What you present to your direct mail marketing audience determines whether they get excited about your mailing and want to learn more, or they throw your mail in the trash. So what do your customers want to see when they open their mailbox and find something from you?

People actually look forward to receiving direct mail marketing, because they want to learn about new businesses in the neighborhood or new products and services available locally. Your prospective customers are always on the lookout for ways they can improve their business or their personal lives. They’re hoping you can help them.

Here are some specific details they especially want to see.

Good design.

Professional design shows you mean business. Customized visuals and content are critical, because whatever you send people should display your business colors and logo, and it should look like the rest of your marketing – your website, print advertising, business cards, everything that reflects and reinforces your business identity.

That makes a more powerful visual impact, and it supports marketing and branding consistency for your business. Conversely, if your mailer looks “off the shelf,” it’s more likely to be ignored. Templates can seem quick and easy to use, but the result will look too much like someone else’s mailing. You want to stand out from the competition as well as whatever else is in someone’s mailbox.

Content should get to the point quickly or you’ll lose their attention. Use clear, concise language that focuses on what’s in it for them if they respond. Present those benefits as short bullet points rather than paragraphs of text, so they’re easy to read quickly. Use a bold, attention-grabbing headline to make your key point.

If your offer isn’t relevant and timely, your reader won’t give you another second of their time. But when your offer is right on target with them, they know you’re catering to their wants and needs. That’s worth a response. For example, if you’re a dentist, you can target residents with school-age children for a back-to-school checkup special, or you can create an ongoing campaign aimed at attracting new patients of all ages.

Ensuring relevance requires using the right mailing list as well as the right offer. Sending your back-to-school offer to people with no children wouldn’t bring you much response.

Who doesn’t want a good deal? Make them an offer they can’t refuse, so they’re sure to respond. Give it a sense of urgency, to underscore the value.

Would you respond to a mailer that looked bland and boring, or was filled with obvious mistakes? Of course not. tell people you’re a respectable, reliable business, and that builds both interest and trust.

Top quality printing is the foundation of a professional-looking mailing. Customers will respond to full vibrant color and crisp clear images. For postcards, you want heavy paper stock with a substantial feel to it, and whether you’re using postcards or brochures, you want consistently first-rate printing. The higher the quality or price of your products, the higher the quality your mailing has to be in order to send the right message.

Studies show that customers prefer direct mail for certain subjects.

As popular as email and the internet might be these days, most people say they would rather receive certain types of information through the mail. Those topics include:

  • Sensitive personal information such as healthcare or health-related products.
  • Financial services.
  • Insurance.
  • Mail-order shopping.
  • Household products.

But the truth is, direct mail marketing can provide superior results for almost any type or size business. Postcards enjoy a readership rate of well over 50%, and that makes them one of the most effective marketing options you’ll find. You’ll get great results if your direct mailings are designed with customers in mind.