5 Steps To A More Effective Direct Mail Campaign

One of the major struggles of sending a direct mail piece is when your investment blends in with “junk” mail. What happens when it blends in?  Think about what you do when you get junk mail (throw it away, perhaps?).  Not good, right? Especially when you think about your prospects throwing away your advertisement!

When your investment blends in with the “junk” and is thrown in the trash, that’s the worst case scenario.  Best case is the recipient will open, read and respond to your mailer!

If you’ve ever tried to implement a direct mail campaign and did not receive the results you were looking for. Or, have always wanted to but don’t know where to begin know that it’s simple!

All you need is an effective plan of action.  The following 5 steps will help you create and implement a plan that will improve response rates and WOW your target audience!

Step 1: Narrow down your target audience.  

First and foremost, gather as much information about your target audience as possible.  Knowing your audience can increase your response rate because you can customize your message and marketing materials to them.

Really dig deep into this to figure out who they are. Ask yourself questions about their lifestyle, their work life and their personality. Things like: What do they do for a living? What do they do for fun? What is their salary? Do they have a family?

The questions really depend on the information you will need to know in relation to your company and your goals.

Step 2: Choose promotional products that will be useful to your target audience. 

You can customize and print on virtually everything. This is where you can get creative in order to stand out!

Based on the information you collected about your audience and the purpose of your campaign, the key is to choose a product they will use.  The more your audience uses the item, the more impressions of your message you will receive.  Meaning it will be easier for you to stay top of mind.

If your audience is not likely to use the product, they are less likely to keep the item. In this case, studies have shown they will either give the item to someone else or throw it away.

Step 3: Choose your packaging 

There are two choices here, you can send a “bulk mailer” or use custom packaging.

With a “bulk mailer”, place your product and information in an envelope (with a handwritten address!).  This creates a “lumpy” package that will stand out when your audience is sorting their mail. Lumpy mail is less likely to be placed in the “throw out” pile.

Another option is to choose a 3-D “Box Mailer”.  With a 3-D mailer, you can choose a uniquely shaped box relevant to your campaign.  You can also customize the box to match your brand AND add special fillers to hold and “showcase” your promotional products.

Step 4: Send your mailer

When you have all the pieces of your mailer in hands and assembled, it’s time to mail them out!

Since you should plan to call each prospect you send your mailer to, you don’t want to send every package all at once.  A good rule of thumb is to cycle your mailers and mail them in “batches” so they arrive at different times.

By sending a few mailers over a specified period of time, you will be able to make a few calls each day as your mailers arrive.

Step 5: Keep track of data

Data is very important in a campaign because it can tell you a lot about your progress and your results.  For a direct mail campaign, tracking the cost of your campaign and incoming sales, can help you find a return on your investment.  This will help you determine whether your campaign was a success or if there are areas you can improve on.

If your campaign was successful, congratulations!  Keep up the good work.  If your campaign was not as successful as you would like it to be, find out analyze what worked and what didn’t.  Then, try the campaign again to tweak the parts that need work.

This is another area where batching your mailers can com in handy. If you mail out a quarter of your mail pieces and notice you can improve on a certain aspect of your campaign, you can tweak it in the next batch of mailers.

Hopefully, this gives you greater insight about the components of a direct mail campaign so your next campaign will be the success you plan it to be!

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