Direct mail is unique in that it is a tangible item that your recipients can hold, read, save, or toss, depending on their need for the product or service and the interest created by the piece. There are numerous tricks to the trade, and direct mailing experts spend ample amounts of time honing and testing direct mail pieces.
Color, texture, print, tone, wording, phrasing, size of the piece, and numerous other issues are all debated by the experts. In the end, a 5% return on investment is considered extremely good when embarking on a direct mail campaign. Therefore, once you’ve put together the piece you want to mail, you should start with a test run before mailing to your entire list. This will give you an idea of the piece’s impact.
Some direct mail pointers include the following:
- Use all the elements, paper quality, size, color, and texture are all parts of the presentation, as it’s not just what you have to say but how.
- Don’t overdesign. Graphic designers often get carried away with the overall look and forget that someone has to be able to actually read the piece.
- Don’t try to fool readers with “come-ons” on the envelope such as “Sweepstakes Winner.”
- Send a separate mailing to regular customers with special offers, promotions, or advance notice of upcoming sales. Make them feel important because they are vital to your business.
- If you are mailing to a business, determine the best name to whom to send the mailing. Sending an item to a title or a company name is usually an exercise in futility.
- Use a postage meter; it looks more professional than stamps.
- Write conversational copy that focuses on what your product or service can do for the reader.
- Avoid technical jargon and hyperbole.
- Make valid claims and promises that you can keep.
- If you request a return by mail, make the process simple and the instructions very clear.
- Reply cards are often more effective than 800 numbers unless you have competent round-the-clock operators on hand. Even then, offer both options because some people prefer to call.
- If you have a Web site, include the address on all direct mail pieces.
- Add a personalized touch: no “dear occupant” letters. Include a signature that appears personalized.
- Watch your costs closely. A successful direct marketing campaign is contingent upon generating a profit, so track your spending against your ROI.
- If you find an income-generating piece, use it as a template for future mailings.