Having spent many years using direct mail to position, brand, create awareness, and boost sales, here are a few tips that will help you create direct mail that achieves your goals.
- Set goals – Decide first what you want from your campaign. It’s similar to setting a business mission to help guide the decisions you have to make. Are you creating awareness? Branding? Sales promotion?
- Know your audience – If you’re designing direct mail to capture the attention of a C-level executive of one of your “A” accounts, you need to consider your design, packaging, and offer to be of the same caliber as your audience. Make the message, offer, packaging commensurate with your audience, or you’ll miss the mark.
- Don’t limit your mailing to one contact per company – I’ve seen this too many times. Often in any company there are decision makers, gate keepers, influencers and many more than just your main contact, and its impossible to tell who will pick up on your message and perhaps champion it up the chain of command. The marginal costs to include two or three other contacts at a company for most direct mail campaigns is negligible, and expands your depth of reach with these prospects.
- What’s in it for them? – Know the benefit of your product or service and be ready to translate that to bottom line improvement in a manner that is…
- Direct and Concise – There are few things worse than getting direct mail that has 12 paragraphs. Use bullets when you can, and get to the point. Write, then read, and have others read for you, then re-write until your message is clear, and honed in on the main benefit.
- Use color – When possible color (appropriate) catches the eye, and with digital printing, it’s much more affordable than you think.
- Use odd size post cards or packages – To stand out in the mail, 3D or larger post cards will get more attention than the standard 7 x 5’s. Having said that…
- Know your postal regulations – jumping just a few square inches in size can add dramatically to bulk mail costs.
- Have realistic expectations – If you’re running a sales promotion, your results are relative to your offer. Like any media, the better the offer, the better the response rate.
- Know that it works– Hundreds of thousands of companies send hundreds of millions of pieces of direct mail to all sorts of clients and prospects every year. Why? Because direct mail is the best way to target your clients and prospects, and they know that making direct mail part of an annual marketing campaign is going to result in better awareness, and more sales down the road.
Direct mail can get anyone’s attention if designed and targeted correctly. And with the influx of marketing expenditures to online, there is less clutter in the direct mail category which represents more opportunity for direct mail users.