5 tips to get the best response on your direct mail - PEL HUGHES

Direct mail gets a bad rap, and we all know it. In an ever-evolving world of technology and marketing, there seem to be hundreds of more “glamorous” tools to connect customers with your brand, but businesses still integrate this old school method in their efforts.


Because direct mail is not dead.

According to a 2016 study by the Data and Marketing Association, the amount of direct mail sent out has decreased, but the engagement it drives has increased by 23 percent. Not only that, but according to the Direct Mail Association, 65 percent of consumers of all ages have bought something as a result of receiving a piece of direct mail. This doesn’t mean people love all direct mail, but they are reacting to better targeting and aesthetically pleasing pieces.

So the question is this: how can you make sure your business gets a slice of that 23 percent?

Here are five tips to keep in mind while forming your direct mail campaign:

  • Know your objective

As with literally any strategy, you have to know what your objective is, and it must be crystal clear. Think of the objective as a guiding light. Without it, you will wander around bumping into things and never really getting anywhere.

An objective is a focused goal. It could be to…

  • Increase sales among _____
  • Improve brand awareness among _____
  • Introduce new products or services
  • Grow market share

Once you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish, you will have a pointed focus. This will result in a piece of direct mail that is purposeful, clear, and cost effective.

Many times, are tempted to target a huge group of people due to a fear of alienating other potential consumers.

But the truth is that without a clear, targeted objective, you are wasting your money by sending out a piece of mail that won’t resonate with anyone.

  • Have a good list

Gone are the days of “send it to as many humans as possible – somebody will bite,” for two main reasons.

  1. They won’t just “bite”
  2. It’s too expensive

If the message and offering is a watered-down blip that will “appeal to everyone” and is then sent to everyone, you will probably appeal to no one.

Instead, use your customer demographic statistics and consumer preference research to whittle down the list of people who will find your offering worthwhile.

To gather the addresses of those who might show interest in your product or service, consider using a direct mail list vendor or broker who has been curating lists of consumers for decades.

If the targeted group you hope to find has not yet been targeted by a previous list, work on developing your own list from people who have bought your product or service before.

  • Have a clear call to action

You can create the most beautiful piece of mail to send to the doorsteps of the most finely groomed mailing list recipients, but if you offer no call to action, you’ve wasted your time.

So think about what it is exactly that you want your customer to do. Do you want them to follow you on social media? To sign up for an email list? To redeem a promotional offer? Figure out what you want their next step to be, and make it clear as day.

If you offer multiple actions, your customer could be confused and do nothing.

Some examples of great CTAs are:

  • “Discover your design style! Find decorating ideas, entertainment tips and help for you next project. Follow Us!”
  • “Like Free Prizes? Like us on Facebook!”
  • “Scan the code with your smartphone for a special coupon download”

    Know your competition

“Keep your friends close but your enemies closer” applies to the direct mail world as well. Take the time to study what your competitors are doing and if it’s working. Avoiding their mistakes and capitalizing on their successes means less wasted time and money for you.  

  • Look good

And here’s where we shine…

If you want people to like what you’ve got to offer, you have to look good. It’s a little vain and superficial, but that’s the deal. A cheesy looking direct mailer will most likely travel right from the mailbox into the recycle bin, but you can do your best to grab the recipient’s attention before this happens.

At Pel Hughes, we offer amazing digital and offset printing services, knowledge of how to manage a direct mail campaign, and so much more. If you don’t believe us, check out what we did for N’tinis and let us know what we can do to help your business today.