By focusing on a few vital aspects of your direct mail campaign, you can earn the best possible return on your advertising investment.
For most marketers, ROI is one of the most important factors in determining the success of your campaign, so increasing it as much as possible is the goal.
At the same time, you don’t want to take shortcuts because the least expensive options don’t always provide the best return, and, in fact, the opposite is often true.
The key is providing benefits to your customers so they appreciate your direct mail material. Consumers want to feel valued and understood. They also want to feel like you’ve sent an offer that is in touch with their wants and needs.
Here are four ways to improve the ROI of your next direct mail marketing efforts.
1. Use a high-quality printing service and materials
If your direct mail looks cheap, you look cheap.
While there are a lot of ways to cut corners and save money on direct mail — such as trying low-quality paper, bare-bones printers, or moving design to in-house website designers — these efforts rarely pay off because they reduce response rate and order value.
Part of the reason direct mail is so effective is that it’s a tangible marketing experience that your target audience chooses to engage with. Direct mail has to be interesting — it has to look good and it has to feel good in the hand. You’re just not going to get that effect, and the ROI that comes with it, printing two-tone graphics on onion paper.
Your printing and paper also reflect on your brand. Quality, professional printing earns trust and signals that your company is a first-class organization that does not on quality. A premium mailpiece is the first step to a premium customer experience.
High-quality printing may increase your initial investment, but it’s sure to improve ROI throughout the campaign.
2. Customize the message, offer, and images
Personalizing each piece of direct mail in a print run is surprisingly simple. All you have to do is choose a printer with a variable data printing capability. This is a digital printing method that utilizes software and dynamic print heads to change specific values within the material for each piece in the print run. With it, every piece of mail in even a large print order can be individualized for that recipient.
Ways to use variable data printing include inserting the name of your recipient on each piece, customizing your message based on demographics, and even sending each individual a different collection of images designed to appeal to them. For example, maps can be customized by address, or images can be swapped to show models who reflect the demographics of the recipient.
Your customers will feel valued because you’ve made the effort to get to know a little bit about them and make a specific appeal rather than sending out irrelevant pieces of mail.
The best news is that while variable data printing might take a more effort to gather data and build a plan to use it, the tactic won’t increase your costs too much and is very likely to lead to a higher response rate.
3. Create displayable advertising
What exactly are you sending to your customers?
If you can create an advertisement that is either functional or attractive, it has a better chance of being saved on a counter or on the fridge instead of finding its way into the recycling bin.
Direct mail already tends to stick around the house, as the average piece lasts for 17 days, according to the U.S. Small Business Association. There are things you can do to help your material avoid the trash, as well.
For example, when advertising for a restaurant, try sending a menu with a coupon attached to it. Consumers interested in ordering from the restaurant won’t discard the coupon, and they’ll likely keep the menu around, too.
Real estate agents, on the other hand, can send a fridge magnet or a calendar as part of their direct mail because they want it to stay in the home even longer. Real estate transactions take a while to decide on and even longer to come together. By sending a calendar, your message may stick around for as long as a year in the home.
Give the customer a reason to keep your direct mail material around. It increases your chances of eventually making a sale and lifts ROI.
4. Send it to the right people
Of course, sending your direct mail to people interested in buying your service or product is essential to ROI.
Target the right audience with your advertising to avoid wasting time and, more importantly, your assets.
For example, if you’re selling travel insurance, market it to people who can afford to leave the country. If you’re selling toys, target people with kids.
The message you present also depends on whom you’re targeting, so make sure your tone and content are consistent with what appeals to your desired demographics.
Putting your direct mail plan together
The more research and care you put into the strategy of your direct mail campaign, the better the ROI you can expect. Luckily, you don’t have to put your plan together alone because there is assistance available.
Gunderson Direct is a full-service direct mail agency that can help through the planning, data collection, production, and mailing stages of your campaign. Our service will help you to get the best possible ROI when using this form of advertising. Contact us today for more information on our direct mail services.