Award-Winning Direct Mail Tips

10 top tips to Increase the response to your direct mail campaigns

  • If the purpose of your mailing is to elicit responses from your target audience, then consider making a genuine, credible offer to increase responses - a gift, added value, exclusive rights, increased benefits, but be genuine. Explain why you are making the offer - this increases take up and it adds authenticity to your message
  • Limit the number i.e. first 25 to respond, first 50 to take up your offer…first 100 to give their feedback
  • Use a respond by date to close up the offer and stick to it!
  • If you want to personally follow-up everyone that you have mailed then make sure that you do so within 3-5 working days – don’t do the hard sell when you follow-up. Aim for a dialogue and start out by asking for their feedback on the contents of your mailer. If they say they have not read it yet, don't fall into the trap of saying that you will resend it. Walk them through the content and make sure that you use descriptive words and phrases
  • Brief your team in advance of the mailing going out and give them copies of the mailer / campaign plan so that they are alert and engaged when people start to respond
  • If you're not sure how to pitch your message, why not ask your existing customers what they would respond to and what motivated them to buy from you? Bear in mind that if you are diversifying your product range, it's usually a good idea to test it on your existing customers and to elicit their feedback before rolling it out.
  • If your mailing includes a salesy letter…

    • Use case studies - sector specific/use testimonial - sector specific
    • Keep paragraphs short - three to five lines
    • Use bullet points to really emphasise key points (three is ample)
    • Spell check and then get someone who can spell to check
    • Hand sign legibly or get a good quality printer
    • If it is relevant, tell people where you are based (especially so if you are targeting people from the same geographic area)
    • Tailor your message to the group of people you’re writing to
    • ‘You to we’ ratio should be 3 - 1
    • Make it easy for people to respond and promote their preferred medium if you know what this is
    • Guide them to your website (if it is a good one!)
    • Avoid over-cluttering with too much italics and bold – a bold headline to highlight each paragraph is good enough
    • Use facts figures and statistics to add credibility
  • Blend! Direct Mail is part of your overall marketing communications programme. If you can tie it into a programme of communication then you will get higher responses. E.g. Press article, phone, and mailer - use direct mail to promote any media coverage that you are getting
  • Include a business card with your letter - your letter may hit the bin but your card could find its way into their business card holder
  • Lumpy mail gets attention – it gets opened! But factor in the increased postage costs

Thanks go to award winning Chartered Marketer, Dee Blick, of The Marketing Gym Ltd for writing these tips for our website. Dee has over 20 years’ experience in planning, implementing and following through direct mail campaigns, with blue-chip companies and one-man bands. She writes on direct mail in trade and business magazines and has won awards for her advertising copy and PR articles.

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