While so much of today’s marketing and advertising is conducted electronically, direct mail continues to be a very popular and powerful tool used by businesses of every size. Of course, this is provided that your campaign is smart, targeted and concise in its message and delivery.
It’s not enough to whip up some run-of-the-mill postcard design, print off thousands of copies, and then leave them at the post office door. It takes proper planning, knowledge of your audience, and the creativity to develop visuals that will differentiate your piece from the rest.
Here are 9 things you can do today for a more successful direct mail campaign.
1. Set realistic goals
Sending out 1,000 mailers with the expectations of closing hundreds of new deals isn’t just ambitious, it’s grossly unrealistic. As a rule of thumb, you should anticipate a response of between 3% and 6% based on the strength of your campaign, the allure of your design and the manner in which you went about targeting recipients. This is a safe guideline that can be used in determining how many pieces need to be mailed to make your efforts profitable.
2. Research what others are sending
One of the biggest direct mail mistakes, is not familiarizing yourself with what others have already done. The mailbox-opening public will be most likely to view and consider your piece if it’s something that they’re not completely conditioned to. Before designing and concepting your mailer, spend a week or so evaluating what has been showing up in your own mailbox, and then build on the flaws, weaknesses and graphic gaps that others overlook.
3. Design a quality mailer
Using old, outdated, cliché or low resolution images is one of the best ways to ensure that your mailer ends up in the trash. People have a tendency to instantly connect poor design with poor service, so taking the time to design a crisp, clear mail piece with graphics that are colorful, unique and relevant will go a long way. Additionally, the written content of your piece should be clearly communicated with absolutely no typos or misleading offers.
4. Use unconventional sizes
For some industries, the standard postcard mailer is all they will ever need to attract enough business to keep themselves busy with new work. More innovative marketers, as well as those rolling out landmark services and product launches, have found that using non-conventional and oversized folded designs can be a more effective way to go. Larger mailers give you more room to describe your products, company and services in detail, while differentiating yourself from virtually every other piece of mail.
5. Target, target, target!
The only thing more significant than the allure of your design, is how you go about choosing its intended recipients. You wouldn’t send a mailer for office furniture to a residential district, right? If your company does not maintain a working prospect list, you will need to obtain a mail list from a reliable source. Companies such as D&B, Experian and other list builders can help you create a custom list using hundreds of target criteria.
6. Track your responses
Far too many businesses make the mistake of not tracking each and every response they get to a direct mailer. This is a lose/lose. Not only will proper tracking help you in identifying which type of consumer or business is most likely to need your services, it is also vital in gauging your overall campaign response percentage – something that can help improve the success of future campaigns. Creating a simple spreadsheet to house all mailer responses is an easy way to keep track of who is being influenced by your marketing.
7. Use QR codes
Adding a QR codes is a simple and effective way to guide customers along the response path. They can be easily generated and programmed to take mail recipients directly to your homepage, social media pages or a specific service/product listing on your website. Many QR generators now utilize technology which instantly stores customer information the moment they scan your code using their iPhone or Android.
8. Make your campaign timely
For the most part, each industry has its busy season. Regardless of whether you’re targeting the back-to-school crowd, holiday shoppers or something far more specific, it’s crucial that you strategically time your direct mail campaign to coincide with the realistic needs and wants of your audience. Keep in mind, though, that your competitors will also be looking at the calendar when coordinating their own campaigns.
9. Have a strong call to action
We’ve discussed the importance of strong call-to-action in other articles, but can’t stress it enough when doing a direct mailer. It’s worth noting that, while direct mail does play a role in branding, it is more commonly used to capitalize on the impulse needs of a specific audience. If you don’t tell them what the next step is, they may be under the impression that your piece is nothing more than a basic information tool. Clearly state what you would like them to do (call, e-mail, visit your website, stop in the showroom) and you’ll improve your chances of closing a sale.
Ready to start your direct mail campaign? Choose from our various Postcards. Order today!