According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies should put at least 7 to 8 percent of revenue towards marketing. And if your business is in its early stages, that number could go up to 20 percent. In today’s world, digital marketing gets a lot of press. But with people becoming increasingly blind to ads, banners, and emails, direct mail marketing services aren’t just another interesting idea to leave on the drawing board – it could be a critical piece of your promotional strategy.
But how can you get more out of your direct mail marketing? What tips and tricks can you use to generate big-time results from your direct mailing efforts? Read our list of 17 tips to learn how you can become a lean, mean, direct mail marketing machine.
1. Know Your Target Demographic
When everyone in your service area has a mailbox, it can be tempting to start throwing mailers at every address you can get your hands on. But mail marketing is one of those areas where it pays to be selective.
Even if you’ve got the most amazing product ever invented, not everyone will be in the market 100 percent of the time.
Some people don’t have funds on hand right away. Others might not need the product any time soon. If you want to get more bang for your direct mailing buck, you need to find the people who will look at your mail and say, “This is exactly what I was looking for.”.
Are new homeowners or recent newcomers a core demographic for you? Does your product or service make more sense for apartment dwellers or people who are in a higher tax bracket?
Advertising your top-of-the-line, organic dog food to people who don’t have pets is a waste of your money and the recipient’s time. When you’re offering the right product to the right audience, you might be surprised at the results you’re able to get.
2. Personalize Your Mailer
It’s been said that 90 percent of leading marketers believe that personalization is an essential part of making businesses more profitable.
And on an intuitive level, this makes sense. After all, are you more likely to respond to the words “Hello Your Name!” or “Hey you!”?
Because your direct mail is being sent directly to prospects, you’re already ahead of the curve when it comes to personalization. All you have to do is look for more opportunities to continue drilling down.
For instance, let’s say you’re a home appliance company and you’re hoping to drum up new business. There are at least two demographics that you can target with your mailing campaign:
People who are buying new appliances and people who are looking to replace their current ones.
New homeowners in the process of buying a new fridge might respond well to a direct mailer that talks about the importance of buying a well-made appliance that can last for a lifetime. While renovators and people in the midst of making upgrades might respond more to a mailer that makes a strong value proposition.
When people read your direct mail, you want them to feel as if you’ve read their thoughts and created a customized solution. The more you’re able to hone your message, the easier it’ll be to personalize your campaign.
3. Have a Clear CTA
How many times have you read an informative blog post or watched a YouTube video only to see the content provider struggling to recommend your next steps? Or worse yet, how many times have you gotten to the end of that content only to find that the offer at the end is generic to the point where you don’t feel compelled to click through?
If you’re like most internet users, your answer to these questions is, “More times than I can count.”.
You might be able to get away with a subpar call to action on the internet. But with a piece of mail, it takes a lot more effort on the part of your prospect to fire up their laptops, enter the URL you’ve given them, and read up on your products. As such, your call to action is crucial.
Don’t be shy about asking people to purchase your product or check out your site. And don’t muddy the waters by being unclear about what you want your audience to do with your mailer.
Be firm. Be clear. And tell them why doing business with you is an opportunity that they don’t want to miss out on.
Your conversion rates just might surprise you.
4. Lead With the Benefits
Whether you’re selling widgets, groceries, or your amazing services, there’s one thing that all of your leads and prospects will want to know:
How will your product or service help them solve their problems?
In some cases, the connection between the product and your target demographic’s needs and wants will be fairly linear. Without food, your prospect knows that they’ll starve. So if you’re a local grocer, you probably don’t need to spend your opening paragraphs talking about the wonders of milk and bread.
But even when you’re selling a product that everyone needs, you can still find ways of emphasizing the benefits of doing business with you. How does this look in practice? Let’s revisit the example of the local grocer.
Let’s say your store has comprehensive inventory, great prices on staples, and a ton of locally produced goods. Nearby families might not need you to talk about how much they need groceries. But you can spend time showcasing how they’ll save time and money by making you their go-to grocery store of choice.
On the other hand, if the benefits of using your product or service a less clear, you might want to devote some of the space in your mailer towards helping people understand the benefits of doing business with you.
One of the biggest selling points of direct mail marketing is that you have plenty of room to sell people on doing business with your company. But the key to running consistently profitable campaigns is being able to give a compelling answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?”.
5. Consider Your Larger Marketing Strategy
Although there are plenty of businesses that operate almost entirely through word of mouth and direct mail marketing, you don’t have to put all your eggs in one advertising basket.
For instance, let’s say that you’ve got a Facebook ad campaign going and that you’ve been able to look at your website analytics and pin down a few key cities and neighborhoods.
They say that marketing campaigns very rarely work out on the strength of a single ad. People often need time to think before making a major purchase and sometimes life happens and folks forget to follow up.
Direct mail marketing can be a strategic means of retargeting or letting your current customers know about your fantastic new offer. Put another way, direct mail services don’t have to be rolled out and utilized in isolation. Your direct campaigns can supplement and work within your larger advertising strategy more easily than you might think.
6. Use Colors That Make Sense
In North America at least, different colors have different cultural connotations. As such, companies need to think strategically about whether their chosen colors are supporting the image that they want to put forward with people.
For instance, hot pink is a striking color. But if you’re selling guns and gun-related accessories, you might not be broadcasting the message that you’re hoping to send if your target demographic includes hunters and military vets. However, if your target demographic is women in search of self-defense weapons or flashy hunting rifles, then maybe hot pink is exactly what you need.
Graphic design doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And even then, these sorts of brand considerations are often easier to see when you’re not closely tied to the production process.
As a company, we offer some of the best graphic design services in Houston. We’ll work with you to design the kind of eye-catching business material that makes prospects stop in their tracks and say, “I don’t usually do this, but I want to see what this company has to offer me.”.
7. Make Sure Your Copy is Snappy and Engaging
A lot of businesses will take great pains to explain what they mean about everything. They want every word to be precise. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that good and accurate copywriting doesn’t have to be boring.
For instance, did you know that there are action words and phrases that are designed to grab attention? Even your use of exclamation marks and descriptive phrases can buy you more time with your prospects.
We all have that friend or relative who can be long-winded when it comes to their favorite subjects. And many companies, in their quest to throw the kitchen sink at their advertising efforts, are prone to making a lot of the same mistakes.
Even if the substance of your direct mail advertisement boils down to the words “We Sell Paint”, you don’t have to use that as your headline. Before you invest in a direct mail campaign, you’ll want to make sure that your copywriting is as polished as you can get it.
8. Go Larger
Think about the last time you grabbed the mail. You probably saw a bunch of bills, flyers, and envelopes. Can you remember the last time you received a standard-sized envelope that didn’t come from your credit card company or your bank?
With direct mail campaigns, presentation and size matter a lot. You have to draw the eyes and convince people to give your mailer a chance to hook them.
A larger-sized mailer stands out immediately. It grabs people’s attention and makes them take notice. Plus, there’s the added benefit of having more room to advertise.
Of course, many businesses have to balance the appearance of their direct mailers against the price of purchasing and mailing their postcards and letters out. But if you can opt for an envelope that fits in the mailbox while still being larger, you’ll be well on your way to standing out.
9. Keep Statistics
We’re going to let you in on a little secret:
Marketing is full of moving parts. Once you have a few campaigns going, it’s easy to reach a point where you know that things are working but you’re not quite sure what’s happening under the hood.
With direct mail, there are a lot of factors that you don’t have control over. But you can find relatively easy and low-cost ways to measure your results.
For instance, if you’re directing people to take advantage of a specific sale on your site, can you use a unique URL or special code that will let you know who’s buying as a result of your direct mailer? If you’re asking people to come to your shop, is there some way that you can measure the increase in foot traffic to get a general sense of how your campaign is going?
Setting up attribution systems and planning your data collection process can be tedious. But once you have those numbers at your disposal, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions for your business.
10. Test Your Direct Mail Campaigns
Let’s say that you’ve rolled out a direct mail campaign. You’re happy with the results and you’ve seen a lot of sales. But then your new marketing hire reads your letter and says, “I think I can improve on this.”.
How do you decide which direct mailer to use? You go with the one that performs better after you run your A/B tests.
Sometimes you might think that you have a winning campaign. You’ve got amazing headlines, fantastic copy, and a call to action that speaks to your prospects. But when the campaign is finally put to use, the results turn out to be less than what you’ve hoped for.
And to make matters even more complicated, even when you’ve done everything right and the campaign is going well, many direct mail materials become less effective over time.
So how can you establish a baseline while making sure that things are going smoothly? You take our previous tip about tracking your statistics and then you use that information to decide which campaigns to roll out.
11. Don’t Overreact
According to SmallBizGenius, direct mail recipients will buy 28 percent more items than people who haven’t received direct mail. With those numbers, it’s not surprising to see that many businesses see direct mail campaigns as a no-brainer.
Even though the numbers look incredible, however, it’s important to remember that these are just averages. You have no control over when people will see their mail or how a particular neighborhood will react to your offer.
If the campaign underperforms, you’ll want to avoid calling it quits. And if a campaign performs beyond your wildest dreams, you’ll want to avoid reading too much into those results. You need to measure performance over time to determine if you’ve got a winner.
12. Make Your Offer Irresistible
You could be selling your products to people who desperately need them. But even when you’ve got your targeting down and your staff ready to go, the way you frame your offer matters.
Copyblogger breaks down the process of creating awesome offers into four main components:
- Real business value
- Great taste
- Perfect timing
- Urgency and exclusivity
And while you might have some or a few of these ingredients, you have to think very seriously about how you can crank your offer up to 11.
Can you offer direct mail recipients an exclusive, time-sensitive deal? Can you highlight the ways your product will feel awesome while fixing a real problem for your audience? Even before you start talking about the design and feel of your product, you’ll want to make sure that your offer is the real deal.
13. Set Aside Resources for Your Direct Mailing Campaigns
What has the potential to singlehandedly make or break your direct mailing campaign? Your willingness to put resources into it.
Direct mailing isn’t the type of thing that you can do half-heartedly. You need to spend time lining up your inventory, putting in funds, and polishing up every aspect of your ad.
Imagine living in a world where the likes of Nike didn’t put any money into product development. Or picture yourself working with an employee who was constantly putting in 50 percent at work. The customer experience would likely suffer on all fronts, right?
Direct mailing campaigns are a major undertaking. But if you want to experience the power of a well-written direct mail letter, it’s important to make sure that you’re giving it everything you’ve got.
14. Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Up
It’s been said that in 80 percent of sales, companies often have to make around five follow-up calls after the first meeting. And believe it or not, you might have to take a similar approach to your direct mailing campaign.
Your dream customer could have misplaced your coupon or had a personal emergency that prompted them to forget about your offer. Sometimes all you need to do is give them a little nudge by sending another ad or making use of your digital marketing efforts. You’d be surprised at how much more revenue your direct campaigns can generate with the simple addition of a follow-up system.
15. Mine Your Mailbox for New Ideas
Chances are that when you’re off the clock, you probably have a ton of promotions sitting in your mailbox every week. Before you comb through the pile and trash the rest, you should make a point of studying your mail.
Did that local hair salon use an attention-grabbing font? Did that windshield repair company use a border design that you couldn’t help but notice? Your mailbox is a treasure trove of direct mailing information.
Even if you find yourself getting irritated by the ads you’re reading, you’ll still be walking away with a solid sense of what not to do.
16. Work With Professionals
No matter which way you slice it, direct mail campaigns require a unique combination of skills to work.
First, you need designing ability. Next, you need top-notch copywriters. And, if you’re not experienced when it comes to printing, you could run into issues with ink bleeding, misplaced graphics, and more.
When you hire a direct mail letter service, you have the luxury of knowing that your campaign is in professional hands. Instead of you having to spend time and money learning the ins and outs of direct mail marketing, you can sit back and enjoy the results in front of you.
17. Find a Direct Mailing Services Provider That Understands Your Area
Have you ever wondered why local businesses often provide better service? In many cases, it’s not because they have more money and resources than the multinational corporation down the street. It’s because they’re significantly more in touch with the needs of the local community.
In Texas, people have a unique outlook on life. You don’t want to find yourself pouring time and resources into a marketing campaign that doesn’t resonate with its intended audience.
That’s why it’s not enough to look for direct mailing services with technical design and printing skills. You also need to make sure that you’re working with a company that has a deep understanding of what Texans are looking for.
Don’t be the company that’s sending San Antonio’s material in with the Houston direct mail. Start your relationships off on the right foot by working with a local service provider.
Direct Mail Marketing Services for Your Business
At the end of the day, direct mail marketing is a skill. Sure, you could spend the next few weeks and months trying to figure out how to make the process work for your business. But there’s an easier way to get your needs met – you can find a printer that offers direct mail marketing services.
Whether you’re looking for a company that does Houston printing or you’re planning to take your business to the rest of the state, we have the skill, talent, and experience to help you get incredible direct mail marketing results at an equally incredible price.