A stack of brightly colored mailing envelopes that stress urgency.

The Dos and Don’ts of Direct Mail Marketing

Even in the paperless age of technology and online marketing, direct mail can still be an extremely valuable marketing resource. That said, direct mail marketing works best if you know exactly what you’re doing.

To help you get a better understanding of what an effective direct mail campaign truly looks like, we’ve listed some key Dos and Don’ts you should take into consideration for your next direct mail marketing campaign.

Do: Know Your Audience

Perhaps the most important step to an effective direct mail campaign is developing a solid understanding of your target audience. Direct mail can reach all demographics, but it’s important to focus on the key demo for exactly what your selling.

If you’re tasked with marketing retirement villages for example, you probably don’t want to waste resources mailing to young adults and twenty-somethings, as this demo primarily has other concerns. Instead, you may want to gather a list of individuals whose loved ones are nearing an age where they may require extra care, or people who are nearing this age themselves.

In the same vein, you’ll want to use imagery, language, and other elements that appeal to your target audience, but doesn’t alienate them. For example, an older person may not connect as well with images of younger models or things like scannable QR codes or web URLs, while a younger person might.

It’s all about knowing your audience. Don’t be afraid to request feedback from members of your target demographic to get some outside perspectives.

Don’t: Forget to Follow Up

After you initially send out your mailers, you will likely come across several people who have a few questions or concerns, or may just be requesting additional information about your offer. Do not forget to address these individuals in a fast and friendly manner.

Additionally, if a significant portion of your mailing list doesn’t respond right away, don’t be discouraged. Something as simple as a thank you note or adding them to a “VIP” list can be enough to bring those people back into the fold. Always remember, the more you reach out, the more successful your campaign will be in the long run.

Do: Test the Market

One thing you should do right out of the gate is test your market. It’s not just unrealistic to expect your first direct-mail campaign to be a smash success, it’s virtually impossible. Like all marketing campaigns, direct mailing takes considerable time and effort to perfect. That’s why you’ll want to continuously test a variety of concepts.

One way to accomplish this is through further refining of your target audience. Once you have some idea of exactly who is responding to your campaign, you’ll want to hyper-focus on a few common denominators. Doing this correctly will lead to greater success and more cost-effective direct mailing campaigns in the future.

Don’t: Slack on Quality Control

The last thing you want when direct mailing is for your hard-work and valuable money to be thrown directly into the trash can as a result of a low-quality mailer that fails to engage. Glaring typos, poor formatting, and incoherent grammar are all factors that can lead to colossal failure when it comes to physical marketing.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to prevent this problem: proofread, proofread, proofread. Once your sure that there isn’t anything left to fix, have someone else take a look at your flyer to be extra sure.

This advice can also apply to design. If possible, get someone with an artistic background to assist with your graphic design. Effective eye-flow and a solid graphics-to-text ratio are both extremely important yet rarely considered, get the jump on this potential issue by taking care of it before your mailer is sent.

Do: Offer Something of Value

The goal of any direct mail campaign is to stay visible. Providing something of value to your potential customers is a great way to accomplish this. This can work well for older individuals who are constantly flooded with junk mail, but always looking for a bargain.

If possible, include elements like coupons, exclusive invitations, discount codes, or giveaway. Another useful element to always include on a flyer is a definitive call to action. You have to give your audience a reason to care, and including some form of “limited-time” verbiage can go a long way in getting the right people in the door.

All of these aspects can help keep your mailer out of the bin and onto the fridge or bulletin board, ensuring that your business is always at the center of attention.

Don’t: Submit a Cluttered Design

Going back to the importance of aesthetic once again, it’s important not to overstuff your flyer. You may be tempted to get a lot of information across all at once, by research has shown time and time again that an overly busy advertisement does more harm than good.

It’s best to include only a few key images and stick to a limited number of different fonts. Additionally, don’t go crazy with obnoxious punctuation like exclamation points. While this can be effective in small doses, overuse will scream “spam mail.”

Most importantly, always keep the focus on your main objective, and refrain from going on less-than-useful tangents.

ALWAYS: Go with a Professional Printer

The easiest and most efficient way to ensure that your direct mail campaign is both effective and affordable is to let a professional printing company like RTC manage it.

At RTC, we never miss deadlines and we always go over our copy and design with a fine-toothed comb. When you need quality printing service, RTC Direct Mailing is the only choice. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to discuss the potential of your next project.

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