Industry Insights

How to Create a Successful Mail Campaign in 2024 – Adam Stafford, Thought Leadership

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What makes print and direct mail such an effective marketing tool?

As a marketing medium, mail is unique. It can reach a place that no other form of advertising or marketing can – physically in to the hands of your target audience.

But why does that matter? Why should you invest your marketing budget on physical mail?

Many marketers think that all marketing mediums are equal, with some believing that digital marketing prevails in today digital-centric world; however, this simply isn’t true. Data shows us time and time again that when an item of mail lands within a household, it’s held, read, shared multiple times and is often kept in the home for a significant period. This means that your marketing is having an impact on your consumer again, and again, and again.

Another unignorable reason that mail cuts through as a marketing method is because of just how little of it there is when compared marketing mediums. Just look how many letters are sent when compared with emails! There are around 3 trillion emails sent per day in the UK, which is over 100 emails per person, compared to the less than half a letter per person, per day that the average consumer receives.

Having made the case for using direct mail, I’ve put together a simple guide on how to do it well:

Step 1. Plan – Why are you marketing?  

Decide what you want to achieve in your marketing campaign– it may sound simple, but take time to really think this through.

  • Do you want to attract new customers through your marketing? If so how many? What is the lifetime value of a customer?
  • Are you writing to existing customers to sell them something new or encouraging a new customer base?
  • What action do you want to encourage? Do you want them to call, email, visit your store/website or refer a friend?
  • Are you trying to sell a product or service, or is your marketing mail a branding exercise, for retention or for information only?
  • If you are selling, what are you selling? Most businesses have more than one product, service or option for customers to choose from so depending upon your plan, you could be targeting anything single product to your whole catalogue and obviously that will inform what you send and to whom.
  • If you are selling, how much is each order worth to your business? This could effect decisions around your marketing budget and your campaign.
  • What is your target response rate, and your expected return on investment? Make this realistic and write this down. Ensure you have measurable KPI’s, otherwise how will you measure success?

Step 2. Data – Who are you marketing to?

Data can mean anything; it’s just another word for information. What data really means for us when marekting is ‘people’. Our target audience – who are we writing to, and will they want to buy what we’re selling?

If they are existing customers, then you’re off to a good start. If it’s about acquiring new customers, then existing customers can still a good place to start. By understanding who your customers are right now, you can better identify who your next customer is most likely to be. You can then strategically buy ‘look a like’ data to top up your current data set. This will ensure your marketing is landing on the door mat of potential new customers that have the same avatar as your exsisting buyers. Our Pure Data service can help you with this – speak to our expert team, who can support you in enhancing your data set.

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Top Tip: Keep your data clean!

It’s good practice, and can save you a lot of effort and money! Data degrades quickly as people move to a new house, circumstances change and so on. Just because someone was an on-profile customer yesterday doesn’t mean they will be forever. Cleansing your data set before sending out a marketing campaign is an essential step to ensure the campaigns success. We are currently offering a free data health check – click here to claim your’s today.

Step 3. The Message – What’s your point?

All great marketing has one thing in common; a clear and IMPORTANT message, with the emphasis on IMPORTANT. “If you have nothing to say, don’t say it.” (Mark Twain)

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that what you are sending should be something that on the balance of probability, the recipient is going to be interested in. It has to be relevant to them.

Of course, you’ll have a better chance of knowing that if you’ve followed Step 2.

You need a clear call to action. What behaviour did you decide you wanted to encourage back in step 1? If you want them to pick up the phone, say so loud and clear.

The truth is that every good business is in part a ‘good’ business because people actually want and need what they are selling, whether it be leisure, services, finance, food or anything else. Don’t be shy to sell your product or service in your marketing – shout about it in your mail! I think we need to remind ourselves of that from time to time. We should never apologise or shy away from projecting our products onto our audience as what we’re really doing is solving people’s problems for them.

Basically, if we get our mail marketing right, our marketing allows us to help more people!

Step 4. The Design

It doesn’t have to be a letter, or postcard but guess what? That works really well and is often the most cost-effective method, which is why a big chunk of direct marketing is sent in those formats. The decision of which format to go for will be informed by how much content you have, and to a large degree what your budget is.

  • Make sure that your brand is front and centre (this does not have to be literally; you can place your logo wherever it looks best) but it’s who you are and that is as important as what you are selling, perhaps even more so.
  • Make sure that you give their audience as many ways as possible to respond and make it easy to do so! Don’t be afraid to have telephone numbers, QR codes, web URLs, postal addresses and social media tags all clear and present.
  • Having a real person’s name and/or face, whether it be at the bottom of a letter works really well as it immediately gives your business a human face. This helps to build rapport before your customer’s have even made contact with you.

With a large marketing budget, you can utilise augmented reality, scented packaging and 3D pop outs but if you’re targeting a lot of people on a smaller budget, then there really isn’t anything wrong with good old paper in letter or postcard format. It’s what you put on the paper that matters.

Don’t be too wordy, or complicated. Your job here is just to give them a reason to complete a desired action, not to list every feature and benefit of your product, service or organisation.

Man reading a letter

In short, mail is a great medium for marketing. It promises a great return on investment when done well. Consumers love it, keep it and share it. It grabs their attention and stays in their household. If you’re thinking about using mail, reach out to us today – we’re experts in the field and would love to support you on your journey.


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Industry Insights