A solid direct mail marketing campaign can quickly offset ad spend and skyrocket sales. This is why good ol’ fashioned “snail mail” still hails as the top channel for direct marketing. However, the truth is direct mail marketing isn’t cheap—proper planning is crucial in order to secure a large return on your investment.
Inkit modernized direct mail marketing by speeding up production and allowing for increased targeting, personalization and real-time event triggers, but the key to a strong campaign still lies in your approach. Here are 7 tips you should consider to help your direct mail efforts succeed.
1. Gather an effective, targeted list.
Many businesses use direct mail only as an acquisition play, purchasing address lists for large scale area mailers. While you can definitely use purchased mailing lists with Inkit and find success with direct mail marketing, this isn’t the only way to use the channel anymore. Before you spend a lot of time and money casting a wide net, we suggest you look at your existing audiences as a way to build highly targeted direct mail lists.
2. Start keeping an inventory of what works and what doesn’t.
Some of today’s most innovative advertising is delivered right to your doorstep. But your mail carrier is also toting an awful lot of poorly targeted and cluttered direct mail marketing. This means you have an abundance of guidance as far as what to do, and what not to do, right inside your mailbox.
So the next time you check your mail, take a moment to note what catches your eye and what makes you immediately disregard a piece of mail. Consider everything from color scheme to content, and from call to action to postcard size. What messages and images stand out to you? What gives a postcard staying power? Is there any mail you are going to stick on the fridge or show someone else? Paying attention to your own mail will help you develop a knack for what works in this medium.
3. Memorize the language of junk mail, and forget about it.
When you complete your mail inventory, you may notice that much of what gets tossed immediately seems as if it could have been written by the same copywriter. Junk mail has a style all its own, often including:
- Bold with italics
- Cheesy, overused taglines such as “FREE MONEY!”
- Multiple exclamation points (!!!)
- Redundant imagery/text
- Cluttered bulleted lists and too much text
- Corny stock photos
- Clip-art-style illustrations
Much direct mail just hasn’t kept up with the times, but you can easily create something fresh and effective that stands out in the mail pile. (Check out these 4 rules for writing and designing effective, modern postcards.)
4. Sync email campaigns with direct mail.
At Inkit, we’ve found many of our most successful users sync direct mail with email, triggering postcards right from their CRMs. One cost effective strategy is to trigger a postcard when an email doesn’t get a response. This way you can target consumers first through the cheaper channel (email), and only invest in the more effective channel (direct mail) when necessary.
5. Write a compelling call to action and iterate.
If you add direct mail triggers to your email workflows, you might find yourself re-working email promotions for a direct mail format. Many Inkit users find a lot of success this way, starting with a proven offer and saving time on the creative side. While this is a great strategy, be aware that what works in email doesn’t always work in direct mail marketing. Your postcards should contain a call to action that is short, direct and measurable—and not much else. Avoid including long lists of benefits and overloading the customer with information. Inkit’s most successful users stick to one CTA per mailer. This will also make it easy for you to track redemption and iterate on the offer and creative based on performance.
6. Bring your audience back online.
If you’re using Inkit, we hope you’re taking advantage of being able to plug direct mail into your larger digital marketing campaigns. Inkit integrates with a number of CRMs so marketers can send digitally-charged direct mail and feed the data right back into their marketing platforms.
Because Inkit’s software allows you to merge your offline and online marketing strategies, we encourage crossover lead nurturing. Always include social media and website information on your postcards. And consider incorporating QR codes and free online value-adds to drive traffic back online when appropriate.
7. Mind the details.
Print has one significant downside—once it’s published and mailed, there is no way to revise it. One of the most common and costly mistakes marketers can make with direct mail is failing to proofread. A single typo can cause consumers to cast doubt on your company. Consider mailing a postcard to yourself to proof before setting it to mail based on real-time events in your CRM. When you review your postcard, in addition to proofreading copy, check that images are clear (not pixelated), white space is well utilized, visual contrast is pleasing and follow-up information is correct (such as links, fine print regarding offers and contact information).
Are you ready to use these tips to send modern, effective direct mail and increase your customer response rate?
Let’s launch a winning direct mail campaign. Click here to get started with Inkit for free.