Common mistakes rookies make with direct mail marketing

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When it comes to direct mail marketing, we’re always on a mission to send better mail. We’ve outlined some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to direct mail marketing so you can avoid these. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us for support!

Mistake 1: Working from a stale list

Before you put in a lot of work, you want to double check the lists that you’re working from. Have you updated them recently? You’ll want to make sure that you’re working from the most recent ones before you get a lot of return mail from people who have changed addresses.

Mistake 2: Assuming that people want to hear from your company

People don’t want to feel like they’re being marketed to. Before you send out a big mail campaign, do people even want to hear from you? If you’re doing an unaddressed mail drop, consider the demographics that you’re sending things to. If they match the demographics of your customers then you’re on the right track. If the demographics are way off then you may want to retarget.

Mistake 3: Rushing through your work

If you rush through creating your marketing piece, it shows. You’re more likely to make a mistake and you don’t want to send a sloppy piece to a customer that you’re trying to impress. Save yourself a headache down the line and get ahead of the game. Plan out your piece, take your time to proofread, and clean up your lists before sending it out.

  • Don’t forget to proofread before sending.
  • Have someone else look it over. They may pick up on something that you’ve missed.
  • Ensure there’s no mistakes in your list and that you’re using the right one.

Mistake 4: Not knowing your audience

You should have a good idea of who you’re writing to. Study up on the demographic that you’re going to talk to. What kind of language do they use and what do they respond well to? You don’t need a linguistics degree to figure this out. Talk to a few people who would fit into your demographic and test things out on them to find out the best ways to word things and what that demographic is interested in. That’s a quick and easy way to help find out what works best and will get you the best results.

  • Send out things that are relevant and useful to the types of people that are on your list. Think about what they’d find interesting and engaging.
  • Send an offer that’s so irresistible that they can’t pass it up. It’ll help you get a higher ROI.
  • Get rid of your business jargon. When you’re writing your copy for your marketing piece, write the way that you would talk to a customer. If you wouldn’t say it out loud, don’t write it down.

Mistake 5: Ignoring past data

Look at past campaigns and their results to get a sense of what has worked well before and what didn’t. If you’ve been doing a lot of similar campaigns with lackluster results, it may be time to try something new so your contacts aren’t continually receiving the same message from you. If you’re looking for a higher ROI than what you’ve been getting (who doesn’t want that?) consider running a contest or have a sweet offer that people won’t be able to resist.

Mistake 6: Leaving people hanging

When your customer receives your piece, do you make it clear what the next step is? Without a clear call to action you could leave people a little confused about what the purpose of the piece was and it could easily get tossed aside as junk mail.

  • Make it easy for people to respond. Provide your website, phone number, or an offer that will get people into your store.
  • A strong call to action will tell people what to do, how they should do it, and when they should do it.

For more information on direct mail marketing, be sure to check out these posts:

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  • Scott Dillon

    Very timely article and very true. In a post CASL World direct mail will become an even more important marketing tool in 2015.