How Small Businesses Can Increase Customer Traffic In The Beginning Stages Of Their Business Or During Slow Seasonal Periods

Posted on 07/22/2015.

Whenever foot traffic is slow — during slow seasons and just after opening — a well-designed direct mail campaign is an effective way to get people in the door. Here are the most important elements of a well-designed campaign:

Strong Offer

The stronger the motivation, the more people will take action on your direct mail: a 50 percent discount attracts more traffic than 10 percent; a $100 gift certificate gets more people off the couch than one for $10.

Creating a sense of urgency produces motivation as well. Urgency is frequently conveyed through limited-time offers and/or limited quantities of featured products.

During slow seasons, “bad” timing can actually work to your advantage. For instance, a direct mail piece in July featuring “early bird” special offers for Christmas gifts can generate a lot of interest by appealing to our desire for convenience, by talking about beating the holiday shopping crowds, avoiding long checkout lines, getting the exact item you need without endless searching, etc.

Target the Right People

No matter how strong the offer, you won’t improve traffic unless the right audience receives your mailings. For example, new movers are a tremendously receptive audience for many businesses — so much so that we developed a business segment to help companies reach new movers.

New movers are receptive because they are in a spending frame of mind, need lots of things, and are eager to try new, local products and services. Smart targeting based on this and similar life-stage segments produces much better direct mail results than “saturation bombing” an entire set of zip codes.


Impersonal direct mail pieces are probably not worth the paper they are printed on. To overcome the stigma of junk mail and the noisy competition of online marketing, direct mail campaigns must have a very strong personal touch. Personalization is proven to increase response rate, often dramatically.

Personalization must be more than simply inserting the recipients name on the envelope and in the greeting — today’s consumers are far too sophisticated to be swayed by that. Our variable digital press capabilities can take your direct mail campaigns to an entirely new level of personalization, by, for example, modifying text and imagery to incorporate a recipient’s buying history and known product interest.


Any direct mail campaign takes time to produce optimum results. Recipients may not notice an announcement of a new restaurant the first two or three times, but the fourth time may lead to an immediate reservation. For building foot traffic in slow seasons, the time to start laying the groundwork is many months in advance, not a few weeks before the slow season sets in.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you design a direct mail campaign to increase foot traffic, please contact NewMoversMail for more info.