Marketing Your Catering Business – Using Direct Mail As a Conversion Tool

As prospects call your catering business, visit your website, or visit your restaurant, how are you collecting their information and re-targeting these individuals who have yet to become customers?

Whether you’re using a tool like ACT! or some other Customer Resource Management (CRM) software, you need to have the ability to keep a database of customers and prospects. This will give you the ability to know whom you have sold to in the past so you can retarget them and who has expressed interest, but have yet to purchase. This will be key as you plan your direct mail campaign because you’ll have the ability to export a list prospects that you’d like to send the piece to.

It’s a great practice to send a mailing to this group on a regular basis as you’re competing with a number of caterers and you want to keep your business fresh in their minds when it comes time to have an event catered. We recommend sending a mailer once a month. There are a number of options when it comes to the type of mailing, however a 6″x8.5″ postcard is a great size. It’s larger than a typical 4.25″x6″ postcard and therefore is less likely to get lost amongst the recipient’s mail and gives you additional space for your messaging.

On your postcard, be sure to include the following elements:

– Headline: Your headline needs to get the attention of the recipient. There are a number of techniques for writing a powerful headline.

- Ask a question: “Can you believe the Holidays are only a month away?” or “Who’s going to cater your company’s Holiday party this year?”

- Begin your headline with “How to”: “How to lower the catering costs for your next event”

- Feature a testimonial in your headline: “Acme Catering helped the Smiths make their party unforgettable”

-Imagery: Your direct mail piece should be targeted to the recipient and a key to this targeting is imagery. If one prospect is a corporate client and another is targeted to a personal event, the appropriate imagery should be used.

-Call to Action: Your postcard should feature a call to action. In other words; what do you want the recipient to do next? Do you want them to call you? Visit your website? If you’d like the recipient to call you, it would be a great idea to ask them to mention that they received the postcard to receive a discount or special offer. This will help you track the results of the mailing. If you’re sending them to your website, create a landing page that speaks to this audience and send them to a separate page. On this dedicated landing page include a form they can complete to inquire about your services. This will allow you to track the number of people who complete this form and calculate the success of the campaign.

-Contact Information: As mentioned under “call to action” be sure to include your contact information on the postcard. Think about the action you’d like the recipient to take. Do you want the recipient to call you? Would you rather send them to your website? Just be sure that if you include multiple ways of contacting you, you can accurately track how they found your business. You want to ensure you can track the customer back to the direct mail campaign that you sent to prospects.

We recommend PostcardMania or ModernPostcard. They provide design and mailing services and can help you get up and running quickly. We hope this article has been helpful in demonstrating how direct mail can help you increase conversions for your catering business. Be sure to visit us at CateringResults.com where you’ll find additional resources for marketing your catering business effectively.