Successful direct mail depends on a variety of factors. It’s not just a hit and miss but rather a process you refine and improve over time. Use these tips to create and implement effective direct mail campaigns by avoiding simple errors.
Untargeted Mailing List
The worst mistake you can make is not spending enough time researching and deciding on a good mailing list. This should be done before designing and writing a mailing piece.
The best list possible would be a “house” mailing list of customers who have purchased from you before. This will likely produce much higher response rates than potential customers would.
More commonly, companies rent out mailing lists based on demographics in hopes that these line up with their target audience.
Not thinking about your audience’s wants and needs? Or not even doing enough research on it in the first place? Then you have failed in your goal.
Direct mail is meant to generate a response. The best way to do this is to be as specific as you can on what problems you can help them solve.
Also, don’t forget about grammar and typos!
Forgetting to Test
Just because you sent one version of a mailing piece, it does not mean you keep sending that same one over and over.
Direct mail campaigning is a process that is continuously improved over time. After experimenting different combinations of design, copywriting, and offers, there will be one combination that stands out strong. This one you can set as your “control” mailing piece and test different variables against it.
No Call to Action
Don’t forget to put a call to action after spending so much effort into researching and creating the direct mail campaign!
Your offer should be enticing and needs to let the reader know what to do next. Free common offers include: trials, catalogs, consultations, samples, and demonstrations. Other offers might include discounts to services.
In fact, there should be multiple call to actions within a mailing piece. In doing so, it can show where someone is more likely to respond to a call to action.
There’s room for a lot of creativity with direct mail because of its 3-dimensional nature.
Make your design easy to read with a good flow. In the end, it’s not all about aesthetics, but also how you package the information in a way that converts your audience.
No Plan to Follow Up
One mailing piece is not the end all be all.
Experts suggest following up at different times in the next few weeks and few months because it takes time for people to act. The mailing piece counts as a the first touch point. How about following up an email and phone call as well?
Missed Opportunity to Drive Traffic to Web
Think about how you can use tracking codes to drive new visitors to your website. It would be a lost opportunity to not test this out!