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Five easy steps to direct mail success

2nd Jan '16

Direct mail. It’s that stuff that comes through the post that you put straight into the recycling, right? Not necessarily.

By combining careful planning, creative thinking and professional execution, direct mail can be a really effective marketing tool.

So how do you make sure your mail-out hits the mark and not the bin?

Understand what you want to achieve

Any marketing activity should start with an objective – in other words, what you want to achieve.

Think through your objective in really specific terms, e.g. we want 100 people to come along to our event, or we want to increase sales by 30% by the end of the year.

Then think through how you might achieve that.

A direct mail campaign may be the answer or other channels might be better for your objective. Crucially, don’t do direct mail just for the sake of it. Make sure you’re clear about why you’re doing it.

Understand your audience

You’ve done your thinking and you’re confident a direct mail campaign is right. You now need to think about your audience.

This will play a big part in who gets the mail-out and what it looks like.

The more specific you can be, the more successful you’re going to be. For example, if you’re running a promotion on baby products, your mail-out needs to go to people who buy things for babies, like parents or mums-to-be. The look and feel of it should appeal to the group you’re targeting, too.

Hitting your target group

Once you’ve identified ‘who’, you need to know how to reach them.

If your audience is geographical, e.g. you’re selling services to homes in a particular area, then you might want to think about using Royal Mail’s distribution service, or a locally-based distribution company.

If you’re working to a more specific customer profile, e.g. real ale drinkers or the over 60s, then you’ll need an up-to-date database of customers who meet that profile. You may already have this, or you might need to buy into one.

There are lots of companies out there that can sell you lists for business-to-business or consumer mail-outs.

For business-to-business mailing lists, Experian is a good place to start.

For consumer lists, reputable providers in the UK include Call Credit and UK Data House

It’s also good practice to check that your mailing lists don’t include anyone who’s asked not to receive direct mail, using the Mail Preference Service.

Get the design and format right

Your mail-out needs to stand out when it lands on your target’s desk or doormat. You want to get their attention and their interest.

Get as creative as your budget will allow. You could do something show-stopping (check out these ideas courtesy of design shack) or simply send something useful like a calendar or diary.

As a minimum, make sure your mail-out looks professional and is well designed, or your credibility will be going into the bin along with your efforts.

The content is crucial

You’ve got this far. Your prospect has picked up your postcard and they’re about to read it. This is your opportunity to convert their interest into desire and action.

Don’t let your words let you down.

Make sure the content of your mail is well thought-out and specifically tailored for your audience and purpose.

Choose your words carefully so that they hook your customer in and make them want to find out more.

Be creative but clear – make sure your reader understands what you’re offering. Clever copy is good, but your customer shouldn’t have to think too much.

If you have the budget, get a professional copywriter involved to craft your content. As a minimum, make sure your mail-out is well written and free from spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.

And to help measure the success of your campaign, think about including a specific offer code your customer can quote when responding, so you know where your leads have come from.

Finally, always make sure you’re clear about what your customer needs to do next, e.g. call, come along, visit your website.

If you’re including contact details, check, check and check them again before you hit ‘print’; you don’t want your direct mail to fail because you missed a typo in your email address or a phone number has changed.

Let us manage your next direct mail campaign

Thinking about direct mail? Let our team of talented designers and copywriters create something perfect for your campaign. We can also manage everything from customer segmentation to print and postage.

To find out more, get in touch at Blue Rock Marketing Consultancy.


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