Direct Mail Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t let anyone tell you differently - direct mail advertising is still alive and well. Consider these stats from an InfoTrends study:

  • 66% of direct mail is opened

  • 82% of direct mail is read for one minute or more

  • 62% of customers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase

It may cost a little more up front, but direct mail and print advertising offers an ROI that’s hard to find in other advertising methods. The trick is to do it right and do it well. Check these do’s and don’ts of direct mail.

DO: Know your audience. A big part of that ROI is sending out your advertisements to people who are going to be interested in your offer. The more that you refine your targets, the higher chance you will have of converting.

DON’T: Use old mailing lists. People and businesses move all the time, so don’t be surprised when old data doesn’t get you the results you were hoping for. Further, always continually refine your lists to hit your audience - there’s no sense in wasting money advertising to someone who doesn’t care.

DO: Create a clear offer. It needs to be concise and appealing. Make sure that your reader doesn’t have to wade through paragraphs of text to know what they’re getting. Try testing a few different versions to see what works best.

DON’T: Forget a call to action. If you don’t ask your audience to respond to the ad, then what’s the point of sending it? If you don’t tell them what to do, they’re not going to do it. Don’t beat around the bush either - make sure your CTA is clear and understandable.

DO: Track your data. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with direct mail is losing out on all of the valuable data in can generate. When you track your audience and their behaviors, you can better prepare your next campaign. A great way to do this (especially if your CTA leads to an online purchase) is coupon codes. They’re individualized and can keep each campaign separate.

DON’T: Jump the gun. It’s important to know and understand that the effects of direct mail advertising don’t take place overnight. It can take 8 to 10 touches before a customer decides they are ready to respond to your offer. But that’s one of the great things about direct mail - the less pressure a customer feels to respond immediately, the more they are to respond at all.