Direct Mail Drives Store Traffic for the Retail Industry

Chick-fil-A’s plastic postcard with two perforated cards.

Chick-fil-A included a pURL to take recipients to a registration landing page.

Spending on direct mail is expected to increase again in 2011, and retail is one of the vertical markets expected to drive this growth. Direct mail continues to be a widely used channel for customer acquisition in the retail industry. According to Target Marketing’s annual “Media Usage Forecast,” more 69 percent of marketers plan to use direct mail for customer acquisition in 2011.

PODi’s recent report, “Traffic Generation Solutions for the Retail Market,” reviews several successful applications, highlighting ideas that work and the results achieved. One highly productive strategy is to integrate print, online and social media to enable viral sharing of a retail promotion.

Chick-fil-A is one of the largest privately-held restaurant chains in the United States with nearly 1,500 restaurants in 38 states and Washington DC. Local franchise owners in Covington, LA, needed a direct marketing solution that would establish a customer database and increase store traffic.

A plastic postcard with two perforated cards, featuring campaign offers, was mailed to consumers in the Covington area. Recipients were instructed to log on to their personalized URL (pURL) in order to activate their two offers and go into the store to redeem them.

Upon visiting the pURL, users were taken to a customized microsite for the Chick-fil-A campaign. Users validated their contact information on the first screen, selected the offer they wanted to activate, and answered a few questions from Chick-fil-A. Next, users were given the opportunity to share the offer on up to 265 social networks, email, and SMS. All recipients who shared the offer with friends were entered into a sweepstakes.

The results of this campaign were outstanding:

  • 279.8 percent visit rate—Over 5,000 plastic postcards were sent out, and due to the integration of social sharing, 14,124 visited the campaign microsite.
  • 120.6 percent response rate—Over 6,000 individuals provided their contact information. Since a third party list was used, all data captured was new – delivering a higher number of leads than the initial outbound campaign.
  • 24.8 percent coupon redemption rate—Store owners reported 1,300 coupon redemptions from the campaign. The number of redemptions coming from viral sharing almost equaled those coming from mail.

The full report is available exclusively to PODi members. For more information on PODi membership and benefits including case studies, sales and marketing tools, and training resources visit

Source: PODi.

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