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Direct Mail: Secrets to Success

April 7, 2020 In Marketing Tips

In our increasingly digital world, it seems some marketers have forgotten the influence direct mail can have on consumers. It may surprise you to know that despite our obsession with smartphones and computers, direct mail received its highest average response rate in history last year. It seems customers appreciate the value of messages they can touch and feel more than ever. If you’re ready to stop underestimating this effective marketing tactic, read on to uncover our secrets to direct mail success.

1. Plan Your Routes and Track Their Results.

When you create a social media ad, you spend ample time defining the characteristics of your audience so each message is served to your ideal customer. You can (and should) do the same for your direct mail campaign. As you build a list of recipients, you can greatly improve your success rate by using data to pinpoint the exact consumers you want to reach. Shipping services can provide you with demographic information for every mail route in their system, which allows you to plan out the streets or neighborhoods that match your target market.

Unless this is the only campaign you ever plan on sending, you’ll want to develop a way to track your recipients and see which routes had the highest response rates. Your mailer might lead people to a specific landing page or give them an offer to redeem in store. Track the unique visitors to your webpage or the number of mailers your stores receive, and at the end of your campaign, compare the responses to the routes you chose. Then you can adjust the list for your next mailer to make each campaign even more effective.

2. Convey your message quickly.

On your piece of direct mail, you have pretty limited space to communicate everything you want consumers to know about your business. You’ll have images, creative elements, copy, a compelling offer, company information and even more details that you’re trying to squeeze in. If your text is too wordy or the images take up extra space, your message can quickly get lost in the mix. That’s why it’s so important to convey your message quickly and effectively.

Instead, focus on conveying your main idea across as quickly and effectively as possible. No matter how interesting your product is, very few people will spend five minutes of their day thoroughly reading everything you write on a postcard. Save the details for your website or a landing page and focus on the key points you want to leave your reader with.

3. Integrate the mailer with your online presence.

Speaking of that website and landing page…

Part of the appeal of direct mail is that it takes people out of the screens we live in and gives them a material they can hold in their hands. However, we can’t discount that audiences are still very digital-minded and will likely go looking for more information about your brand online.

Instead of forcing them to do their own searching, we recommend integrating a digital element into your direct mail piece. Consider including a QR code that leads to a social media profile or landing page or sending each recipient an email to follow up. You could also merge your direct mail list with the audience for you Facebook ads, which would let you serve your audience with a strategic message after they receive your mailer.

4. Include something useful and creative.

Your potential customers receive a new piece of mail every single day. Most of those mailers get tossed in a drawer, used to scrawl a phone message or simply thrown in the trash. However, if you can provide the reader with a message or feature they can actually use, they’re more likely to hang on to your piece – and remember your brand. People appreciate businesses that bring value to their life – up to 73% of consumers say a good brand experience is key to influencing their brand loyalties.

Consider including a small product, like a branded stack of post-its or power adapter. With these practical items, your company will be top-of-mind when the consumer reaches for something they need. You could also take a more tongue-in-cheek approach and block off a section of the mailer for their to-do list or phone messages – since that’s what they’ll use it for, anyway, right?

5. Print on a bigger mailer.

In the direct mail world, bigger really can be better. A “flat” mailer, which can be about as big as a piece of paper, tends to have a better response rate than a postcard-sized piece, according to the Association of National Advertisers. A larger piece of mail will stand out from the stack of bills, letters and ads cluttering your audience’s mailboxes. It also provides you with more room to space out your messages, make texts and graphics bigger and draw in your consumer’s attention – which ultimately can lead to more sales.

If your business is still new to the direct mail world, it may be overwhelming to start all these new efforts on your own. If you need assistance on any of these secrets, we can offer resources to help. Head over to our “Contact Us” page to get in touch about starting a project together!