12 Steps to an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail campaigns still remain a key tool in the overall marketing plans of many businesses. When planned, executed and refined correctly, they can be a very effective way of gaining visibility with tangible and measurable results.

Here are 12 strategies for optimizing your efforts:


1. Identify your market:
Where will you be sending your pieces and why? The narrower your target audience, the more effective your campaign will be because your message and offer will resonate more clearly.

2. Focus your message on benefits:
Ensure that your copywriting includes the benefits most valuable to the consumer rather than the features of your product or service. Most consumers value cost, peace of mind, convenience and quality.

For instance, if you are a plumbing company, focus on your prompt arrival and customer quotes more strongly than the number of years you have been in business. If you are a restaurant in a busy location, make sure the consumer knows about your convenient parking lot or valet service.

3. Create an easy and direct call to action: What do you want the customer to do – call you, schedule a free consultation, come in? Be clear, direct and frequent in your copy and consider creating a sense of urgency or scarcity by letting them know that supplies or space are limited.

4. Designing the piece: Make sure that you do not spend time and money on your piece, only to find out that you could have saved on postage expense based on certain design specifications.

5. Testing the offer — sub-lists and tracking codes: Experiment with different offers by targeting different small portions of your list. When you test the offer it helps to be able to track your results. Create a code on your test offer that can be read back to you by customers.

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  • http://BobBly Bob Bly

    I would add a step: identify and offer a premium. Direct mail today works best when there is a free gift offer, whether you are generating leads or sales.

  • http://DavidSpaulding David Spaulding

    Great post, Deanna, and I strongly agree with #6, that direct mail is more effective when it’s integrated across multiple channels of a campaign. However, I would add that the success of a multi-channel campaign is strongly tied to how well a company targets its customers, and a key component of that lies within the relevance of the messaging. By ensuring that each mailer, email, phone call, etc. is providing information about only relevant products and services each customer is interested in receiving, marketers can increase their response rates and revenues. If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve expanded on the subject in my recent blog post http://www.portraitsoftware.com/blog/customer-marketing/value-relevant-messaging-multi-channel-campaigns.

    David Spaulding