Five steps to success with your direct mail marketing

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With so many options out there on how to communicate to your target, direct mail offers the advantage of getting your message out there with a higher chance of it actually being read. Not to mention, it plays nicely with others. It’s worth noting that 76% of people have made an online purchase as a result of direct mail. Enough facts for you? Read on to discover the steps to take to have the most success with your direct mail marketing.

1. Know your audience

There are some instances in which generic mail works more efficiently than personalized mail. The trick is to know what works best with your audience so you can target effectively. Many marketing experts agree that direct mail is much more effective when the target market has been identified based on demographic and geographical information. When a business is trying to expand into an unknown territory, generic mail that is not addressed to a specific person is often much more effective in finding potential customers. Generic mail is also much more effective in list-building efforts in a new geographic location.

Personalized mail is more effective when something is known about the target audience. Usually this kind of information is available only when a company has been in an area long enough to learn about the locals and identify top potential customers.

2. Make your design consistent

If you have strong branding and design that is consistent through everything that you send out, it helps to make you stand out in a consumer’s mind. Consistent branding helps to make a strong and lasting impression. Always remember that if a piece of mail looks interesting, then a whopping 89% of Canadians will open it.

3. Learn from the success of others

No article is going to be able to tell you exactly what to do in order to capture the attention of your audience. The best advice is to observe how effective direct mailers draw you in and make you actually consider performing the call to action. Be warned: you will find inspiration in the weirdest places.
If you receive a piece of mail that catches your attention, save it! It’ll be a good point of reference when it comes to designing your own campaign. What about it did you like? What could be done better? Take the answers to these questions and apply them to your own marketing techniques.

4. Include a clear call to action

What is your objective? Is it to get people to your website, to call you, to come to your store? A call to action helps to give your customers direction. Every piece that you send out should include a clear call to action that expresses what you want to achieve. Your call to action should be written in a way that encourages customers to engage with your business and helps achieve the objective that you’ve set for that particular campaign. There’s also the option to add an offer to a piece, which is a great idea. Canadians love coupons: in fact, 79% of Canadians would respond to a piece with a physical coupon.

5. Test, test, test!

If you’re creating a variable piece, ensure that you do a test before sending out the final version. Examine everything from the creative to the copy to the details of any variable elements. And test your pieces over time! With every communication that you send out, take notes of how people respond. Keep track of the response rates and cross compare to determine what works for your customers and what doesn’t.

What makes a piece of mail stand out to you?

Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House.

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