Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: August-September 2014

August 28, 2014
By Diane Chiasson

Here are five easy steps to create a direct marketing campaign that really works.

Here are five easy steps to create a direct marketing campaign that really works.

Direct marketing is one of the most effective and inexpensive methods of advertising. It targets a specific group of people to generate a specific response. Your bakery should already have a database with your customers’ names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses, so you know you are targeting those who have visited your store.

Forms of direct marketing include direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing and even text-message marketing. The idea is that you contact potential customers directly.


Direct marketing is also beneficial because it can help you build brand awareness, increase the credibility of your bakery, and help build customer trust, loyalty and repeat business. Another major benefit of direct marketing is that you are able to track your campaign and see the results first-hand.

Here’s are five steps to launching a successful direct marketing campaign.

1. Choose a promotion
Decide what event or promotion you want to run in your bakery, how long your promotion will last, and the sales goal you have in mind for it. Also, decide your budget for running the direct marketing campaign. Ideally, you want to begin sending your direct marketing at least four to six weeks ahead of the date of the start of your promotion.

2. Don’t send just one mailing
A major mistake many people make with their campaigns is that they send out only one mailing. You need to send at least four to six mailings for the same promotion before you make a memorable impression on your customers. Be sure to send something different every time, but reference the last mailing so your customers remember you. You can also switch up the way you contact your customers. For example, send a postcard on the first mailing, an email on the second, a letter on the third, and a text message on the fourth.

3. Have a call to action
When you are creating your campaign, make sure you make an offer that will force your customers to act immediately. Don’t just send them a brochure of your menu or your specials. Offer a discount or incentive with a short deadline that will get those customers in your door within a few weeks of receiving your message. If catchy writing is not in your skill set, hire a marketing expert to write some savvy text for you. The expense is justified, as it if you send out an ineffective campaign will be a waste of money.

4. Personalize your message
People receive piles of junk mail in their mailbox and email inboxes every day, so you must make sure they open your message. Always send direct mail to your customers addressing them by their names. If you are sending a postcard or a letter in an envelope, consider handwriting the name and address. People are more likely to open a handwritten envelope than a printed envelope. For email marketing, it’s a good idea to put the customer’s name in the subject line.

5. Evaluate the responses
A big benefit of running a campaign is that it lets you track your results, so ensure that you do. This way, you can see which of your customers responded to your messages and how many did not. The more data you collect and analyze, the more you will learn about your own bakery and the habits of your customers. The more you know, the more successful you will be in your next campaign.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., may be reached at 416-926-1338, or via

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