Steps to Direct Mail Marketing Success

Marketers have traditionally used radio, print, and television as a means to get their advertising to customers. Many have recently turned towards direct mail marketing to get more responses from their target market. However, many CEOs are still practically clueless when it comes to direct mail. When used correctly and with careful and strategic planning, direct mail can help businesses connect better with their target market in the long run. Additionally, it is a relatively affordable marketing technique that can be scaled at almost no cost.

Choose Between Business-to-business (B2B) or Business-to-consumer (B2C)

This is a very typical way to group different marketing techniques and strategies together. It is an important distinction that must be made because each approach is entirely different than the other.

Before you start sending out emails for direct mail campaign, you’re going to need to do a little bit of research. To be specific, it is highly advisable to study everything about your potential buyers. That is, researching your target market and figuring out who is more likely to purchase your product. By studying the behavior of these consumers, you can tailor your campaign to specifically target their needs.

For example, if you are selling coffee and other hot beverages at the side of a major highway, the majority of your customers will be people on the go. Depending on your location, you may also need to target long-haul drivers and truckers. Here, your marketing campaign should be focused on convenience and low prices, and direct mail may not be your best option. On the other hand, if you own a specialty coffee house, your clientele may be looking for more refined options. Here, direct mailing campaign will be highly effective if you include a coffee-related information.

Choose Your Target Audience For The Most Effective Direct Mail Marketing 

A major deciding factor as to the success of your direct marketing campaign is effective targeting. You can spend all the money you want in designing the perfect marketing message but if you send it to uninterested consumers then your chances of converting a sale are going to be extremely low. Choosing the correct target market means that even if your marketing message is not the best, you can make a sale because the consumer is already likely to be interested. In short, proper targeting is crucial to get better responses from consumers.

You may be wondering where to get mailing lists for your campaign. Well, there are two types of lists that can be used for direct mail. The first is knwon as a compiled listed and it is made up of information you’ve gathered from third-party sources. For example, a dog groomer may use mailing information from the local vet. The exchange of contact information in this way has been very controversial in recent years, and many people consider it a breach of their privacy.

The second type of mailing list is called a response list. This means people have opted to receive emails from your company (or its affiliates). Obviously, there is no breach of privacy in this case. An added advantages of using opt-in mailing lists is that the user has already expressed some form of interest in your products or something similar. This makes your marketing effort through direct mailing more targeting, and increases the chance of successful conversion.

Decide On An Offer To Give Your Target Audience

Within your direct mail campaign, it is advisable to add an offer. Think of this offer as more than a discounted price on a product you are selling, but more of presentation or packaging technique.

You should be focusing on the upside of buying your product, even if it is not directly related to the product itself. For example, offering a free coupon if someone buys the product. This adds an incentive for the consumer to purchase your product, because even if they don’t enjoy it and wih to return it, the coupons still work.

For most successful marketing campaigns, almost two thirds is attributed to proper targeting, while the design and offer only have a third of the impact on whether the campaign succeeds or fails.

Creativity and Design Are Key Aspects Of Direct Mail Marketing

It can be incredibly helpful to hire a professional designer to get creative with your direct mail marketing. After all, you should be able to grab the consumer’s interest visually before anything. Also, you need to make sure that everything is easily accessible for the user to navigate through the mail they receive. Whether your are using email or physical mail, the design aspect can make or break a campaign. If the design is crowded or cluttered, the recipient is likely to move on to the next things.

Remember that consumers have a short attention span when receiving marketing messages. Try your best to have the main message highly visible and focused. For example, a large banner saying summer sale at the top of a page can alert the consumer that there is potential for saving a few dollars. An even better option is to mention how much those discounts can reach. That is, Summer Sale, up to 50%. This is a more alluring message that pulls the reader in, and they are more likely to continue reading instead of tossing it into the spam folder (or trash) and moving on.

You messages must also be to-the-point. Again, short attention spans means that most people nowadays don’t have time to read a short essay about your products. Find ways to describe your products in short and concise messages. Keep it short and simple works for a reason – so follow that age-old advice.

Determine Your Campaign Strategy 

Decide whether you are looking for a long-term commitment from your users, or a one-shot sales pitch to get things over with. The marketing approach can differ drastically depending on what types of sales you are aiming for. One-shot sales means that you are looking to sell something, and do not necessarily need the customer to come back for more. This means your focus should be solely on the advantages of the product at hand. If you require a more long term commitment from your customers, such a monthly subscription for a year, then they need to be convinced of your company as a whole. Your marketing strategy, in this case, would focus on building an image for your company as credible and reliable. The customer needs to change their perception of your company before they commit to your long term subscription.

Positioning Your Product In The Market Involves Showcasing Its Benefits Over Other Products

The language you use in your marketing should have something in common with your target audience. If your main consumers are young students, then you may not need to use business language that is more effective when advertising to executives. Party planners for people in their 20s may benefit from having a fun tone to their marketing message. That is, speak the language of your audience if you want to connect with them better.

Additionally, try to focus on the benefits of your product (or service) over others. You do not necessarily need to make comparisons, but make sure that you are describing the advantages and merely the features. Every product will have a lot of bells and whistles, but it is your job as a marketer to show the benefit of those bells and whistles so as to generate demand for the product.

Determine Your Approach To Follow-Ups and Long-Term Communication

In a long-term approach, you want to consider your choices for multi-media communication. In other words, you’ll want to collect the prospects’ email addresses and/or phone numbers so you can stay in touch with them over time. Then, you want to plan a series of email messages or mailings to present other offers and cross-sell opportunities. For expensive items, you want to schedule follow-up telemarketing and/or surveys to make sure the customer is satisfied.


It is generally a wise move to hire an expert to guide you through the many aspects of a successful direct mail campaign. A professional has done this type of work many, many times and can keep you on track with both your strategy and tactics before you invest your marketing dollars. The money you save by short-cutting your way through the basics could cost you dearly in the long run. As we like to say in the industry, there are 1,000 steps to producing a successful direct marketing campaign. The only one that people remember if you’re unsuccessful is the one that you missed.

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