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The Dos and Don’ts of Direct Mail Marketing

The Dos and Don'ts of Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail campaigns are still quite effective methods of advertising and marketing. In this digital era, receiving a physical piece of mail is exciting and valuable in comparison to hundreds of emails.

Although electronic advertising’s ability to reach consumers cannot be denied, direct mailing campaigns remain a tried and true advertising method. If your direct mail marketing is designed carefully, it can be hugely successful and lead to a high return on investment.

Brands have access to tons of data that can be utilized to create direct mail that is most relevant to their customer and their needs and, if strategized correctly, they can demand a great response from recipients. For customers who choose to be excluded from your electronic mailing lists, direct mailing can be a better way to get your message through to them.

If you’re wondering what differentiates a good piece of direct mail from one that is less-good, we’re here to walk you through some of the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of direct mail marketing. With the right tips and techniques, each of your direct mailing campaigns will be nothing short of a smashing success.

The “DOs” Of Direct Mail Marketing

1. Define your audience

If you’re a new business and just getting settled into a new town, it can be tempting to include everyone within the neighbouring areas on your direct mailing list. However, this is no longer considered an effective use of resources to get your message across.

Rather than focusing your attention on neighbouring zip codes when compiling a mailing list for your campaign, take the time to understand your target demographic and use that information to mail directly to your intended audience.

Once you’ve got a mailing list, be sure to remain in contact with some of your inactive customers and send them a direct mailer — includes freebies or coupons to re-engage these dormant customers.

2. Always personalize

Sending out a direct mail campaign that is not personalized is a waste of resources. Most, if not all, channels of advertising use personalization as a tool to catch the attention of their potential customers, and direct mailers who fail to personalize often end up getting tossed out.

Personalized direct mail has a greater chance of remaining within the home of your potential customers and potentially being shared with others. Personalization allows you to connect with your potential customers and generate loyalty and increase repeat custom.

3. Trial and error

Making mistakes is a part of life, but what you do with the lessons you learn while making these mistakes truly matters. Direct mail campaigns involve some trial and error and using the information gathered during your first campaign to improve in the future. Whether it’s segmenting your customer base, trying different offers, or redesigning your direct mailer all together, be sure to maintain the positive aspects and tweak those who weren’t as successful.

Try sending out your direct mailer on a trial basis to a small group from your mailing list and use that as a way to gauge its effectiveness before making any changes and sending it out to your broader demographic. Be sure only to change one factor when measuring the changing result, so you know which change was positive and which wasn’t.

4. Plan and proofread everything

There is usually nothing more embarrassing than sending out a direct mailer to hundreds or thousands of potential customers, only to realize there’s a grammatical error on it. That’s why it’s crucial to proofread your direct mailer and ensure that all sentences are clear and concise.

Remember to talk about the benefits you offer, including a strong call to action and possibly a promotional offer, so your customers know that what you’re offering is unique and valuable. Never be afraid to ask others to review your direct mailer to get another set of eyes to catch anything you may have missed while editing or formatting yourself.

Setting aside time for planning before diving into the designing process can be very useful and save a lot of time down the road. How do you want your recipients to respond to your direct mailer? Whether they are being directed towards a website, register for your newsletter, or complete a questionnaire, be sure to create a clear call-to-action for the best response rates.

The “Don’ts” Of Direct Mail Marketing

1. Include more than one Call-to-Action

The call to action in an advertising campaign is one of the most critical aspects that prompts your potential customers to take a step and learn more about your business or make a purchase. Keep your call to action clear and concise so that your potential customers will know what to do and how to do it. If your call to action is confusing or vague, your overall response rate will be lower.

2. Write boring headlines and confusing content

The way you design your direct mailer determines whether it is eye-catching and attractive to its recipients. An eye-catching mailer includes several different aspects, including a bold and catchy headline, short written content highlighting your most important elements, and the appropriate imagery. The decision to read and act upon your direct mailer is usually made very quickly, so an eye-catching flyer with an attractive headline is crucial.

3. Forget to follow-up

Once your direct mailer has been sent out and hopefully generated your desired response, it is essential to remain engaged with your customers. Customers who have already purchased your products or services are valuable, so it’s crucial to follow-up with these customers in the future.

There are several great ways to accomplish this, including sending them thank-you notes or including them on a VIP list. No matter what method you choose, be sure to keep your current customers at the forefront of your mailing list, remain in contact with them, and re-engage them whenever possible.

4. Disregard some marketing channels

Although direct mail marketing campaigns are considered to be a traditional method of advertising, they remain effective. However, this doesn’t mean that your advertising arsenal should be limited to direct mailers. In this digital era, you shouldn’t ignore any marketing channel. The best advertising campaign utilizes all channels of communication so that it can reach the most people.

Electronic marketing is relatively cost-effective and should be used in combination with direct mailing methods to ensure success. Using your direct mailer to draw more customers to your social media platforms or website is a great way to blend the two advertising routes to generate the best results.

In Summary

Direct mail campaigns are tried and tested modes of advertising, which can be very useful when designed and executed correctly. Once a direct mailing campaign has been put into action, it can offer many great learning opportunities. And any knowledge gained can be incorporated for improved future campaigns.

Be sure to conduct some research so that you can focus your attention on the right areas and audience for your direct mail marketing. Don’t merely pump out messaging and offers that may not be relevant.

To learn more about direct mail marketing services in Toronto, call Troi Mailing Services at 1(866) 486-9350 or contact us here.

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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