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Thursday, January 7, 2016

6 Important Steps to Prepare Your Direct Mail for Success

Direct mail marketing is one of the leaders in Return on Investment and Cost per lead. But in order to achieve these high ROIs and low Costs per leads, you have to ensure that your direct mail campaign is effective and avoids mistakes that will hurt your results. If you follow the tips and suggestions below you will be well on your way to receiving great results!

1. Proofread your content - and verify your information.

It’s happened to all of us. You’re in a rush to get your project out the door, all the copywriting is done, time to get it off to the design department! Don’t forget the all important proof-reading step. The last thing you, and we as your printer, want to see are typos in your already printed documents. Don’t be the only one to look over your document either, have a co-worker or trusted friend look it over as well. If you have the money in your budget you can also have it checked over by a professional proof-reading service. Also be sure that any data or statistics you use reflect your most current data.

Bonus tip: Want to save time, and money? Of course you do, who doesn’t. One way to do this is to proof-read and verify your content before sending your project out to be designed. Doing so will avoid costly and time consuming revisions.

2. Get your mail opened with creative and eye-catching design.

Make your recipients first impression of your mailer a positive one to ensure that it is read. If the first impression of your piece is drab and dull, there’s a good chance your recipient will ignore it. Print a tagline that calls the recipients attention to what’s inside. Is there a special offer, or a great opportunity to help your organization inside? Let the reader know right away!

Bonus tip: Unique Sizes, Bulging envelope, and interesting finishing ideas can help you get your mail piece opened. But they can also dramatically increase the cost of your mailing in both production, and postage (as well as impact your timeline). Check with us on the cost of your idea before setting your heart on a concept. We may have another great idea that works just as well at a better cost.

3. Make sure you have a Call to Action, and make sure it’s easy to use.

The recipient of your mail loves your piece, he’s read it and is ready for the next step! Make sure that next step is easy to find and it spells out exactly what you want him to do next. Whether it’s to contact you for more information on your services, a website to order your product, or to donate to your cause, it’s your job to make it apparent and easy for them to do. 

Bonus tip: There are several ways to make it easy for your recipients to get in touch with you, whether it be QR Codes, PURLs or even a specific phone number JUST for this campaign. Some of these will also help you to track the results of the campaign.

4. Know your data.

A great mailer that was beautifully designed, with an excellent call to action will get no results if you send it to the wrong person! Also you’ll get your best results with a highly targeted mailing. Segment your mailing so your message is more relevant to their interests and needs. For fundraisers, this could mean different letters for previous donors, and new prospects. For people selling products, it could be segmented by what a consumer has purchased from you in the past.

Bonus tip: A clean list could also help you out of sticky situations. By running your list through the NCOA (National Change of Address) list, if the recipient has reported a move with the post office recently, the address will be updated to the newly reported address. You can also suppress your mailing by different factors, such as Deceased suppression, Prison, Nursing Homes, Trailer Parks, Military Bases, and several other factors.

5. Know your timeline.

The design is complete - the copy is perfect it’s in the printers hands now so it’ll be going out tomorrow and in your recipients mail-boxes in 4 days, just in time for your big conference!

Not so fast, it takes time to print and get your project ready for mailing. Contact our production team early in your process and find out just how long your project will take in production. Don’t forget time in the design and proofing department, production time doesn’t begin until your piece is approved to run. If you know the date you want the piece in the hands of your recipients you can then work backwards from that date to give yourself a timeline on when all of the steps in the process need to be done.

Bonus tip: We understand that sometimes you’re under the gun and need something out FAST! Contact us and together we can find ways to streamline your project by simplifying, or coming up with other ideas to get your project out faster!

6. Ignoring other Channels of contact

It’s said it takes 7 points of contact to make a sale. These points of contact can be from various sources, Direct Mail, Email, Social Media, Phone, or even face-to-face. It’s also said that the best marketing campaigns are mixed media campaign meaning a campaign that hits several channels with the same or very similar messages. The same goes with non-profit and fundraising appeals, it may take more than one appeal letter or other mailing to get a donation.

Need help getting those additional touches? Contact us to find out how we can help!