10 Tips for Creating Successful Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

According to the US Postal Service, 81% of recipients read or scan their mail daily. This represents a massive opportunity for brands to get in front of consumers.  And for brands who choose to use direct mail as part of their marketing mix, the rewards can be big – 40% of consumers will try new businesses after receiving a direct mail piece (DMA/ANA).

In the age of digital shopping, online channels, and sophisticated ways to reach the always-on consumer, brands are making big investments in digital advertising. However, direct mail is an often-overlooked tool for businesses looking to reach their target audience and drive conversions.

To be successful, a direct mail marketing campaign requires planning, execution, and follow-up.

10 Direct Mail Marketing Tips

Here are 10 tips for creating successful direct mail marketing campaigns.

1. Define Your Target Audience

The first step in any direct mail campaign is to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your message? What do they care about?  

You may want to target by gender, hobbies, age, interests, or the type of vehicle they drive.  Or perhaps your current customers or audiences that look like your best customers.  Perhaps you want to reach consumers who are showing active shopping interest in the products and services you offer. You may even want to market to a “clone” audience that looks like your best customers.

Porch Group Media always encourages our clients to create a mover audience. Moving is one of the most economically impactful life triggers – a time when consumers are spending money on numerous products and services.  With more than $11,000 on average spent per move, movers may be an untapped audience that you have not previously considered.

Once you have a clear picture of your audience, you can tailor your message and offer to appeal to their interests and needs.

2. Craft Compelling Copy

Your direct mail piece needs to grab the reader’s attention and hold it long enough to convey your message and persuade them to take action. Make sure your copy is clear, concise, and compelling, and includes a strong call to action.

Some tips to consider:

  • Use attention-grabbing headlines: The headline is the first thing that recipients will see, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing and clearly conveys your message.
  • Focus on benefits: Instead of focusing on features, highlight the benefits of your product or service. Explain how it will solve a problem or improve their lives.

3. Use Eye-catching Design

Your direct mail piece should also be visually appealing, with a design that captures the reader’s attention and communicates your message effectively.

  • Design: Use high-quality images, colors, and typography to create a cohesive and visually appealing piece.
  • Formatting: Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and bold or italicized text to make your message easy to read and digest.

4. Personalize Your Message

Personalization is key to making your direct mail piece stand out and connect with your audience. Use variable data printing to personalize each piece with the recipient’s name, location, or other relevant information.

According to Inkit, personalization in direct mail can increase response rates by up to 50%.

5. Offer Value

Your direct mail piece should offer something of value to the recipient, whether it’s a discount, free trial, or valuable information. Make sure your offer is relevant to your audience and compelling enough to motivate them to take action.

  • Including an offer in a direct mail piece can increase response rates by up to 45%. (Compu-Mail)
  • Free shipping is the most popular offer in direct mail, with 58% of consumers saying they prefer it. (USPS)
  • Coupons are the most redeemed type of offer in direct mail, with a redemption rate of 27%. (Data & Marketing Association)

6. Create Urgency

To encourage recipients to take action quickly, create a sense of urgency in your direct mail piece. Use limited-time offers, deadlines, and scarcity tactics to motivate recipients to act now rather than later.

Some examples of offers that create urgency include:

  • Limited time offer: “Act now and receive 25% off your purchase or 1 free item, until the end of the month!”
  • Limited quantities available: “Don’t miss out on this exclusive offer – only 50 spots available!”
  • Scarcity language: “Limited supplies available – order now before it’s too late!”
  • Immediate action: “Call us now to take advantage of this offer before it expires!”

7. Use a Strong Call to Action

Your direct mail piece should include a clear and compelling call to action that tells recipients exactly what you want them to do next. Make it easy for them to take action, whether that’s calling a phone number, visiting a website, or visiting your store.

  • Visit our website: Encourage recipients to visit your website to learn more about your products or services, make a purchase, or sign up for a newsletter. For example, “Visit our website to see our latest products and promotions.”
  • Call us: Encourage recipients to call your business to speak with a representative, place an order, or schedule an appointment. For example, “Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experts.”
  • Redeem this offer: Encourage recipients to take advantage of a specific offer, such as a discount or free gift. For example, “Redeem this coupon for 20% off your next purchase.”
  • Sign up now: Encourage recipients to sign up for a newsletter, loyalty program, or other special offer. For example, “Sign up now to receive exclusive access to our sales and promotions.”

8. Test and Refine

As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to test different elements of your direct mail piece to see what works best.

Test different headlines, offers, images, and calls to action to optimize your campaign for maximum impact.

9. Make Direct Mail Part of Your Omnichannel Marketing Mix

After your direct mail piece has been delivered, it’s important to follow up with recipients to keep the conversation going. Send a follow-up email or make a phone call to encourage them to take the next step.

In addition to following up through other channels, direct mail should be part of your omnichannel strategy to send the same message and increase the likelihood of conversions.

  • Combining direct mail with digital channels, such as email, can increase response rates by up to 35%. (USPS)
  • Direct mail campaigns that use three or more channels have a 118% lift in response rates compared to those using only one channel. (DMA)
  • 72% of consumers say they prefer to receive promotional content through a combination of both print and digital channels. (Pitney Bowes)
  • According to a study by Keypoint Intelligence, using personalized direct mail with email, web, and mobile channels can increase response rates by up to 70%.

10. Measure Results

Finally, it’s important to measure the results of your direct mail campaign to determine its effectiveness.

Track response rates, conversion rates, and other key metrics to determine what worked well and what could be improved in future campaigns.

By following these tips, you can create successful direct mail campaigns that reach your target audience, convey your message effectively, and drive conversions. With careful planning, execution, and follow-up, direct mail can be a powerful tool for growing your business.

Direct Mail Marketing Solutions

See for yourself how our direct mail programs, in partnership with Welcome Wagon, can help you boost customer acquisition and curb attrition. Contact us today!

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