The seven keys to direct mail success


Date: 7 January 2019

The seven keys to direct mail successDirect mail may feel more 'old-school' than modern digital marketing methods - but done right, it can deliver a huge boost to your sales. Getting a physical advert onto the doormats of hundreds or thousands of prospects can lead to high engagement, and a great return on investment.

Here are our seven top tips to help you get the best results from a direct mail campaign.

1. Know your audience

Firstly, decide who you are going to send your direct mail to, by analysing your target audience - the people who are most likely to be interested in what you're selling. Your messaging, choice of design, and options for responding all need to be tailored to the needs of these prospective buyers.

Use your customer relationship management system to target the right audience, and segment your mailing list into specific groups, based on factors such as their stage of the buyer's journey. Accurately targeting your direct mail campaign will improve conversion rates.

2. Make your copy compelling

Great marketing copy is the key to persuading your reader to take action. To make your messaging persuasive, focus on key benefits - the value you are adding for your customers. What do they need or want? What problems do your product or service solve for them?

Consider testing different offers with different segments of your mailing list, to work out what each audience responds to best.

Well-written copy should be properly structured and easy to read, with an attention-grabbing headline, and short sentences and paragraphs. Use bullet points to highlight key benefits.

3. Personalise your messaging

Making a personal connection with your audience is a fast way to secure engagement and make them want to read and respond to your message.

Using the information in your CRM, you may be able to tailor your advert to not only feature the recipient's name, but reflect their specific interests, location and purchase history. This will demonstrate to your reader that you see them as an individual and a valued customer - not just one of the crowd.

4. Use a strong call to action

Adding a CTA (call to action) to your direct mail is essential to ensure readers take action. It spells out exactly what you want the reader to do next. This generally means encouraging them to make a purchase, but could also be, for example:

  • to visit a landing page on your website to find out more;
  • to request a consultation or sales call-back;
  • to sign up to your mailing list.

Be completely clear - what step do you want the reader to take? How should they do that? Is there a deadline, offer code or any other information that they'll need?

Add urgency by making the CTA time-limited and exclusive. A discount or offer code with a specific deadline can help encourage people to respond now rather than later.

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5. Get creative with design

Your marketing mailings need to grab the attention of their recipient, so make sure they have an attractive design. When they land on the doormat, the design needs to make sure that your message will be read and acted upon - rather than ending up in the bin.

Try out some different mail formats such as brochures, leaflets or postcards to see what works best, experimenting with shapes, colours, sizes, and layouts. Ensure any colours match your branding, and utilise high-quality images and interesting visuals to make your mailing stand out.

6. Track results and refine your approach

In order to get the best results from direct mail campaigns, you need to monitor how each campaign performs, and continually improve your approach. Define what success will look like for your campaign, and set realistic goals with measurable KPIs.

You can track response rates by providing an identifiable route for people to get in touch with you - for example, a unique landing page, tracking URL, offer code or phone number, which is associated with the campaign.

Salespeople should also ask how any incoming enquirers have heard about your business, so that you can analyse whether a campaign has raised awareness generally.

Continually refine elements of your campaign by A/B testing your design, messaging, offer, and CTA. You can also test your campaign on a smaller audience before rolling it out on a larger scale, to analyse your results and make improvements.

7. Integrate direct mail with your wider marketing

Finally, remember that your direct mail campaigns should not stand alone - they will work more effectively when used as part of your overall marketing strategy. Integrate direct mail with other on- and offline marketing channels, such as social media outreach, email marketing and promotional events.

This multi-channel approach will help you build a complete and immersive brand experience for customers.

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