Maximizing your ROI with Direct Mail

05 November 2019 / By Mike Gunderson
Maximizing the Cost of Direct Mail on gundersondirect.com
Reading time: 4 minutes

Is the cost of direct mail worth it? The short answer is yes, and this is how to boost your ROI from it.

When you print and send a direct mail piece, what are you getting? The campaign may cost more than an email blast, but what return does that investment generate? Direct mail gives you the opportunity to make a tangible impression on customers who are overwhelmed by the daily digital deluge. Each mailing generates engagement and goodwill. As a matter of fact, research continues to show that consumers prefer and even enjoy receiving direct mail.

In addition to being enjoyable, direct mail is effective, as 40% of consumers try a new business as a result of receiving direct mail.

So, what does this tell us? When executed properly, direct mail can be a wildly successful marketing tactic. Is it the most “cost-efficient” option? Not exactly, but that’s precisely why it’s so effective.

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We live in a digital world, and our online lives have become cluttered. The average person receives 121 emails per day, and most of those are unpoliced emails from companies you don’t even want to hear from. The landscape of digital marketing, while cost-effective, is overcrowded, making it harder than ever for companies to stand out amongst the crowd.

Direct mail, on the other hand, is delivered via a much less crowded channel, making it more likely that your mailer will get noticed, read, saved, and ultimately used. The chances for success increase even further when you incorporate direct mail into a multi-channel marketing approach.

Before incorporating direct mail into your marketing mix, however, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Your Budget: Consider your budget and what you can responsibly spend on your direct mail campaign. While your customer response rate is generally largest with oversized envelopes, for example, oversized mailers are heavier, and therefore more expensive to produce.
  • Your audience: Segmenting your audience is important for a multitude of reasons, but it can also help you determine how much to spend on your direct mail efforts. For example, if you’re sending mailers to existing customers, you probably won’t have to come out of the gate with something as elaborate as you would if you were trying to reach potential customers.
  • Your Brand: What does your brand mean to that audience? If they’re current customers, what can you do to convince them to make another purchase and deepen their brand loyalty? If they’re prospects, what can you do to convince them to become customers? No matter what kind of audience you’re targeting, it’s important that you can identify the product benefits that speak to them, answer their objections, and offer an irresistible call to action.

So, is the cost of direct mail worth it? The short answer is yes, and this is how you can maximize the costs and increase your ROI:

1. Create, segment, and understand your list

The more you know about your audience, like their interests, gender and age demographics, income, and purchase history, the easier it will be for you to target the right people with the right offer. If you don’t have a comprehensive list of internal contacts, you can rent or buy your lists from an outside vendor.

2. Focus on your tone and messaging

While it can be tempting to use industry terminology to help position your company as experts, it’s generally not a good idea. The tone and messaging that you use in your direct mail are critical to the level of impact that your mailer will ultimately have on your recipients. Keep your language straightforward and simple, use bullets and bold fonts in areas that you want to stand out, focus on relaying the benefits of your product or service, and always end with a clear and concise call to action.

3. Be strategic with your designs

While your chances of grabbing your audience’s attention are much greater with direct mail, you’re still contending with bills, personal mail, and other marketing mailers being delivered on any given day. So, to increase the likelihood of getting noticed, and to maximize costs, you always want to create an eye-catching design. Boring mailers will be instinctively trashed, so be intentional with the images, colors, layout, and size that you choose for your direct mail.

4. Create an enticing offer

You can segment your lists, target the right audience, capture attention with your design, and tell people what to do with your messaging, but unless you include an enticing offer, nobody will respond. Offering products or services for free or at a specific percentage off are great ways to increase your response rates. Just be sure to set a time limit on your offer to help create a sense of urgency. To measure your ROI, also be sure to include measurable metrics like campaign codes, QR or coupon codes, Voice Activated Call to Action (VACTA) codes, or campaign-specific landing pages.

At Gunderson Direct, we make sure your direct marketing strategy is personal, focused, tactical, and above all, successful. If you need help incorporating direct mail into your marketing mix, drop us a line.

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About The Author

Mike Gunderson

Mike Gunderson is the founder of Gunderson Direct, Inc., a direct marketing agency that helps businesses drive new leads and close more sales through traditional offline channels, especially direct mail.

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