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Unlocking new business

Want to win new customers and keep them loyal? Of course you do. We take a look at three methods that can be combined to grow your business.

Snail mail

The customer acquisition landscape is a dynamic place. Consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages a day and it’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd. And like everyone else, you’re probably worried about GDPR and personal data.

Because customers have many routes to purchase, it’s important to consider an omnichannel approach in your marketing plans.

As you would expect, Royal Mail has some firm opinions on the subject – its research shows mail is remembered 35% more than social media and 49% more than email (Royal Mail/Neuro-Insight 2018). Its physical and tactile nature means it’s a channel customers remember but is best used alongside other digital acquisition methods. Even Google and Amazon use mail in their campaigns. For example Royal Mail/Neuro-Insight 2018 revealed:

Here are three mail methods to think about:

Partially addressed mail

Instead of addressing the mailing to an individual, Partially Addressed Mail lets you target small groups of around 15 carefully selected households. There are two ways of targeting new customers – ‘topping up’ and ‘lookalikes’.

‘Topping up’ targets people in postcode areas where you already have customers. ‘Lookalikes’ are simply new postcode areas identified as similar to those where your current customers live. By combining both approaches, you’ll get greater coverage of potential customers, helping to make your campaign successful.

For every 100 items of Partially Addressed Mail, 88 are opened, read, filed or set aside for later, and nine are passed on and shared with other people.

Direct mail

Direct mail (DM) is addressed mail sent to a named person. It’s a strong acquisition tool because it opens a one-to-one relationship between you and prospective customers. In fact, 70% of people said mail made them feel more valued compared to 30% for email. If you have a database or purchase third party data, make DM a tactile and engaging part of your omnichannel acquisition strategy.

Door drops

Door drops are ideal for things like new store openings, events or promoting services in your local area. Research shows that 90% of campaigns that included door drops saw an increase in new customers, compared to 59% of those without. In addition, 67% of people were prompted to buy after receiving a door drop.

Source: JICMAIL Q2 2017-Q1 2019


Within the current acquisition landscape, especially post-GDPR, marketers need to find ways to boost their omnichannel marketing strategies to seek out and appeal to new customers. Mail plays a key role in offering a highly effective solution in an environment where people crave physical media as well as digital. Using mail also boosts other channels in your campaign, driving attention and recall.

Read the full report at

Digital channels

Retailers are living in a cross-device, cross-platform, cross-channel world — and so are your customers. That means there’s no single messaging channel that can reach everybody effectively.

To build stronger relationships, brands need to ensure that they’re communicating in ways that speak to each customer as an individual.

Every digital messaging channel (email, push notifications, in-app messages and more) serves a different marketing need—making it essential for brands to embrace channel expansion in order to match the appropriate messaging channel (or combination of channels) to each person’s place in the customer journey.

A useful guide by customer engagement platform Braze covers the Dos and Don’ts for every channel you use to connect with customers, as well as exclusive data on the ideal outreach frequency for each major channel. These include:

Go here for the complete guide:


And finally, what about paid membership?

Retail analyst and author Doug Stephens, quoted in a guide by referral marketing platform Mention Me, argues that “paid membership is the new loyalty” in today’s retail world.

This, to some extent, is evidenced through the rising prominence of buy-now-pay-later and other consumer credit services, which by their very nature prolong a consumer’s interaction with a brand. But, increasingly, retailers are tying in shoppers via subscriptions.

Stephens argues that getting a customer to pay for membership creates “an entirely new degree of mutual commitment” between brand and consumer compared to the traditional method of running loyalty programmes.

“Even a small cost will make a customer implicitly more engaged with a brand,” he says. “Membership fees are true and present revenue a retailer cannot afford to lose. By the same token, charging a membership fee creates an onus on the part of the retailer to deliver value against the heightened expectations the fee creates.”

With the advent of Amazon Prime, now with more than 100m members globally paying an annual fee to receive limitless deliveries and additional Amazon services, it is difficult to argue with Stephens’ theory.

The continued success of snack box company Graze, acquired by Unilever in 2019, and Tesco’s decision to charge shoppers £7.99 for Clubcard Plus in return for various discounts, also highlight the demand for subscription.

An example closer to home for health food retailers is the case of AllPlants, a subscription-based retail business, which continues to grow its presence in the UK following a 2016 launch. Plant-based meals developed by chefs in its North London kitchens are flash-frozen and delivered directly to customers’ doors.

Customers who sign up can select the dishes they wish to receive and the frequency at which they arrive, while the subscription model allows the business to stay close to its customers’ demands.

AllPlants’ marketing partner Chloe Watt emphasises: “It’s important as a subscription business not to just view it as having a direct debit for all your customers,” adding that customers can make one-off purchases if they prefer.

“But we have customers who have had a two-year subscription, and that’s an incredibly powerful relationship. We try and make it easy for people to change things in their account and that what they are getting from us is not just food delivered weekly, but recipes and relevant blog posts and other information.”

Download ‘Retail’s New Customer Loyalty Drivers’ at

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