5 best practices for developing a direct mail strategy that will help reach your marketing goals
On the fence about adding direct mail into your marketing mix? Well, the time to jump over is now. Direct mail allows you to reach an audience that would be near impossible to target online, and when used in tandem with digital marketing, the likelihood of generating and converting leads increases substantially.
But direct mail alone doesn’t guarantee success, and if you’re already using mail as a key component in your integrated marketing plan, then you understand the importance of strategy. In order to be effective and drive response rates, each direct mail campaign needs to be intentional, organized and tailored to your audience.
But, what direct mail strategies are the most effective, and how do you implement them to ensure success?
Here are five direct mail strategies to consider when designing your next direct mail campaign:
1. Use innovative materials
The traditional approach to direct mail customarily uses the same, predictable types of materials and formats: Postcards, white envelopes, standard paper stock, straightforward stationery, etc. While these traditional designs still garner a response, you’ll stimulate more curiosity and boost your response rates by using more innovative materials. For example, 3D mailers have been shown to perform 250% better than your traditional mailer, according to the DMA. Some other innovative ideas include:
- Oversized envelopes
- Handwritten fonts
- Embossing, foil stamping, and wax seals
- Uniquely shaped and/or colored envelopes
- Envelopes made from creative fabric (linen, denim, etc.)
- Teaser copy
2. Always consider your target audience
It’s easy for marketers to design campaigns that they think are award-worthy, but unless you keep the needs and interests of your target audience at the forefront of your campaign, it will fall flat. Knowing your target audience is a fundamental component to creating an impactful direct mail campaign. Every aspect of your mailers, from the copy you write to the imagery you select, should be chosen with your audience in mind. So, before you start designing your mailpiece, ask yourself: Whom am I trying to reach with this campaign? What do I know about this demographic and what motivates them?
3. Free offers and incentives
Do you know what motivates people to share important data such as contact information, feedback, and demographics? Free stuff. Free offers and enticing discounts are arguably the most effective direct mail conversion tactics for almost all businesses and industries. Offers like a free trial, a complimentary product for registering, or a full year without service fees can be the incentive your audience needs to engage with you. It is also an effective tactic for driving traffic to your website. Just be sure to include the URL to your website or campaign landing page on the mailer.
Personalizing your mailers in any capacity will increase the success rate of your direct mail campaign. As a matter of fact, just adding a person’s name to a mailer can increase response rates by 135%. Other forms of personalization include handwritten envelopes, customized content for your audience segments, personalized URLs (pURLs), and even including your recipients’ names on your campaign landing page.
5. Measuring your campaigns’ performance
Before launching any direct mail campaign, make sure you know how you will measure its performance. That way, you can always identify which campaigns were successful and then optimize what’s working for you. You can add tracking measures to your direct mail campaigns by including:
- Source codes
- QR Codes
- Traceable phone numbers
- Campaign-specific URLs
- Personalized URLs
- Voice Activated Call to Action (VACTA)
Once you have your plan in place and strategies solidified, you can present yourself to your audience with highly targeted direct mail campaigns that garner attention and influence action.
Have questions about adding direct mail to your marketing mix? Drop us a line.