Perfecting your direct mail marketing can seem like a daunting trial-and-error process, and even after doing the most extensive market research, your campaign might not see a significant response rate, or the subsequent return on investment that your business needs. Luckily, their are ways to ensure that your mailers get opened and read. Keep reading for five simple techniques that could make your next direct mail campaign your most successful yet.
1. Analyze the Competition
Before you start creating your mailer, it will be helpful to see what your competitors are sending out to their potential customers. Sign up for your competitors’ mailing lists and collect the materials. See what works and what doesn’t work for you as a hypothetical consumer when you open their mailers and try to get a sense for the audience your competitors are targeting. It’s possible that you may find a demographic space in the market that your competitors are not currently targeting, and go after that audience with your campaign.
2. Utilize Unique and Creative Packaging
Make your audience curious with your packaging. Consider different materials, colors, and sizes when choosing your envelope or post-card. Researchers have found that boxes have a far higher open rate compared to envelopes; nobody throws out a package addressed to them. If you have to stick to the classic envelope, try including a three-dimensional object such as a pen or keychain. This will make the envelope feel lumpy, making your mailer too mysterious not to open. Really, anything that will make your mailer stand out visually will be of benefit to you, so don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative when trying to catch your audience’s eye. It’s also important to use a trustworthy, high-quality printer, and let them do the mailing to save you some precious time and money.
3. Be Personal and Genuine
Consumers initially make buying decisions based on emotional appeal and justify them after based on logical evidence. There is nothing emotionally compelling about an obviously mass-mailed piece, addressed with some variation of “to whom it may concern” that includes nothing to make the recipient feel like it was sent to them for any particular reason. Personalize your mailers by including names, using “you” and “I” to create a person-to-person conversational tone, and including a handwritten signature or personal stamp. Using a handwriting-style font and adding a P.S line at the end of your mailer can also effectively personalize your copy. Remember that good marketing sells solutions, not products, so make sure your mailer immediately speaks to your potential customer’s needs, identifies their problem, and suggests a solution with result-based evidence. If what your consumer really wants is to retire early with financial security, pitch them that dream before you give them a seminar invitation.
4. Keep it Simple and Easy to Scan
If your recipient even decides to open your mailer, your window for enticing them into a sale is brief and is never promised. A mailer with lots of dense writing that lacks organization or visual supplements to help guide the reader is sure to end up in the recycling before the reader can even understand the offer being made. Direct mail marketing should be top-loaded, with the most compelling and important information coming first. Use large headings that are eye catching and capable of creating a basic understanding of the offer without having to read the body text. Your audience should get the gist of what you’re selling in under ten seconds, because if they can’t, they have no incentive to continue reading. Separating blocks of text with graphics and simplifying information into bullet points or numbered lists are both great ways to organize your content into something easy to read, and effective.
5. Follow Up
An immediate follow up to your mailer is a great way to increase your campaign’s effectiveness. A simple phone call referencing the mailer you sent reminds the recipient and puts them in a position to respond to the offer without going out of their way to do so. You could also use this call as an opportunity to make your offer more appealing or urgent, for example suggesting that most of the offers sent have been claimed, but there is still a chance to get the benefits if the consumer acts now. Use discretion when making these calls, because it isn’t hard to come off as pushy or irritating when doing a follow-up to a mailer, but if done correctly and sincerely, it is a great way to push consumers from interest into sale.
Consider these five tricks when crafting your next direct marketing campaign and you’ll be sure to increase your response rate significantly. The key is to grab your potential customer’s attention as soon as possible, stimulate curiosity, make an offer, and call them to action. Make the consumer feel like their needs are being personally catered to, and they’re likely to become a customer. Keep an eye out for more marketing wisdom from Plum on our blog and leave us a comment if you have any unique tips or tricks for successful direct mail campaigns.