Despite the popularity of new and growing forms of online advertising, direct mail campaigns are still a very effective way to reach out to your target audience.

When directed towards a large number of people, your results can be significant. However, good results don’t necessarily come easy, your business will need to have a well-laid-out plan to effectively run a campaign using direct mail.

We have put together the following plan to help you maximise your direct mail campaign results.

1. Define the objectives of your campaign.

What is it that you expect to achieve with your campaign? How are you going to measure the result of your campaign? Defining a set of clear objectives is the first step in planning a successful campaign. The purpose could be to make direct sales, sales leads or promote seasonal discounts and offers.

For example, have an x number of people visit your store or get a y number of enquiries. Set numbers in your objectives to create motivation while delivering your campaign.

2. Define your target audience and create a mailing list.

Identifying your target audience is one of the most necessary steps in your strategy plan. Understanding the needs of your customers based on their background and attitude will save you time, prevent wastage and increase the response rate.

3. Focus your message on benefits.

Ensure that your copy includes the benefits most valuable to the consumer rather than the features of your product or service. Most consumers value cost, convenience, peace of mind and quality.

4. Make a list of the offers you want to promote.

Make an attractive offer for your customers. Words like ‘Free’, ‘Discount’ and ‘Off’ still create the same impact as they used to 50 years ago. Alternatively, organise competitions and offer free samples and gifts to attract more customers.

For customer retention, you could design loyalty schemes or valued customer awards. Remember that your existing customers create your brand, don’t forget to include them in your offers!

5. Include attractive graphics.

One commonly made mistake is cluttering mailers with content. To convey your message clearly, create direct and precise content. An accurate presentation of facts will attract more customers than flowery words and big, empty promises.
A picture says 1000 words! Add creative graphics that support the story you are trying to tell. Images will also add some life to your mailer. Top it off with the perfect headline.

6. Don’t forget your call to action.

Let your audience feel the need to act now. It is important to engage your prospects in order to instill in them brand loyalty. The call to action could be something along the lines of, “Call now for a free estimate,” or, “Visit our website today, sale ends soon.”
Create a system to record your responses and take this opportunity to capture more information about your customers.

7. Budget and return on investment.

Like any other project, planning a budget for your direct mail marketing campaign is equally essential. The right amount of money to spend on your marketing not only depends on your capacity to spend but also on how much profit you expect to gain by the end of your campaign.

Your costs may include creative design costs, printing costs, mailing costs, etc. To achieve a positive return on investment calculate your break-even cost based on the total investment and the value of your sales.

8. Roll out your campaign at the right time.

The actual time to roll out your campaign can range from one day to up to a month or a couple of months based on its complexity. In your planning stage, assign time spans for each process plus some buffer for miscellaneous tasks.

Consider all the processes that will take place before the mail reaches your customer’s hands. Also, add in enough time for your customer to receive, process and respond to your offer.
Over the years statistics have proven that direct mail marketing is more efficient than other methods, and more than 50% of recipients have made a purchase or engaged with the product in a way or another.