Direct Mail Works if You Do It Right

Contrary to what you might have heard, direct mail is not dead. Far from it! Direct mail is alive and well…if you know what you’re doing. If you run your direct mail campaign, it will increase your conversion rates and help you build buzz for your company. This is as true for brand new startups as it is for the old guard.

Granted, there are a lot of barriers that exist on the road to direct mail success. The biggest among them is cost. Web marketing is infinitely cheaper than direct mail. Another massive obstacle to overcome is the “no junk mail” list. Many homeowners and renters are putting their names on the Do Not Mail list and are Opting Out of direct mail. Even with these roadblocks, if you know what you’re doing, you can get past them. Here are some tips to help you do exactly that. If you want to run a successful and profitable direct mail campaign, keep reading.

Museum of film print design
photo credit: Behance

Mind Your Details

No piece of direct mail, whether it is part of a large mailing or a single letter sent to a prospective client should be dashed off on whatever paper you have handy. Always use your company’s stationery and letterhead and branded envelopes for your direct mail. It adds a note of professionalism to even the most hastily dashed off thank you notes.

When you are sending mail to a large mass of people (a common occurrence in direct mail campaigns), order your supplies in bulk. It’s also a good idea, say the experts who make Tyvek Envelopes, to choose mailers that are durable and can stand up against the many conditions that conspire to ruin packages sent through the post.

Watch Your Weight

No, nobody is body shaming. The simple fact is that the heavier your piece of mail, the more it will cost to send. The lighter the better in terms of mailing and shipping costs. This can often be a tricky idea to incorporate into your campaign because it flies in the face of one of the oldest tricks in the direct mail book: send your recipients something useful to remember you by. Magnets, keychains, bottle openers, sticky note pads, calendars…all of these things weigh down your packages.

Perfect Your Aim

Yes, a mass mailer that is sent to every person living within a specific zip code will likely yield a response. This is why you get so many cardstock fliers during election season. If you want a good ROI, however, you need to hone your message and mail only to those people who will be receptive to it. The best way to find those people is to do your own research and build your own lists. Don’t just buy a list from another marketer and hope for the best. Take the time to get to know the people in your audience. Where do they live? What do they buy? Market research helps you personalize your mail and personalization increases results.

This is a call to action
photo credit: Behance

Your Call to Action

Your call to action does not necessarily need to be about the purchase you want the recipient to make. Instead, make your call to action something mutually beneficial. Ask people to “like” you on Facebook or give them an incentive to visit your company’s website. Encourage the reader to sign up for your newsletter (make sure you offer a digital option!).

Follow Up

This is par for the course for email marketing and it needs to be a part of your direct mail campaign as well. Create two follow-up lists: one for people who responded to your first mailing and one for people who haven’t. For your responders: thank them for answering your call to action and offer them a small gift in response. Encourage them to return to your site or store and include an incentive for them to do so–coupons, discount codes, etc. For the non-responders: a simple follow-up letter reminding them of your offer and a call to action with a step up in the incentive to opt-in to your list.

In both mailings include a survey for people to take to help you get a better idea of their reactions to your campaign, their feedback, etc. Make the survey a digital one so that it is free for them to take.

There are many components of a successful direct mail campaign. From the supplies you use to the message inside, it’s important to get the details perfect. Use the tips in this article to help you get closer to that goal.