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Tips for Starting Your First Direct Mail Campaign

Tips for starting your first direct mail campaign

A direct mail campaign is a great addition to any marketing plan. While most correspondence has gone digital, 70% of consumers still prefer direct mail to email because it’s more personal.

As you begin building a direct mail campaign, there are many things to consider, from your mailing list and scope of audience to location and content. Defining a clear plan is the best method for success, but what do you include and how do you organize things?

As a leader in direct mail services, Troi Mailing Services has some insight on the subject. To help newcomers determine the best plan of action for mailing campaigns, we’ve put together a few of our top tips. Here’s what you should know before getting started.

Determining Your Target Audience

Before any direct mail campaign can get underway, you need a set audience. Who is your ideal recipient? Think about factors such as:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Buying habits
  • Income
  • Job

If you know who your target customer is, you can determine a mailing outline based on demographic research. You can collect this information in a variety of ways, but the most transparent is to include a questionnaire when visitors sign up for a website newsletter, new services, or make a purchase.

Create a List Using Your Customer Knowledge

Where should you send direct mailers once you’ve determined the type of customer you want? This depends on the kind of campaign you want to run. Some companies choose a location based on the type of people living there, and send mailers to everyone. Other businesses narrow their scope to individual customers, rather than bulk mailing by location.

Whichever tactic you decide to focus on, begin your mailing campaigns with a strategy. Build a list and organize your mailers to their destination. As specialists in direct mail services, we tend to recommend the specified list of recipients over the bulk send. This offers a higher rate of return because the recipients are consumers you know have a better interest in your product or service.

Be Purposeful With Your Design

It’s not just your consumer base that needs to be organized for success in direct mailing campaigns. Your mailer design plays a big part in the success of mailing campaigns because it determines how memorable your brand is once the mail is opened.

Consider design elements such as:

  • Font type: It’s easy to get carried away on font type and which best reflects your brand. More important than choosing fonts for business influence is choosing fonts for readability. This is especially true if you’re mailing to an older demographic who may require a large font for visibility. Keep it clean, easy to see, and accessible for the best results.
  • Graphics: Marketing visuals are important. Even in direct mail, the focus of graphics encouraged by the digital age makes a mailer with an image more attractive. Be smart in the images you use, whether they’re photos, cartoons, infographics, or strategically placed shapes.
  • Empty space: The blank space on your mailer makes as much of an impact as the space used for fonts and photos. Believe it or not, the white space you leave on your mailer can be strategically used to make your content appear more punchy, meaningful, or professional.
  • QR codes: There are many ways to set your mailer apart from competitor campaigns. Digital media connectors, such as QR codes, make it easy for recipients to connect. With a mobile phone, consumers can connect directly from the mailbox or at their leisure a week after the mail has come in.

All these elements create a lasting, or not so lasting, impression on your recipients. Remember, the best direct mailers are easy to read, concise, and visually engaging.

Create a Realistic Budget

Direct mailing campaigns can be pricey if you’re not watching your bottom line. Setting a realistic budget early on will help you limit overspending. As you build your budget, think about the cost of each mailer, and its subsequent value as a marketing tool. The key to any successful marketing campaign is to bring in more money than you spend on advertising.

If you feel that your efforts might be wasted, then stop and reorganize. Each of the tips above offer some insight on restructuring mailing campaigns. Use them to meet your budget, rather than stretching your budget to meet your plan. The more realistic your budget, the more likely you are to succeed in avoiding overspending.

Run a Test With a Sampling of Recipients

Before you go out and send mailers to everybody in Vancouver, consider testing a small sample group to ensure your mailers are meeting their targets. Track the success of these mailers with visits to your unique promo code, QR code, landing page, trackable phone number, and other new customer contacts influenced by the mailers.

Testing a small section of your intended mailing area gives you an opportunity to print your bulk mailers with updates and changes based on customer reactions. Learning from mistakes is an essential part of any business, but the worst time to make a big mistake is when a huge investment is on the line. Direct mail can be quite affordable when properly orchestrated.

Connect With a Direct Mailing Service

Finally, if you’re considering a direct mailing campaign, connecting with a direct mail service provider can be a huge help. From organizing your campaign strategy to designing and printing your mailers, you can count on professionals like our team at Troi Mailing Services.

Working with customers across Canada, and partnering with Canada Post, Troi Mailing Services has the inside scoop on direct mailing campaigns in Canada. We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes across an assortment of industries, and are always happy to lend a hand.

Interested in learning more about Troi Mailing Services, or need some help getting your direct mailing campaigns underway? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us today by calling 1-866-486-9350, or visit us online and use our simple contact form.

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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