Thursday, September 20, 2018

How to Step Up Your Direct Mail Campaign

by Sandra Morton (writer), Wandsworth, London, March 03, 2014

In this age of email and other Web-based methods of maintaining contact with customers, some might think that direct mail campaigns have gone the way of the dinosaur.

While Internet contact is important, direct mail can be a very useful tool in your advertising arsenal.

Because most people sift through over 100 emails per day, a tangible reminder of your company and your product is one of the most effective marketing tools available. However, the main issue is to be sure that your customers actually see your efforts, and they don’t simply discard your messages.

There are several ways that you can make your direct mail efforts stand out from the rest. Eye-catching designs, intricate and detailed packaging and irresistible offers are just a few of the ways your customers will remember you and your products.

Establish Your Customer Base

The first step to a successful direct mail campaign is to ensure that your mailers are going to people who have an interest in your business. Your own customer database is a great place to start. By targeting existing customers who are familiar with your name, you stand a better-than-average chance that the intended recipient will read your direct mail.

Consider purchasing a list of potential customers from a reputable broker. Be certain that the list contains names and companies that are relevant to your business. Anything other than that is a waste of time and money.

Create an Irresistible Package

The best way to be certain that your customers will see your mail is to create a package design that simply begs to be opened. Another tactic is to design an envelope or package that looks personal or important. This will help to ensure that your mail makes it past the trashcan.

If your budget allows, consider using a box or tube as your packaging. The more substantial the exterior of the package, the more likely it will be opened. Use brightly colored material for the box or tube, but avoid a look that is too cluttered or busy.

If you’ve decided to use envelopes consider handwriting the addresses. A handwritten envelope comes across as much more personal than mass-printed ones, and it is more likely to land on the desk of the customer for whom it is intended.

Some businesses choose to print details about the offer on the outside of the packaging. While this may work for established customers, if you’re trying a new customer list for the first time, this might not be a good idea. If you have yet to determine whether the customers on the list are viable, it’s better to play upon their curiosity.

Print and Ship

Once you’ve decided on your design it’s time to print them. If you’ve been working with the graphics department of a printing company, the cost of the design and the printing is typically combined. If you’ve created the design yourself, consult with various printers to ensure that you get the best price. Remember that boxes and other bulky packaging, while certainly the most ideal choice, can be more expensive.

If your company utilizes integrated shipping software, make this investment work for you. With this tactic, once your mail is out the door you’ll have better ways to track the deliveries, especially if you’ve opted to use tracking numbers or proof of delivery notifications. This can be instrumental as you calculate the success rate of a certain mail campaign.

Ask for Feedback

Customer engagement is always a good thing, and you can solicit that feedback through direct mail. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with samples. If your budget allows and your product can be adapted to be sent as a sample, consider targeting potential customers with this unique strategy. If your product can’t be sent as a sample, consider an offer of a free consultation or a free initial service.

In the past, various companies sent items such as bricks, carpet samples and roofing shingles to potential customers. While the cost of a strategy such as this can be high, the revenue generated can be high as well.

With the sample include a comment form or directions to a survey on your website so the recipients can let you know how they feel about your product. This is a good opportunity to establish a dialogue with potential customers and can lead to increased sales. It will also give you critical information as to how well your direct mail was perceived and how you might improve subsequent direct mail.

If you’d like to see your business and your client base grow, consider a well-planned direct mail campaign. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll see how well these types of marketing initiatives can work.

About the Writer

Sandra Morton is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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