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The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Marketing

November 19, 2018 at 3:34 PM

The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Marketing

In today’s digital world, many companies discount the value of direct mail marketing campaigns. Those companies are actively losing potential business. Direct mail is absolutely still a highly viable marketing tool that garners a great deal of business for companies that execute it properly. In fact, people are about 4x more likely to open a piece of direct mail versus an email.

Unlike an email campaign, there is a tactile cost associated with a direct mail campaign. That is one reason why it is extremely important to make sure that you are executing your direct mail campaign properly and following all of the best practices associated with direct mail marketing. The information below will guide your direct mail marketing campaign in order to ensure it is successful and that it generates tangible results for you and your business. 

Direct mail is often beneficial due to the fact that it is more genuine than an email. One statistic found that the average person receives over 120 emails every day. This means that when you execute an email marketing campaign, you are competing with 119 other emails just to make a lasting impression. Direct mail cuts through the noise. Additionally, you ensure that your target consumer will physically hold your marketing piece, even if just for a few moments. 

Direct mail campaigns typically cost anywhere from as low as $0.19 per recipient to nearly $20 per recipient. While it is always tempting to go cheaper, the key is to find the sweet spot that will deliver a direct mail piece that your target consumer will find as truly genuine and intriguing while still sticking to your budget. 

Size Matters 

In a direct mail campaign, you have the choice of a variety of different sizes of marketing collateral. The first step in any direct mail campaign is to choose what size of mailing you would like to send to your target audience. Below is a breakdown of the response rate for various sizing (compiled by the Data and Marketing Association). 

Response Rates by Size: 

  • Oversized Envelope – 5% 
  • Postcard – 4.25% 
  • Dimensional Sizing – 4% 
  • Catalogs – 3.9% 
  • Standard Letter Size – 3.5% 

When choosing your size there are several factors you will want to consider. First, of course, you need to consider the cost of each and how much you are willing to spend on design, printing and shipping. Next is the nature of your company’s product or the services you offer. For example, if you sell a more serious product such as car insurance or health services, sending a traditional letter may be the most appropriate type of mailer. Finally, you should consider how much familiarity your target consumer already has about you. For example, if you are a dental clinic simply reminding past patients to come in for a cleaning, a simple postcard will be appropriate. If you are a new company, you may want to provide a multi-page mailer with details of your business and photos showcasing the products and services you offer. 

Copy is king 

When you are executing a direct mail campaign, the most important thing besides the design and imagery is the copy itself. The goal of the copy is to write it in a way that generates desire from your target audience. Whether you are launching your very first direct mail campaign, or whether you are a seasoned expert, you can’t go wrong when you stick with the time-tested best practice principle of AIDA. Below is a breakdown of AIDA. 

  • Attention. Create a mailer that grabs the person’s attention right off the bat. Outside of great copy, imagery is an excellent way to grab attention quickly. 
  • Interest. Next, you must get your target audience interested in what you have to say. It’s tempted to get wordy, but short and sweet copy typically works best. 
  • Desire. After your target audience is interested, you want to create desire. This is the part where the real selling comes in. Make sure you explicitly share the tangible benefits that your product or service will have for the individual. 
  • Action. Drive your target consumer to action by specifically laying out exactly what you would like them to do. Your goal should be to have them take action as soon as they finish reading your mailer. While this doesn’t always happen, that should be your ideal goal. 

Remember, when executing a direct mail campaign, your goals should be specific and your mailing list should be made up of concrete leads that are likely to utilize your services or buy your products. Direct mail is a great way to get your target audience to physically tough a piece of marketing collateral that speaks to the benefits of your company. Happy mailing!


About the author

Caryl Anne Crowne is a contributing writer and media specialist for Allegra Network. She often produces content for a variety of marketing blogs.

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