Improving Your Direct Mail Results, At Every Step in the Process
mail is having (another) moment. Even during this roller-coaster of a year, integrated marketers are achieving
impressive results and reaching a broader audience than ever. Over 90% of Millennials say
direct mail has a bigger influence than email on their purchasing decisions,
and more than 36% of the coveted 30-and-under demographic report that they look
forward to checking their mail.
Following are some tried-and-true methods
for integrated marketers to help boost results at every step of the
Design and Production
Effective direct mail design
needs to cut through the clutter and capture your audience’s attention very
quickly while, at the same time, reflecting your brand and not making a promise
so grandiose you can’t keep it. It really is part art, part science, but we’ve distilled
it down into five best practices
- Personalize it: The best relationships are always one-to-one, and that
doesn’t mean ‘occupant.’ We’ll discuss automation below, but beyond just
getting the name right, your direct mail should feel like it was written and
designed for a specific audience.
- Play with size
and format: Oversize mailers generate
the biggest impact, with a 5% response rate. Postcards and dimensional mailers
also perform well. An experienced print vendor can help you come up with a
format that will keep your costs low and your response rate high.
- Keep it simple: This refers to both design and copy. Your design should
be bold, clean, and branded. In most cases, copy should be as short and concise
as possible, and text should have plenty of white space for readability.
- Appeal to the
emotions: Direct mail has been proven to
have a greater emotional impact than
other tactics, so use that to your advantage – build a deeper connection with a
powerful narrative, photography, and even your use of color.
- Have a single
call to action: Don’t confuse your
audience by asking them to take a trial offer, download a paper, or enroll for
a subscription. Focus on getting them to take one simple action, then make your
CTA stand out on the page.
List Acquisition: DIY or Buy?
Your efforts will be more
successful if you start with a well-maintained list of quality leads and
contacts. And that means you have to start well in advance of your mailing. Not
surprisingly, house lists perform the best – that is, lists compiled of current
or recent members or purchasers. That’s compared to a prospect list, compiled
of individuals and businesses you think would likely be interested in your
offerings but have not previously contacted or sold to.
Going through the United States
Postal Service gives you the option of blanketing a specific geographical area
or Zip code with Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).
To reach a highly targeted
audience, sorted on features such as age, income, gender, and even health
status and favorite hobbies, you can buy or rent from a reputable list broker. Unlike
with email marketing, where purchasing a list can impair your efforts, going through a broker or manager can help you maximize
Mailing Services Are the
Mailing and automation services
are the steps that your company is most likely to have to outsource, and can
have a considerable impact on your response rate and budget. Some of these
affect how your letter is perceived – for example, using live stamps gives it
an even more personal touch, and automated mail merge and variable printing
allow you to customize your letter or your envelope. Bar coding, presorting,
and automation processes improve your ROI by keeping deliverability high and
making sure your letters reach their intended audience.
If that sounds like a lot, trust
us, it is! But getting it right can yield significant results for your
business. Take advantage of our expertise: whether you need help with one
aspect or outsource the entire process, we’re here to help. Contact us to make
your next direct mail project a success.