Many methods of marketing are digital nowadays, yet direct mail still remains one of the most popular ways to get the word out there. It allows you to reach out to those that may not have seen your campaigns via digital channels and also affords you the opportunity to provide your audience with something they can physically see, feel and even use, backing up your long term marketing goals. That said, there are a number of things that you need to do to get it right for maximum impact.
Here we’re going to take a look at some direct mail marketing mistakes that are so easy to make, the sort of problems that can arise from these and what can be done to solve these issues.
When it comes to building a credible reputation for your business, something as basic as proofreading can have a huge impact. It can be the difference between your business being perceived as professional and well maintained or sloppy and careless. Nothing will get your piece of direct marketing thrown in the bin quicker than a glaringly obvious typo and this should always be at the back of your mind when writing content. Once the content for your direct mail has been written, be sure to not only proofread the piece yourself but get others to do it too. Sometimes it’s easier for others to pick up on errors, so utilising as many people as possible for this is key.
Another issue that can leave your audience less than impressed is a design error, this could be anything from misaligned printing to poor use of colour. If print is hard to read, it’s unlikely anyone will sit there trying to decipher what it is you’re trying to convey. Design flaws such as these will see time and money wasted with little to show for your efforts. If you’re not from an artistic background and you’re not too sure how to approach the design aspect of a project, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a graphic designer, who as well as designing the campaign for you, will also be able to advise on the best printing options. This may be a slightly more costly approach initially but will be of huge benefit in the long term.
Once the piece of direct mail has been sent, how do you monitor just how successful it’s been? Failure to include some kind of follow up tactic can leave you not knowing if your marketing efforts have worked and no way of knowing if something needs improvement.
Including simple incentives in your campaign such as voucher codes or discounts for newsletter signups will encourage the reader to engage with what’s on offer and with your business, giving you a metric to work with to measure the success of the campaign.
These methods are also a particularly useful way to re-engage with your audience, sending something as simple as a thank you note or adding them to a “VIP” list that can be used later down the line. Creating such a list will also mean that it’s made up of people that you know are interested and responding to your marketing efforts. This list should be treasured and will help you immensely when devising your next marketing campaign.
Identify Your Audience
This might seem like an obvious one, but surprisingly it’s often overlooked. It stands to reason that the amount of effort and time you put into a campaign is used to its full potential to get the return on investment that you want. The simplest way to boost your ROI is through targeting those that would be interested in what you have to offer. The more targeting you do, the more effective your direct mail will be.
Not identifying your target audience can lead to an underwhelming response and won’t give you the results that you want. Drilling down your audience by spending time getting to know your best buyers will increase engagement. Analysing criteria such as demographic, what their interests are and buying trends are all significant points when building a quality mailing list.
Once your target audience has been researched and you’ve built a list of names, it’s vital that you respond to those people in a way that magnifies their importance to you as a business. And what better way to do it than with simple personalisation?
It’s all too easy to send out blanket content, but a little personalisation can go a long way. Personalising a piece of marketing mail lets your audience feel that you know them and what their needs are, talking about people in general doesn’t give the reader a reason to involve themselves.
When writing content, refer to the reader by name as much as possible. This will establish rapport. Gender also plays a big role in how a piece of marketing mail is perceived, if something is likely to appeal more to women than to men, tailor any offers or voucher codes that may be included.
Keep It Clean
So, you’ve gathered all information, done the analysing to identify your target audience and you have some killer content and superb offers ready to go out on the next mailing. But wait, just how up to date is the information that you have?
As people move house or pass away, it’s easy for mailing lists to soon go out of date and using old address data can be fatal for any campaign, wasting what could be a good chunk of your marketing mail, you also won’t get a true representation of how effective your efforts have been due to this waste. It’s imperative that your mailing list is as up to date as it can be before you start. Using a data cleansing service can help you clean up your mailing list.
Any of these five issues can easily see a direct mail campaign ruined and a lot of money wasted. Ensuring you put in the effort to quality check, analyse your audience, build a strong rapport with your target market and stay on top of the data of those that you’re targeting… There really is no doubt you’ll see the results you’re hoping for with your direct mail marketing.