Direct Mail: 5 Simple (But Powerful) Planning Starters

by | Mar 28, 2018 | Mailing, USPS, Postal Regulations

Why does mail work so well today, well into the Digital Age? Because it is a tangible communications medium. It’s an entire outbound strategy that relies on a combination of paper, ink, images, and words to make an emotional, physical connection with a prospect or customer. 

Whether it’s a brochure, postcard, folded self-mailer, or a letter and inserts in an envelope, this is a very powerful marketing channel. According to the most recent figures from the Data and Marketing Association (DMA), the response rate for direct mail actually outpaces the rates for all other channels combined.

But let’s face it: you just can’t jump in without knowing many of the most important details that will ensure that your resources (people, money, time) aren’t going to be wasted. Here’s quick rundown of what you’ll need to do.

Develop a Strategy

You really need a strategy before you can get started. Without understanding your product, service, or audience, your chances for direct mail marketing success are limited.

A great way to begin planning is to ask yourself 6 crucial questions. Here is a high level breakdown of these important questions, but we recommend clicking the link above for a deeper dive! 

1. Who is your audience?

2. What mailing list will you use?

3. How frequently will you mail?

4. Do you have a strong offer?

5. Is the design and format easy for your prospects to look at?

6. What other channels will factor in to your campaign?

Segmentation is another important matter to decide on ahead of time. Think about how you can target your mail a little more broadly by considering different kinds of selects. For example, different generations have different experiences and expectations with mail. Despite popular belief, millennials have a high affinity for mail. Being digital natives means that a mail campaign, when executed properly, can stand out in the hands of this audience.

Find the Right Direct Mail Vendor

Can just any company out there take care of everything you need in the production process? No, not really. You have questions – hopefully lots of them – so consult a checklist of what to look for in direct mail services and to find the right fit. Getting these crucial details settled frees up your time to focus on strategy and tactics.  

Master Your Challenges

You have so much to worry about from a creative and marketing point-of-view, but underlying everything is timing. Keeping on top of your schedule is essential given the high costs if you let any element of your campaign derail your planning. You literally cannot afford to underestimate how much time is needed to complete a task. Take the pressure off by reviewing tips for managing your deadlines. Also, watch the money you have to work with by using actionable direct mail budget ideas.

Work with the USPS

To make sure that your direct mail campaign gets into and through the U.S. Postal Service with no hiccups, be aware that there are important requirements that need to be met. Complying with them from early on is not just about meeting your deadlines. It can also be about saving money, as well as drawing upon the considerable experience and customer service of your direct mail vendor. This at-a-glance guide can help you work with USPS to get your mail delivered.

Measuring Your Direct Mail Marketing Success

After your campaign has dropped in the mail, how can you prove its ROI?

Well, for starters, you’ll have to look at your response rate. A great offer and a compelling call-to-action gets people to go to your website or call your phone number. But that’s only the beginning of the process, not the end. There are actually 4 campaign metrics to look at to get the whole picture on the success of your direct mail.

Ideas In Action

-Your postal campaign can have an additional, multichannel impact by using USPS Informed Delivery, now with over 8 million enrolled customers.

-To get the most from the message, be sure to consult around your specific audience.

-A direct mail vendor should provide a single point-of-contact to avoid any issues during the entire process.

Ideas In Action

-Research and contact printing vendors with decades of experience and up-to-date expertise 

-Direct mail printing companies and marketers need to be on the exact same page when it comes to the direct mail art file. An experienced provider will be well-versed in following specific guidelines for artwork to ensure a smooth process.

-Make sure that your print vendor understands the crucial role played by data and technology at every stage of the production process.

Mailing.com is a third-generation print and mail company serving direct marketers of all company sizes for 50+ years. Every member of our team is dedicated to your campaign success. When you join our family of printing and mailing service experts, you get all of the support and none of the drama.

Mailing.com is a third-generation print and mail company serving direct marketers of all company sizes for 50+ years. Every member of our team is dedicated to your campaign success. When you join our family of printing and mailing service experts, you get all of the support and none of the drama.

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