients over two decades, we have seen no measurable increase in response rates from full bleed art.

There are other tradeoffs that should be considered as well. Should you use color or black and white printing? Color costs more, and there are studies that say the use of color increases response rates, but how much of an increase will you get with your target audience? Does it really pencil out?

Note: Personalization has been shown to increase response rates. Personalization does not cost extra with Zairmail ( Personalize away and enjoy higher response rates for no additional cost.

How about the trade-off between First Class postage and Standard A? There are studies that say First Class postage produces slightly higher response rates. Is this true for your audience?

How do we know? Well, …

When in doubt test. 

See our earlier tip (above). Don’t leave it chance, when in doubt test it. 

When you think you have it all figure out, then test some more.

Continue to look for ways to improve response rates.

Continuous improvement is your friend.

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.


Is Your Envelope Executing for You?

When it comes to email marketing, we think of the subject line in a similar way to how we think about the envelope of a physical direct mail campaign. The subject line of an email holds the key. Boring or irrelevant and customers simply don’t open it. With envelopes, it’s much the same yet it’s often not given it that much thought. If you send a boring envelope that blends in with all the other envelopes in the mail, then it’s no wonder open-rates might be below average.

But what are the alternatives? How do you jazz up an envelope?

Well, it’s actually much simpler than you might think….

Consider Envelope Color

That’s right, simply changing the color of your envelope from a boring blend-in white to any other color that fits your brand or message can make all the difference. Once your envelope is actually opened, the rest is up to the content (just as with email). 

Ditch It

You heard us right! You could even ditch the envelope altogether and send a piece of direct mail that doesn’t require one, such as a postcard. Postcard campaigns have many benefits and work really well for lots of offers, but they are not always suitable. Sometimes an envelope really isn’t avoidable. 

Snap Pack

A pressure-sealed mailer, also known as a snap-pack gives your mail a formal feel and stands out in its own authoritative way. A snap-pack gives you privacy to include personal information but it also really helps with open-rates even if you’re not sending sensitive content. They are often associated with rebates and PINS, so when a recipient sees a pressure-sealed mailer they are much more likely to grab and maintain attention. 

Make the Most of Space

Large white envelopes offer a further opportunity for a teaser, to add more promotions or information to the front or back, you could even use an enticing message (similar to the subject line of an email) to get the mail opened. We’ve seen businesses use this space to upsell, promote their website, or just be fun and quirky in getting the customer excited about what’s inside. For example, a message such as … ‘you won’t know what to do when you open this….’ on the front of an envelope would be hard to ignore!  

If you do have a teaser line on the outside, it needs to be super compelling because it automatically identifies the piece as ‘marketing mail’. Some people will not open it if they think you are trying to sell them something. So, the rule here is that if you have something really compelling to say, that will get them to open, then you can use a teaser. 

Think About Windows 

Another thing to consider is whether to send your envelope with a double window, a single window or a closed face. 

With a double window envelope, the name and address are printed on the letter inside and they show through the windows. If you have a single-sided letter then it can be printed on the back and folded so it shows through. This saves the addressing step and can reduce costs. This format can work well because it looks like a bill. Recipients are usually much more likely to open a letter if it looks important. Also, by building the address block into the front of the letter, you can let other teaser information peek through the window as well.

A single window approach usually includes a return address printed on the outside and the recipient address printed on the letter inside which shows through. Often using a return address will increase response rates, because people don’t assume it could be promotional mail. They need to open it to figure out who it is from. Some people choose to print a logo with their return address on the outside. This can create a more professional look. This helps set the tone for certain types of letters before they are even opened.

Closed face envelopes always have a more personal feel. You can use a script font to enhance that even further. You can also use a live postage stamp to make mail feel more personal.

When you think about it, mail has been around for so many years that it makes sense, now is the time to be creative and think outside the box. There has never been a better time to engage in direct mail marketing because the digital world is so saturated! Direct mail is perfect for complementing your digital efforts and really focusing on a multi-channel, multi-funnel approach to reaching and connecting with customers who are ready to take action. 

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.


How to Win More with Direct Mail Responses

When a business uses direct mail as a marketing method, its purpose is either to generate a response or build brand equity by staying connected. It’s worth us saying that while this article focuses on generating responses, it’s not always the only goal, you are investing in building a relationship. 

If the goal is a response, it could be an immediate response that takes place as soon as the mail is received or an action that is the result of numerous smaller campaigns. 

A response is the main goal of most promotional direct mail and you as the sender must enable this to happen. It doesn’t matter if every single household that receives the mail reads your message, it’s the response that counts. It’s the response that you will use to measure the success of the campaign. 

Tell Them What to Do

Your business won’t receive a response if you don’t facilitate it to happen. This involves outright asking for one! Tell your customers exactly what you want them to do and how they should do it. Make it clear and concise. 

The simpler it is to do, the more responses you will receive. Complicated response methods, with unnecessary steps or lengthy forms, will only serve to put people off.  We live in a very fast-paced world where businesses that reduce customer effort will always win. This doesn’t mean you should leave out important information to reduce response time/effort. Make sure you collect all of the details you need in order to progress that potential customer on to the next stage of your funnel. 

Offer Multiple Methods

Don’t limit customers to one and only one way in which they can take that desired action. Not every recipient will prefer the same response method, so offer them choice and freedom. Although it might be more efficient for your business to receive calls or emails, and although you might have one preferred method, it doesn’t necessarily serve all customers. The same can be said for any response method. Consider requesting responses via email, phone, web forms, and social media inboxes too. 

Include a Physical Response Method

Something that might not seem worth doing is allowing customers to reply using a physical form or slip of paper. Surely this is complicating the reply method for the recipient since it requires more effort? 

Well a physical reply form, even when it’s not used as the chosen response device, acts as a reminder of what is required. It highlights that you the sender, expect a response and it can even increase the number of calls, emails, and other digital communications you receive.

Of course, some recipients will actually use the physical method of replying so you should make sure it’s an adequate way to receive the information you need, leaving plenty of space for the response you desire. 

Tempt Them In

An incentive could offer that extra push to action, where a lack of one wouldn’t. Good examples of incentivized offers in direct mail are things like free samples or trials (physical coupons or digital codes) and time-sensitive discounts and promotional deals that create a sense of urgency. 

Please give us a call if you would like assistance formatting any of the above elements within your direct mail design and message. Our team of Zairmail specialists is on hand to assist you with every step of sending out your first direct mail campaign. 

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.

June Newsletter

Four Ways to Build Trust with Potential Customers

Our primary goal should be to build relationships rather than just driving the volume of transactions. Relationships, in turn, can lead to transactions and tend to be much more enduring. Our relationship, over time, can actually become part of the product offering.

Relationships are based on trust, and trust can grow stronger, based on experience over time. This works well with existing customers. We have the opportunity to re-enforce the trust we have earned with each new experience.

With new customers, we don’t have that type of rapport to build on. So, how do we get them to “take the leap” and start building a relationship?

In order to build trust, at a minimum, three conditions must be satisfied.

  1. The prospective customer understands the offering and the benefits.
  2. The prospective customer is aligned with your brand and values.
  3. The prospective customer believes you can deliver.

Here are four suggestions that can help you satisfy these conditions for new prospects.

Offer Free Trials

Offer free trials when it is financially or logistically feasible. Sometimes there are variations on this theme that work as well. We probably can’t give a potential customer a new car, but we can give them a test drive. The offer can project confidence in the offering, and the first-hand experience will lower the risk and uncertainty in the mind of the customer. The lower the perceived risk, the easier it becomes to take the next step.

This can also invoke a sense of reciprocity. We shouldn’t do nice things for people expecting that they will return the favor and get angry when they don’t. But, if we can do the right thing, to build trust with our customers, they are more likely to treat us right in return.

Video Content with Real People

Customers do not do business with products; they do business with people. The more they know about you, your offerings, and your brand; the more likely a relationship becomes. One way to accelerate the process is to humanize your company using video that features real people. If you can use footage, that helps prospective clients visualize the outcome or benefits they can expect from your offering, that also helps to reduce risk and build trust.

An explainer video can also be an option to consider if actual customer testimonials are not available. The more clearly a customer can visualize your offering(s), and their success, the easier it becomes to take the next step.

Send Something Tangible

Digital marketing should not be ignored in 2020, it is an important piece of the marketing landscape. However, tactile (tangible) experiences provide physical evidence. 

If you can give your potential customers something to read, hold, or hang on the fridge, you can instantly build more trust. Direct mail still provides this opportunity to reach out and touch someone, even if they are not actively looking for you. You can also build on the earlier suggestions by sending premiums or free samples (when feasible).

Regular Communication

We need to focus on building a rapport with our customers (prospective customers). The more positive experiences a customer has with our offering/brand, the more comfortable they will be expanding their relationship with us and sharing their experience with others.

The purpose of every communication, direct mail, or email, for example, does not have to be promotional in nature. Give your customer valuable information, share some positive news, let them know you are on the same side. This will help you and help others; while staying relevant, and building (positive) top of the mind brand name awareness.

Once you have a relationship built on trust, it is up to you to maintain it. Deliver what you have promised, solve problems promptly when they surface and be an advocate for your customer. 

Consider this, isn’t this how you would like to be treated? Why should your customers be any different?

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.


What’s the Best Business Approach During COVID-19?

Right now, for many businesses, it’s a time of survival, digging deep to keep things afloat or thinking of unique ways to diversify and ride the waves. You might have by now resolved those short-term struggles to some level. You have hopefully somewhat stabilized the situation, but perhaps you’re struggling to find a way to ensure the long-term success of your business. Maybe you’re asking, what now?

It goes without saying that some organizations will be harder hit. The travel industry is massively affected, whereas the food-delivery industry is doing very well at this time. If the current situation has left you feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle, it’s crucial not to make any fear-based decisions. Easier said than done, of course!

Amazon, Zoom, Netflix, Disney are all seeing sales growth. Any type of system, software, or services that support remote work or communication is up. Desktops and laptops for use at home are still moving briskly. Companies will have to help re-stock the shelves of your local supermarket. There are rays of sunlight showing against an otherwise gray economic backdrop. If you are not in one of those industries, what do you do…?

Use Crisis to Force Change

Over time some parts of a business can become stale or even toxic. However, fixing these issues when the business is still rolling along, can be like changing the tire on a moving vehicle. Times of crisis are often when we have the biggest opportunity to make changes.  A crisis can be a forcing function to bring about important change. We may have to re-think or re-tool our business anyway. We might have more time, and our stakeholders and potential business partners might be more flexible than otherwise. This is one of the best times to rethink business as usual and get some strategic deals done.

Focus on the Prize

On a golf outing long ago, I was faced with a difficult shot across a water hazard.  I pulled out an old ball and dropped it at the spot. My golfing companion, an old friend of mine and very successful executive in the transportation industry said, “what are you doing?” I replied, “8 times out of 10, this shot will go in the water, so why waste a good ball?” His reply to me, “don’t focus on the water, focus on the hole grasshopper. Use your best equipment to maximize your chances and make sure you stick it.”  I reflected long and hard on this lesson after pulling the ball out of the cup.

It is easy to fixate on failure in the face of challenges, especially those as far-reaching and disruptive as the COVID crisis. Rather than focus on all the things that can go wrong, which we should already know, focus on where we need to go and creative ways to get there. Put your best foot forward, use your most talented people, your best resources and make sure you put it on the green.

Take a Different Perspective

In order to take a new approach, you first need a new perspective. Could you use this time to help and support other individuals or other businesses? Maybe for your company, now isn’t a time to focus on profits but instead to build brand awareness as a side-effect of supporting your local community. 

Support Your Team

Now is a perfect time to show true leadership and keep morale up, even from a distance. It’s a worrying time for employees as well as employers, and now if possible, you can demonstrate your company values and respect for your staff members by leading forward. Spread positivity and reassurance but also be honest with staff members about your plans and ideas. Involve wider team members in brainstorming.

Remember Your Customers Needs

Just as things have changed for you, so have they changed for every single one of your customers. This means their needs have changed and so has buyer behavior. If we take the example of a local gym business. The customers of the gym still need to work out and stay healthy, but their needs have changed because they must fulfill this need from home. How could the gym better support this change in needs? A local gym could rent out equipment to gym members if they don’t cancel their membership. 

Keep Communicating

Arguably the most important thing of all is to keep the lines of communication open with your customers. You can do this via social media, email, or direct mail. The more personalized you can make the messaging, the better. Everybody appreciates being remembered, valued, and supported. This is especially true at worrying times. Using direct mail to achieve this gives you a chance to stand out amongst all of the digital noise going on right now. You can set-up a safe, contactless direct mail campaign very quickly with Zairmail, and have your message in the mail within 24-48 hours. 

What things should you be saying?

Let customers know how you can support them (if you can support them)

Explain any changes in the way you carry out a service or offer products

Share any special promotions that are valid during this time (perhaps a discount for online versions of previous in-person services). 

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.


What’s the Best Way to Reach Voters in the Mail?

The best practices associated with political campaigns have changed dramatically over the last decade. The emerging role of digital media is profound. Campaigns must embrace tools such as websites, email, social media, mobile, and more daily. The landscape has become much more technical and complex from a marketing standpoint.  Still, one thing that has not changed is the importance of direct mail (yes, good old USPS mail) in the campaign mix.

The US mail reaches every voter in America unencumbered by SPAM filters. 

The US mail has the potential to add legitimacy to any campaign. A campaign piece in the mail makes any candidate/cause “real” in the eyes of voters.

US mail has the ability to target voters by age, income, gender, party affiliation, and a hundred other attributes. It is possible for campaigns to target the exact voter they want to embrace and persuade. 

41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking the mail each day (mail moment).

When using the mail, just as with digital tools, there are some things to consider.

The majority of cost with direct mail (~70%) is postage. We want to minimize the cost of postage, while still reaching our target voter, at the precise time required to influence their vote. With the rise in mail-in ballots, which have only become more prominent based on Corona quarantine rules, we need to reach voters early and often.

There are three basic types of postage we can use: First Class, Standard A (Marketing Mail), or EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail).

First Class mail is the most expensive form of postage and is usually associated with the fastest delivery times (3 days anywhere in the continental US is pretty common). If the USPS cannot deliver the document they will return it so the database can be updated. This is the class of mail most often associated with bills, statements, notices, and personal letters. Pre-sort discounts are available for larger mailers – to assist our political customers, every job that goes through Zairmail is pre-sorted for accuracy, deliverability, and postal discounts.

Standard A is usually less expensive than First Class mail. The savings usually runs ~$.10/piece. However, it takes a little longer for delivery (7 – 10 days in the US is common) and there is no return service if the piece is not deliverable.  If we can plan in advance, it often makes sense to use Standard A, and save on postage.

With campaign mail there is one more important benefit to consider. If campaign mail is sent using Standard A, and it is flagged when submitted, the USPS will treat it as time sensitive mail and prioritize it. That means faster delivery times, at lower cost to campaigns and candidates.

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a program that allows campaigns to blanket entire region or neighborhood with an identical message. The campaign selects (postal) carrier routes, produces a campaign advertisement (usually a flyer or postcard), and delivers it to the post office. There is no addressing required. The USPS will deliver the campaign piece to every household on the carrier route(s) selected. This is very similar to the old “door hanger” campaign piece.

This approach can (greatly) reduce the cost of postage; however, the number of printed ads required is usually much greater, which increase printing costs. The formats available with EDDM are more limited and personalization is not possible. The information that is sent will also be available to every voter on the carrier route – there is no privacy or targeting.

Given these options, what form of postage should we choose? 

If you are reaching out with a personal communication to a close group of supporters (e.g. an invitation, a newsletter, a personal letter, …) then First Class postage can be an ideal choice. The quality of service is exceptional (predictable) and the touch can have a personal feel to it.

If you are trying to reach a larger group of targeted voters who may still be undecided then Standard A (campaign mail) is probably the way to go. The cost of postage is lower, campaigns receive priority delivery, and targeting/personalization is still possible. 

In the case of primary elections, where voters may be required to select a candidate based on party affiliation, there really is no reason to touch every voter – it only makes sense to touch voters who can support your cause. This can still hold true in a general election campaign. If you know that voters will not step across the aisle to vote for a candidate or cause, no matter what you have to say, then it is better not to exhaust your resources on them. The best bet is to focus on the voters that are most likely to support you.

Finally, if you are trying to reach a larger group of voters, regardless of party affiliation or demographic, and they align with a carrier route, then EDDM can make sense. However, it will need to be a generic message that plays well for every voter along the carrier route. 

We all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, and the best possible outcome for our cause.

Choosing the right form of postage can minimize the cost of putting ballots in the box.

We are currently offering a Free Zairmail Analysis of the most cost-effective mailing programs for your individual circumstances. So whether you’re a political candidate running for the vote, a new small business or a large established firm, we can advise the best approach tailored to you. Within this, we will look at EDDM, First Class, and Standard A as well as making the best suggestions for the type of mailing campaign that would work most effectively. There is never a one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing and much less when we consider direct mail marketing specifically. 

If you choose Zairmail to support your campaign we can promise to give you that edge. Our pricing is the complete ‘in the mail’ price which includes, processing, printing, addressing, mailing, postage, and tracking. There are no other setup charges or hidden fees. If you are sending postcards, we apply a UV coating for no additional charge to give a real professional feel and prevent scuffing in the mail. 

If you can tell us exactly what you would like to mail, we would be happy to work up a quote for you. We also have a price match guarantee, so if you can send us an invoice or quote, we can work from that for you.

Zairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.



About the Author

Wilson Zehr is a Direct Mail Industry Expert, Direct Marketing Specialist, and CEO of Cendix (, the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. He is also the founder of Zairmail (, the company responsible for many "industry firsts" in direct mail.


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