Give your Direct Mail Campaign a Boost – 7 Tips to Make it Work for You

By on July 11, 2012

We talk a lot about email marketing and other forms of electronic marketing, because that’s our primary focus. But ‘traditional’ marketing methods are still viable, and even if you have a purely online business, you can find success with non-internet-based marketing ideas. One idea is direct mail marketing. Even though your customers might be online much of the time, they still have a physical address, and they’re still getting mail there. So don’t ignore the potential of such marketing methods.

Once you’ve decided to use direct mail as a marketing tool, you obviously want to make it as successful as possible. Not every direct mail campaign is a huge success but yours can be when all of the following 7 tips are followed.

Tip 1: Know Your Audience

The most important tip to remember for any kind of marketing idea is to know your audience. The message should be targeted specifically to your audience to have the best effect. Blanket mailers are less effective than specifically targeted ads to different segments of the population such as new parents, recent retirees, high school grads, etc. You’ll need a minimum mailing of 500 pieces to really gage how effective the campaign is.

Tip 2: Follow-up

Sending out only one direct mail piece is not the most effective way to gain the highest number of potential leads for your company. Instead, send out a series of mailings that reference the mailings previously sent. Try to send a minimum of 3 different pieces for each campaign. Unless someone specifically asks to be removed from the list, they are still a potential customer.

Tip 3: Get Inspiration

Whether we’re talking about online or offline marketing, it’s a good idea to keep a file on hand of marketing materials that are eye-catching. That way, you’ll have a source of inspiration for your next campaign. Browse through your inspiration file whenever you need your creativity sparked. Whether it’s an eye catching color scheme, slogan, font or content that you found appealing, it may just be a great starting off point for your next direct mail marketing campaign.

Tip 4: Track Success

It’s hard to know how you’re doing if you don’t track your success. Increasing the effectiveness of campaigns depends on tracking leads and the cost of advertising spent per lead gained. There are a variety of ways to track successes such as using a different name on letters, a different telephone number or landing page, or simply asking customers how they heard about you. Just as with email marketing, split tests are also a great way to track effectiveness, by sending out different campaigns to prospective customers and seeing which one is the most successful.

Tip 5: Create Stand-out Headlines

In the hectic world we live in, people are constantly bombarded with information. Everyone is looking for ways to pare the information down to something useable, because you simply can’t take it all in. Remember to have stand-out headlines to grab the audience’s attention in just the same way as a sound bite on a commercial does. Headlines need to be relevant, gripping and stand-out from the crowd.

Tip 6: Delegate

The most successful direct mail campaign marketers have discovered that doing all of the work themselves is just not an effective use of time. There are many different direct mail fulfillment centers that can work within your specifications to get the marketing materials out to your audience. You should focus on follow-up mailings and tracking the effectiveness of different campaigns rather than stuffing and addressing envelopes.

Tip 7: Be Unique

Having unique mailings can dramatically increase your response rates. Some marketers have had huge successes with hand written addresses on mailings to make them stand out from the crowd. Others have found success with placing a small object inside of the envelope to make it ‘chunky’ and more likely to be opened. There are even companies that can add a variety of scents to your mailings to increase your return on investment.

How a business is marketed can often make or break the business. Advertising needs to make an impact on the audience for it to be useful. Direct mail is often a very effective and inexpensive way to increase business leads quickly, so give it a try!

Have you ever used direct mail marketing? What was your experience like? Share your insights with the community in the comments below!

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.