Best Practices for Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

by Kayla Anderson, Marketing Manager - 08/11/15

The data is clear: Direct mail, when executed correctly, has the potential to give you the most ROI for your marketing dollar.

direct-mail-best-practices

Data Doesn’t Lie: Direct Mail Is Alive and Well

Before you shift budget dollars from direct mail to digital marketing, consider these stats from the 2015 Direct Marketing Association Response Report:

  • Direct mail achieves a 3.7% response rate with a house list, and a 1.0% response rate with a prospect list.
  • All digital channels—including email, social media, and paid search—combined to achieve a 0.62% response rate.

Now that you understand the value of direct mail as part of your marketing plan, here are a few tactics proven to maximize performance.

Best Practices for your Next Direct Mail Campaign:

Know thyself! Pinpoint your organizations best opportunities for growth. What are your most profitable service lines? What are you known for? Consider a direct mail campaign that focuses on these areas.

Know thy customer! Define your ideal customer for a particular service line or marketing campaign and create messages and offerings specifically tailored to that persona. Here are three approaches for finding and targeting your best consumers:

  • Good: Zip codes were created for the post office to manage delivery routes, not for marketers. Metrics such as household income, age, and zip code could cut out prospects who are well suited for your marketing campaign. The needs of a 44 year old are not much different than that of a 45 year old.
  • Best: Modeled mailing lists generated by your specific CRM data to capture the nuances of your particular service area. This method also allows for the most specific KPIs tailored to your organization.

Lead with a proper greeting. Use general endorsements (“Our Friends At…” “Our Neighbor” “Current resident”). If the intended recipient has moved and you use their name, the post office is legally unable to deliver the direct mail piece. A general endorsement ensures the mailing is delivered to the address regardless of who lives there.

Make your intentions clear. According to a recent BrightInfo survey, personalized calls-to-action increase conversions by 300%. The most effective CTA is precise about promised deliverables and includes a clearly defined value proposition. What exactly are you asking the reader to do and for what reason? A well crafted CTA can turn casual interest into active participation in a couple short sentences.

“Gogh” the extra mile. If your direct mail piece lacks visual appeal or is difficult to understand, its likely headed straight from the mailbox to the trash can. Formats also play a crucial a role. According to the 2015 DMA response report, oversized envelopes have the best response rate at 5.0%, followed by postcards at 4.25%, dimensional 4.0%, catalogs 3.9%, and letter-sized envelopes 3.5%.

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