Direct Mail Do’s and Don’ts

By: Ashlee McNicol

When done right, direct mail is a fantastic addition to your marketing toolbox. The process is fairly simple when you collaborate with a reputable printing company, but it helps to have some best practices along the way.

Here are some things to keep in mind for your next direct mail piece:

When Creating Direct Mail, Do…

Make it Personal. Talk directly to your customers. Share a story or figure out another way to relate in a way that makes them feel like they’re buying from a friend. You can make the direct mail piece unique by printing the recipient’s personal name embedded in the design or by placing pictures related to the recipient’s industry or neighborhood. This will increase the effectiveness of the mailer. Talk to SmithPrint about how we can use variable data printing to personalize each mailer and make them unique.

Include One Time-Sensitive Offer. There should only be one offer on the direct mail, so customers know exactly what they’re getting. Make sure you outline the benefits and note that it’s only available for a limited time. This will install a sense of urgency for the customer to respond so they don’t miss out on a great opportunity.

Write a Great Call to Action. The goal of your call to action is to get your customers to act on the specific offer mentioned in the direct mail piece. This is different than a brand awareness campaign. A call to action is a great tool for companies to use during their slow months to drive traffic to their store based on a special promotion that requires an immediate response. Keep it simple and specific!

Test and Measure. With direct mail, you may find certain ad copy or images work best. Don’t be afraid to change things up, test ads, and measure results so you can track your return on investment.

When Creating Direct Mail, Don’t…

Have Too Much on One Page. Keep the ad copy and design to a minimum in order to avoid overwhelming your customers. Try not to exceed two images and two fonts per page. White space between sentences or paragraphs and bullet points can break up the paragraph and enable the reader to easily scan through the entire page without being overwhelmed.

Make it Difficult For Customers to Contact You. Include a unique identifier in your direct mail piece so that when customers contact you regarding an offer, you’ll know they heard about it via direct mail. This can be the promotional coupon code that is part of your message. Make sure your website and phone number are large bolded font and easily found on the mailer.

Send to a General List. A successful direct mail campaign starts with an evaluation of your ideal customers. From there, you can create a targeted list of leads based on who would be interested in your offer, rather than spending money by sending it to people who may not be interested. This initial evaluation can target specific geographic zip codes or industries and you can filter the search results based on demographics. Ask SmithPrint about acquiring the perfect data list that will optimize your response rate.

Skip Proofreading. To avoid last minute changes, proofread your direct mail piece. Take special notice of your website, phone number, headline, call to action, and offer. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and analyze how you would receive the mailer.

Interested in Learning More?

Contact us today to see how direct mail can help your business. We’d love to hear from you.