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Top 10 Secrets of a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Direct Mail Marketing

Although direct mail is one of the most effective mediums of marketing, many business owners avoid it due to its complexity and extensive regulations. To help, we asked our team to share 10 secrets of a successful direct mail campaign.

Secret 1: Set Your Goals

The first question is, what are you trying to accomplish with your direct mail campaign? Do you want to reach new customers? Or grow into a new market segment that you haven’t entered before? Are you showing off a new product or new services? Do you hope to tempt past customers to check you out again? 

Understanding what you’re trying to achieve with your direct mail campaign is the first secret to success and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Secret 2: Know Your Audience

With the wealth of technology available to us today, you don’t have to make guesses to understand your customers and their needs.  Consider what prompted customers to respond in the past, whether it’s discounts or advance access to new products. If you’re on social media , check out what your visitors respond to there. Even consider asking your existing customers directly by sending out a survey or simply talking to them.

When the recipients of your direct mail campaign realize that you have the solution to a problem they face or a product they desire, they will respond. 

Secret 3: Build Your Mailing List

Start with your internal “house” list of continuing clients. You may need to update your 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 new mailing lIst of future clients and prospective buyers. Alternatively,, you may wish to purchase a mailing list from a good mailing company which can be targeted to your size, specific requirements and budget.

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.

Make sure your message is clear and well crafted to appeal to your target audience.

Secret 5: State Your Offer

You are mailing to inform customers about your company and its products. For impact, you could offer specific incentives such as a time limit to encourage customers to take action now – such as a discount, free shipping, free samples, easy payment terms etc all with a limited timeframe. These are all great incentives that can prompt your customers to respond quickly

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 item 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 this can be enhanced by digital marketing using multiple communications channels.

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

You need to consider what sort of direct mailing item works best for you. This could be a postcard, a brochure, a letter – your choice will determine the cost of your mailing in terms of both production and postage.

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

Your design should be uncluttered and inviting, and make sure it meets all USPS® requirements. A professional mailing company can assist you with this. 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 wish. 

Secret 8: Have Your Mailer Printed

Now you’re ready to print and mail. You may wish to look for a company that provides printing in addition to their mailing services or these can be done separately.  

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 and your mailing may not even arrive if it doesn’t meet USPS postal requirements.  The experience of your mailing company is vital at this point.

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?

You should take the advice of a mailing company that deals with the Post Office on a daily basis and knows the ins-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.You could create a designated landing page on your website for direct mail recipients to respond to. This will let you track the responses and will help to increase your conversion rates significantly. 

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 an experienced  and reliable direct mailing company is critical to carry you through the individual stages of any direct mail campaign.

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