Some Tips for Creating and Delivering Effective Direct Mail Campaigns

Marketing through direct mail may not get as much buzz as evolving digital options but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective. Here are some tips to keep in mind to maximize your direct mail ROI.

  • Know your customer. Knowing who your target customer is always a critical first step. They will cluster around certain metrics like gender, age, income, home ownership, geography and previous purchases. Your own database will give you a clear picture of active and prospective clients. Target them first! These are repeat customers who have told you they like what you offer.
  • Expand Your Audience. Use your customer profile to expand your reach by purchasing data files from a reputable vendor. They will be able to isolate the metrics you want and deliver many more prospects that fit the profile you provide.
  • Test Your Messaging. Before committing to a large-scale mailing, try out your message on a small subset of your database. You can test and refine it to find what wording or call to action gets a better response and integrate that into the final campaign.
  • Personalize. When possible, personalize your message. Research shows people tend to respond more favorably if targeted on a personal level. But be cautious. If there are errors in the database, they will show up as errors on the personalization such as a mis-spelled name or a Mrs. instead of a Mr. and backfire.
  • Make your offer sizzle. Be sure that what you are offering is actually seen as valuable. People like deals and you have to grab readers attention quickly. Giving someone $20 off may not sound as exciting as SAVE 50% Now.
  • Use Multiple Mail Houses. Mail houses are a critical link between your direct mail piece and delivery to your customers and prospects. Mail houses can help provide efficiencies with customization, printing and pre-sorting to save on postage. If your product or service is national consider a West Coast-East Coast type option or a national company with multiple locations especially if your offer is time sensitive. They are closer to the customer and can help affect timely delivery.
  • Track Responses. Incorporate a system that will tell you where a response or sale came from. Using promotional codes, coupons or toll-free numbers you’ll see which wording and messaging works best with which groups and you can incorporate that intelligence into the next part of your campaign.
  • Follow-up Aggressively. Utilize different creative options with additional rounds of mailings and specific timetables. Direct mail experts know that a conversion often happens on the second or third round of outreach.

Marketing with direct mail is different than marketing digitally. Response isn’t always immediate and being patient can be critical especially if your campaign is multi-layered or sequenced. Sometimes it takes a variety of messages and packaging for it all to come together. But if you trust in your marketing team and have patience, direct mail will deliver a strong ROI, engage customers and bring in new sales.


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