In the 25 years we’ve helped clients with their direct mail needs, we’ve seen a wide variety of direct mail marketing approaches. Some clients have mailed elaborate, multi-component packages. Others have personalized their mailings to contain specific messages to specific individuals. Some have developed incredibly creative mailings that grab the reader’s attention. Others have mailed small, simple cards.
As different as these approaches are, our clients share something in common: They want their direct mail efforts to succeed. That means they want people to respond to their mailings. They want to generate leads that eventually lead to sales or donations.
Steps to Success
Since success is every client’s aim, we ae often asked, “What’s the most important part of a successful direct mail campaign?” It’s a simple enough question, but the answer is complex. For your mailing to be successful, it needs to:
- Reach the Intended Audience: You may have your own database or you may need to purchase a list. Either way, you need to be sure your data is accurate and your recipients are ones that your business appeals to. If you’re reaching out to existing customers, you want to make sure the addresses you have are current and valid. Undeliverable mail is a waste of your time and money.
- Be as Economical as Possible: Marketing can get costly, but using a company that can help you take advantage of USPS postal discounts and the newest printing and mailing technology can save you a lot of money—and can even get your mail delivered more quickly.
- Get Read: Work with a mailing partner that knows direct mail trends and can lead you or even assist you in designing pieces that will entice recipients to open and read your piece. It doesn’t do you a lot of good to have your mail arrive at the right address if the recipient never reads it.
- Generate a Response: Informing the reader is only half of the goal with each piece you send out. The other half is to generate response. A clearly defined offer or need and a call to action that makes it crystal clear what they should do.
- Be Trackable: Gone are the days of wondering if your mail reached the intended target. Your mail service provider needs to be able to track the mail for you and provide reporting so you know what works and what doesn’t.
- Be Integrated: Direct mail is the leader, but needs a supporting cast to truly be successful. You’re going to need multiple touches to stay connected with your audience. Using direct mail to draw people to your website or into your location allows you to offer more information at virtually no additional cost.
So which of these objectives is most important for the success of your mailing? The best answer is, each of these goals is important. You can have a creative package with a great offer, but if it doesn’t get opened, it does you no good. There’s a lot more to successful direct mail marketing than simply creating a mailing and sticking a stamp on it. Make sure you have all your bases covered in order to get the kind of responses you want.