Direct mail has been popular with business marketers for many years because it works. A postcard or brochure sent directly to your prospective customers can deliver powerful impact and generate an immediate response, whether you’re looking to drive traffic to your website or your store, invite people to your annual tent sale or promote a new product.
These days, savvy marketers are using direct mailing marketing for stand-alone campaigns and also to support multi-channel marketing programs. Following these five tips will help you make your campaigns the best they can be.
1. Look to the experts for advice.
Why guess what might work when it comes to graphic design, content details or mailing list development when you can call on people whose career is devoted to creating top-performing direct mailing marketing? Having a professional at your side can make the difference between mediocre results and a campaign that really sings.
2. Make your direct mail easy to read.
Properly using the principles of layout and design can guide your reader’s eye where you want it to go – from your headline to your call to action. The easier it is for people to understand your message and how to follow up, the more likely they are to take action. Feature your offer prominently to maximize response.
Your call to action should be simple and clear. Do not assume people can read between the lines, tell them straight out – “call this number” or “click here” or “visit our trade show booth.” And tell they why. How will they will benefit? Why do they need to act quickly?
3. Reinforce your message with repetition.
This is a fundamental concept in marketing, and direct mail makes it easy. Although you can expect to see a response to your first mailing, you’ll see progressively greater response when you send the same mailing to the same audience multiple times. Many businesses find that ongoing mailings every month or so keep them supplied with a steady stream of new customers.
A short series of repeated postcard mailings – say two or three, spaced a week apart – is an ideal way to build attendance at an event.
4. Choose the right mailing list.
Some businesses find great success with direct mailings that go to every household in a particular area. But most businesses get the best return on their investment by creating a customized mailing list that targets their most likely prospects. Without the right mailing list, your direct mail campaign won’t be successful.
You can build your list to focus on any number of specific demographic criteria – age, gender, household income, etc. And you can target specific geographic areas such as your community or a specific ZIP code. It’s best to get help from a direct mail professional, so you know the data you’re using is appropriate and accurate.
5. Track your results.
Analyze the results of your mailing, to see how you’re doing. You may want to tweak your content or mailing list to attract greater response. Even more importantly, you’ll want to combine your response rates with revenue data, so you can see your campaign’s return on investment. Your goal should be the highest possible ROI – a campaign that brings you the most sales per dollar spent.
Remember that it costs more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, so you’ll want to consider the long-term value of customers when you chart your ROI. For instance, a yard service company might earn a $100 job from a postcard mailing to new homeowners. But when that sale turns into a monthly service contract, the value of that customer grows considerably compared to the cost of the original mailing.
Follow these tips, and you’ll not only make the best direct mailing marketing campaigns, you’ll earn the best return on your investment.