Direct Mail Marketing
Keys to successful direct mail marketing
In the last decade the amount spent on direct mail marketing has almost trebled and is only beaten in the promotional spend stakes by press and television advertising. However, direct mail services are not a fail-safe way of advertising and a good campaign depends on a well-planned initiative. Follow our tips for a successful campaign.
Plan your content
The content and design of your mailing will make or break your direct mail marketing campaign. Targeted content and sophisticated design give your mailing a better chance of being read. See our page on direct marketing mailing for writing tips.
Design it properly or not at all
Either keep your mailing very clean cut and simple or get it professionally designed. Don't assume your grade school art classes gave you a sense of design and plaster a page with free clip art. Communicating an idea simply is more important than eye catching imagery, and clip art will only give your mailing a cheap, generic look.
Target your audience
Make sure your mailings are targeted to the right audience and your databases are up to date. You'll lose integrity in the eyes of your customers and be lambasted by the press if you send inappropriate mailings to the wrong people. Offers of low-interest credit cards to babies or life assurance to the recently deceased will attract all the wrong kind of attention and do your brand more harm than good.
Mail at the right time
Mondays are generally a bad day at work for most people and Fridays often succumb to that weekend feeling. If you want a good response to your direct mail campaign aim for your mailing to arrive mid week.
Save money on mailings
Use third class or bulk mail rates to save money on your direct mail marketing campaign. Bulk rates can save you up to 70 percent of the cost of your mailing. If your direct mailing is going to be bulky check with the postmaster before getting it printed. Make up a sample pack in the early stages of the campaign and check there will be no problems posting it and no nasty surprises on postage costs.
Make an Impact
Thousands of direct mailings are delivered each day and you need to make yours stand out from the crowd - and motivate your contact to look inside. Simple techniques such as using colored, off-size or odd-shaped envelopes and sending lumpy packages can have the desired effect. Make the lumpy insert fun and above all relevant to your mailing. Ideally you want the lumpy item to be useful so your contact will keep it on their desk, and your company in their minds.
Piggy back mailings
Customers are guaranteed to open some mail - such as bills and statements. By including your direct marketing materials in these mailings you've passed the first hurdle of getting the customer to open the envelope. Inserts, although automatically trashed by many, have a better chance of being read than most other direct marketing materials. By consolidating the costs of your mailings you'll also cut down on overall expenditure.
Get a response
The aim of your direct mail marketing is to generate sales leads and you've got to make it easy for your contact to reply to your mailing. Include a toll-free number, a web address, fax back form or postage-paid reply card.
Be print savvy
Get at least three estimates for your print job and ask for samples from each printer. Choose the printer that offers good value, high-quality printing and seems to understand your needs. Once you choose a printer you should be able to negotiate a discount of up to 20 percent off the original quote. If possible, buy your own paper and deliver it to the printer with a sample of your final artwork. Ask for a detailed pro forma invoice that includes all print specifications and ask to see a final proof before the job goes ahead.