5 Tips To Improve Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

Direct mail marketing is an effective way to target and convert prospects who live in specific geographic areas, as well as those who meet narrower demographic or motivational criteria.

If you’re frustrated by low response or conversion rates, these five tips for improving the performance of your direct mail marketing campaigns can help.

  1. Get Right to the Point

Consumers have short attention spans. According to David M. Raab, a marketing technology consultant, the average American adult sees approximately 360 marketing messages each day over about 10 hours of media exposure, noting approximately 150 of them. That’s 36 impressions and 15 notations per hour.

With so much competition for your prospects’ attention, it’s imperative that you fine-tune every marketing message you send out. This is especially true for direct mail.

“The most successful direct mail marketing messages are direct and clear,” says George Otte, a Miami entrepreneur and marketing expert. “If your prospect doesn’t immediately grasp the purpose of your mailer, they’re likely to toss it out and move on.”

Therefore, you need to strip down your direct mail messaging to include just the messages you deem necessary to conversion. Don’t spend time explaining your company’s history or laying out in detail all the reasons you’re better than the competition.

It’s much more important to make a viscerally appealing offer, whether that’s a coupon for a deeply discounted service or a freebie that’s hard to refuse.

  1. Use Unconventional Formats

Conventional direct mail comes in drab-colored security envelopes, unwieldy fliers or cumbersome catalogs. These legacy formats have their place, but you shouldn’t feel limited to them either.

Use unconventional formats such as postcard-size mailers or glossy coupon books to stand out from the rest of the mail and draw your prospects’ attention before it wanders too far. With less paper and print required, these more compact, unconventional direct mail formats are also more cost-effective.

  1. Target Prospects for Follow-Ups

Your first round of direct mail will not earn a 100 percent response rate. In fact, your response rate is likely to be many times lower than that.

Don’t be discouraged by low response rates to your first mailer. Instead, devise a follow-up plan that lets you return to the same local markets in methodical, efficient fashion.

Break your territory into manageable sub-territories, then create a mailing schedule that hits each segment in turn. Schedule subsequent follow-ups at regular intervals, taking care to keep your mailing lists up to date as prospects convert, move away or request removal.

  1. Encourage Prospects To Visit Your Website

Direct mail remains as relevant as ever in the digital age. But that doesn’t mean direct mail marketers can’t take advantage of the powerful digital assets at their disposal.

If your company has a website, Facebook business page, or other professional digital assets, feature them prominently on your direct mail collateral. Entice your prospects to visit these assets with “online only” deals that build on the coupons or special offers you’ve provided through the mail.

  1. Track Responses and Test New Tactics

As you move through your segmented mailing schedule, carefully track your direct mail response rates.

In most cases, your prospects will have more than one response channel, so it’s important to track responses, conversions and sales for each. For instance, if your first mailer advises prospects to call your office, visit your website, text a 5-digit short code or respond by mail, you’ll have four tracking silos for that mailer.

Over time, you’ll get a clearer picture of how your prospects prefer to respond, and perhaps the action-specific messages that are most likely to inspire responses and conversions.

If you’re sending out multiple mailers or deploying the same mailer to multiple geographic markets, your tracking system will necessarily become more complex. For instance, your Denver mailer will have a different contact number than your Dallas mailer—and you’ll need to keep each mailer’s response data separate.