Follow these tips the next time you send out a direct mailing. Let us help you reach the right people and obtain your desired response. All you have to do is avoid these 5 Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes.
Direct Mail Mistakes
Error #1 – Using a Bad Mailing List
It may seem like a no-brainer, but the list you use is the most important element of a direct mail campaign. Avoid using a budget list source. There are a lot of providers out there and it is difficult to adequately vet a list. Seek out referrals and work with a list provider that you trust. Take the time to use any and all filters possible to whittle your list down to your true customer target demographic. Common sense tells you that filtering a list down to the most targeted customers will absolutely increase your return on investment.
For more information on how to avoid this direct mail mistake and develop your list, read: How to Qualify Leads and Build Your List.
Error #2 – Poorly Designed Creatives
Direct mail campaigns require buying lists, designing pieces, printing, mailing and postage – which can cumulatively get very expensive. It is never a good idea to trade cost for quality, and this is especially true when it comes to your mailer design. It must be eye-catching and colorful (if applicable). You can try different formats and although postcards are inexpensive and often have great conversion rates, in many cases a traditional #10 letter can be the most powerful statement.
For more information on the best designs, read: How to Use Images to Grab Your Reader’s Attention.
Error #3 – Lack of Proper Testing
Before blasting huge bulk mail campaigns, make sure to refine your offer through testing. If your budget allows for it, then testing different offers and mail pieces can help you to more closely predict your ROI. Testing is especially applicable if you are planning a large-scale campaign. For smaller merchants testing can be in the form of multiple smaller mailings and with A/B testing.
For more information on multivariate testing, read: How Multivariate Testing Increases Direct Mail Response.
Error #4 – Poorly Written Copy
Make sure that you have a clear offer and call to action. It is surprising how difficult it can often be to find the phone number, website or email address on advertising pieces. Make sure to only include well-researched and written copy. It should be clear and direct and it is important to make the offer clearly and prominently placed. Be sure and stress the benefits of the offer instead of the features. There is no need to re-invent the wheel when writing copy. So it always makes sense to test the proven magic words such as free, new, no obligation, details inside etc.
For more information on writing effective content, read: The Importance of Writing Copy That Delivers.
Error #5 – No Follow-Up
Most experienced marketers will tell you that one mailing to any target list is not enough. If you send it and forget it, then you are not truly optimizing your return on investment. It is essential to have a follow-up strategy and budget laid out from the beginning. Try mailing to a list at least 3-4 times making sure to reference previous mailings. Managing a strategic campaign is the type of thing that an experienced direct mail professional can help with.
For more information on how to reach customers through multiple channels, read Tips for Pairing Direct Mail and Email Campaigns.
Error #6 – Trying to Do It Yourself
For small business owners that are used to taking on projects themselves, direct mail is not a great candidate and is best left to the experts. Printing can be managed and merged with mailing lists and sorted as per USPS regulations in facilities with the technology and experience to eliminate costly errors. Not following postal regulations can cost a lot of money. Postcards in the wrong shape, return and recipient addresses in the wrong locations, address, and barcode not the appropriate distance from the edge of the postcard, mismatched name and addresses can all be disastrous mistakes for a campaign. The best way to make sure that you have a successful direct mail campaign is to reach out to an experienced direct mail professional. That way you don’t make direct mail mistakes that can cost you both money and clients.
To see how direct mail can save you money, read: What is the ROI for Direct Mail Campaigns?