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The Do’s, Don’ts, and Never Evers of Direct Mail Advertising

Everything seems to be online and on our phones these days. Consumers face crowded spam folders and constant barrages from brands on social media. These days, one of the best ways to stand out in a consumer’s mind is to give them something physical to hold onto. Direct mail advertising has never really gone out of style, but many new companies haven’t branched out to utilize this marketing strategy.

While the internet holds many benefits for digital marketing campaigns, there’s nothing like direct mail to really hold a potential customer’s attention.

What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Direct Mail Advertising Campaign

If you are considering direct mail advertising for your business, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Read on, and we’ll walk you through the Dos and Don’ts that you should definitely be aware of.

1. Do Start Small

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And your successful direct mail advertising campaign won’t be either. As much as you may prepare yourself for success, it’s best to start your initial direct mail efforts on a small scale.

This way you can see the results, adjust, and try again before you spread the word far and wide. Small doesn’t have to mean tiny, it could still mean a few thousand. It all depends on the scope of your business.

Testing out marketing materials on a smaller audience can allow you to see what tactics work and what doesn’t. Make sure you’re tracking exactly where your leads are coming from. If your first mailout is a big success, then you’ll know the time is right to roll out to a wider audience.

And if you don’t get the results you want, then you know something needs to be adjusted.

2. Do Define Your Audience


It will take time and money to launch your direct mail advertising campaign, so you need to make sure that you’re getting the final product in front of the right people. For example, if you sell a product or service that caters exclusively to the elderly, the last thing you want to is to waste money sending your advertisements to college students.

Your specific situation is probably less black and white than that example, but it’s still important to define your audience. Who are you after? What are the shared characteristics of your ideal customer?

Locking down a specific type of person can be one of the most important things you do for your direct mail campaign. This is one area you don’t want to rush through or give too little thought.

Once you’ve defined this audience, consider what kind of deals or special offers might appeal to them. Does this type of person like to buy in bulk? Consider a buy one get one free deal. Are they typically frugally minded? Offer 20% off.

Narrowing down your audience into a specific persona allows you to sent them targeted mail with an offer they’ll find hard to refuse– and can bring the business to your door that you’re looking for.

3. Do Make a Call to Action

It can be great for a potential customer to receive word of your business in the mail. Awareness is a big part of fostering a large and returning clientele. But if you don’t push these individuals to take action, you might never see them commit and take a sale.

As such, it’s important to include a time limit on the offers in your direct mail campaign. If you’re offering a good deal, include a deadline for that deal that will bring them into your store. Without a good call to action, your direct mail campaign won’t be worth the effort involved.

4. Don’t Forget to Proofread

You’d be shocked at how many businesses put hours of work into their direct mail campaigns and then end up sending something out with a typo or incorrect grammar. Nothing will turn a potential customer off faster than something that makes your business look less-than-professional.

It’s essential that you take the time to look over your design and make sure all the information presented is clear and correct. Give it to a second pair of eyes to proofread, or even a third or a fourth. The last thing you want to do is make a simple mistake that could ruin all your hard work.

5. Don’t Confuse Your Audience

An excellent piece of direct mail advertising will be simple, direct, and to the point. That means a simple design and clear, concise messaging.

If you overload your advertisement with too much imagery or information, you’re likely to overwhelm the reader. An overwhelmed reader is much more likely to toss your ad into the trash can then to try and discern meaning from your piece. Consumers like choices, after all, but too many can have the opposite effect.

It’s important that the advertisement you create gets the idea across to a reader within three seconds of them looking at it. Anything longer and you have a problem on your hands.

How do you keep things simple? Present only one offer and call to action. Multiple offers are likely to confuse and overwhelm people. Land on one amazing offer that you can present and settle it there– you’ll get more response than if you offer multiple.

Looking for Direct Mail Solutions

Getting new customers interested in your business can be a challenge. Some direct mail solutions can be just the fix you need to have people flooding through your doors.

Need help launching the perfect direct mail campaign? We can help. Give us a call anytime for assistance.

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