Secret 1: Set Your Goals

What are you trying to accomplish with your direct mail campaign? Do you want to reach new customers? Or maybe a specific market segment that you haven’t entered before? Do you hope to tempt past customers to check you out again? Are you showing off a new product or new services? Maybe trying to grab your share of the seasonal business?

Understanding what you’re trying to achieve with your direct mail campaign is the first and well kept secret to success which a lot of novice marketers are making the mistake of skipping it.

Secret 2: Know Your Audience

When the recipients of your direct mail campaign realize that you have the solution to a problem they face, they respond. It’s that simple.

When the recipients of your direct mail campaign realize that you have the solution to problem they face, they respond. It’s that simple.

You don’t have to guess wildly to understand your customers – not with the wealth of data available these days. Take a look at what has prompted customers to respond in the past, whether it’s discounts or advance access to new products. If you’re on social media (and you should be), check out what your visitors respond to there – and don’t miss out on what you can learn by reviewing comments and ratings on your competitors’ sites. Even consider asking your existing customers directly by sending out a survey or talking to them one-to-one.

Secret 3: Build Your Mailing List

Start with your internal “house” list of continuing clients. You may need to tidy up the list a bit and make sure all your data is correct. Segment off your very best customers – aim for at least 1,000 records – and analyze what they have in common. Maybe it’s demographics, maybe geography, or perhaps the type or size of their company is the critical factor that matters most. Now you’re in a position to build your Perfect Mailing LIst of future clients and prospective buyers. At this stage, you might want to check out mailing lists for sale or to work with a reputable mailing list company.

Secret 4: Create Your Message

Now you’re ready to define your unique selling proposition, which is the factor that differentiates your business from your competitors. Focus your message on what sets you apart from your rivals. Possibly your strengths are pricing, customer service, convenience, technical knowledge, attention to detail, or appeal to a specific demographic group.

Whatever your unique selling proposition is, emphasize how you will solve your customers’ problems and make their lives better. Make sure your message flows well into a great direct mail letter, that showcases your products and services clearly, and that it’s crafted to appeal to your target audience.

Secret 5: State Your Offer

Whenever you send direct mail, you want to offer your audience something that they can’t resist. You want to nudge them toward taking a specific action – making a purchase, visiting your website or store, or making an appointment to learn more about your services.

Along with your unique offer, you need to provide incentives. How about a time limit to force them to take action now – say, a discount that’s going to expire soon? Free shipping, free samples, easy payment terms, gifts with purchase, coupons for specific items or a percentage off – these are all great incentives that can prompt your customers to respond.

And don’t forget to tell them what you want them to do. Your call to action (Call this number! Scan this QR code!) is so vital that you shouldn’t leave it for the end of your piece. Scatter it repeatedly throughout your direct mail piece so no one can miss it.

Secret 6: Incorporate Digital Outreach Into Your Direct Mail Strategy

Direct mail continues to play a pivotal part in marketing campaigns, but smart marketers always try to send their message using multiple communications channels. Integrating digital marketing is the only way to appeal to a broader audience across different age groups, especially if you try to engage Millenials. You may not be able to augment your direct mail campaign with expensive TV ads, but sending your customers online can be a powerful one-two punch indeed.

Include QR codes in your mailing. When your customers use their phone to scan a QR code, it sends them straight to the page you want them to see, where they can make a purchase, download a coupon, provide their email address, or more.

Create an online display or social media Ad campaign which design mimics the direct mail graphics to create a lasting, genuine cohesive impression.

Secret 7: Create Your Actual Mailing

Do you want to send a postcard? A small booklet containing coupons? A letter? Your choice helps determine the cost of your mailing, and it also affects the content.

Take the time to get your headline right, since those few words are what make your customer decide to keep reading (or not). Highlight your offer in your headline if possible, or get to it right away. Make sure your call to action is crystal clear.

Your design should be uncluttered and inviting, and make sure it meets all USPS® requirements. Don’t worry about trying to fit everything on one page or card. Instead, trim down your mailing to the bare bones to make it easy to read. Simplify colors and font choices, and hire a professional graphics person if you don’t have one on your staff already.

Secret 8: Have Your Mailer Printed

Now you’re ready to print and mail. Look for a company that provides printing in addition to their mailing services. When you split those responsibilities between different businesses, you can end up with problems down the road – and those issues can multiply if your project involves complicated steps or multiple channels.

When you get bids, go over them in detail to make sure you understand what each candidate for your job is offering. Be prepared to pay a little more to work with a company you trust and provides you with confidence. You might save a few pennies elsewhere, but shoddy work is likely to drive away prospective customers rather than attract them.

Secret 9: Prepare for Mailing

If you’re sending out a large enough mailing, you may qualify for USPS® discounted rates for marketing materials. However, postal rules are very complicated. Does your direct mail piece have the correct aspect ratio? Is the poly wrap on your flat mailing from an approved manufacturer? Have you addressed the mailpiece correctly? Did you process your mailing list through the USPS® customer’s database to generate the necessary certifications?

Here again, you’re in best shape if you work with a mailing company that deals with the Post Office on a daily basis and knows the insides and outs of the postal regulations and mailing requirements.

Secret 10: Track Your Responses

You put a lot of work into each direct mailing, so of course, you want to measure the response you’re getting. Creating a designated landing page on your website for direct mail recipients to respond is a must! A designated landing page will let you track the responses and will help to increase your conversion rates significantly. A response rate of 1 to 3 percent is standard. If your response rate numbers are lower – tweak your campaign, if they’re higher, you’re getting it right. Keep trying new approaches until you find what’s working best for your customers and prospects.

Following these practices will improve your direct mail campaigns and help hit your goals. Using a legitimate and reliable direct mailing company is critical to carry out through the stages of any direct mail campaign. We’re always happy to help with all your direct mail needs.