7 Tips for Creating an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

There’s nothing like coming home, after a long day of work, to find your mailbox overflowing with junk. Ugh. The fact is, most direct mailers are not only ignored, but there is a certain stigma attached to this form of advertising. If this is true, then why do marketers keeping creating them? Well, when done properly, direct mail campaigns are not only extremely effective, but they’re a trackable form of marketing that can help you learn more about your brand and your customer.

So no matter what size your budget is, here are 6 tips for creating an effective direct mail campaign:

1. Dare to Be Different.

Why do you think most “junk mail” meets its inevitable fate at the bottom of the recycling bin? The answer is simple: it’s boring. For a direct mailer to capture someone’s attention, it needs to stand out. Whether this is with a snappy headline, interesting design or innovative use of the medium, like any form of marketing, great advertising starts with a great idea. Be creative! Look at what your competitors are doing and try something different. What makes your brand unique? Don’t settle for being just another generic flyer. Try things like including a QR code that links to online media or a video.

2. Know Your Target Audience.

There’s a big difference between marketing your product to senior citizens and towards twenty-somethings. Think about what you are selling and who makes up your ideal target audience. Once you’ve nailed down the target that you’re speaking to, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to say. In many cases, choosing a specific target will help narrow the geographic area where you send your direct mailers, too.

3. Don’t Insult Your Customers’ Intelligence.

There is nothing more obnoxious than a flyer sporting a huge, bold, italicized headline, capped off with an unseemly amount of exclamation points. DON’T DO THIS!!! Not only is it an overused cliché, but it is also a red flag to the customer. Furthermore, don’t make offers you can’t follow through with. Your customers are smart and will know if what you’re offering is actually “free.”

4. Educate Your Audience.

While it’s important that you keep direct mail pieces simple and to the point, you still want to ensure your customer is properly informed about your business and what you’re promoting in the piece. Your headline or visual should draw the reader’s attention. Once they’re grabbed by a headline, the body copy needs to tell the reader everything they need to know about what you’re promoting. It may sound obvious, but always remember to include an offer and a call-to-action. A call to action can be as simple as ‘Call us today!’ followed by your number. Make sure you give your customer something to do. Whether it’s call, email, visit your website, turn in a coupon, or something else entirely.

5. Choose the Best Medium.

Every medium has its pros and cons. Flyers, for example, while affordable, do not allow for much copy to explain a detailed promotion. A folded die cut direct mailer, while pricier, has a greater opportunity for you to be creative, and increases your chance of standing out. Find a balance between cost and what you need your medium to do for you!
Your choice is going to come down to two factors: what you are selling and what your budget is. You need to consider both and make an appropriate choice.

6. Personalize Your Direct Mailers.

An effective way to grab your customers’ attention is through a personalized one-to-one marketing piece. By including a customized image or copy in your direct mailer, it makes your customers feel special and emphasizes how much you care about your customers’ needs and wants. Best of all, one to one marketing pieces have a higher response rate!

7. Learn From Your Mistakes.

When it comes to great advertising, there will always be a certain level of trial and error. One benefit to creating a direct mail campaign is that they are trackable. Use a separate phone number or email address for each piece to track which campaigns work, and which ones don’t. With this method, you’ll be able to learn not only which specific pieces were the most effective at generating leads for your business, but also which audiences and geographic areas were most engaged.

Are you looking to create a direct mail campaign? Print Three offers marketing services and can help your business develop an effective direct mail campaign. Find a local Print Three store to get help designing the perfect direct mailer for your needs.

If you have any tips to share about creating an effective direct mail campaign, please feel free to comment below.