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The fool proof strategies you need to run a direct mail campaign

Want to grow your business and entice potential customers, but aren't sure where to start? Your prospective clients are very busy and they most probably spend their days being bombarded by emails, phone calls and letter. If you want your direct mail marketing piece to have an impact then you need to find a way to stand out – be prepared to think outside the box.

  1. 1.       Firstly let’s define your goal: A clear objective will set the tone for the rest of the project, do you want to increase your customer base in a certain geographical area? Or are you interested in boosting the sales of a particular product?
  2. 2.       Assess your audience: It is key that you understand what motivates and tempts them, what you are offering must tempt them, be it money off a particular product or a yearly discount or even wavering the joining fee if they decided to join within the next 6 months.
  3. 3.       An up-to-date database: When it comes to direct mail campaign an accurate and up-to-date database is more valuable than gold. You don’t want your message ending up in the wrong pigeon hole, because it most likely won’t ever find its way back. You can keep it up to date by just giving them a quick call to make sure that particular person is still in post.
  4. 4.       Make it personal: A round robin email won’t get you any responses, the power is in personal communication. Therefore, you must use the recipient’s name and make them feel as if they are the only ones being targeted and that their business is really important to the business.
  5. 5.       Don’t just do it once: It is a well-known fact that business doesn’t always happen immediately, in fact, many suggest is can be at least 5 touches to convert a lead and develop a worthwhile conversation with your target audience. Don’t get deterred if you feel like no one is listening first time around, it is important to be persistent with these campaigns and remember, not everyone will be interested.
  6. 6.       Develop a multi-channel strategy: Do you know that your business niche prefer being contacted via email or even through social media? It is important that you are tailoring the strategy direct to a particular person.
  7. 7.       Call to action: Don’t make customers search around for the offer, hand it to them on a silver platter – they are much more likely to take advantage of the offer if it is readily available.
  8. 8.       Promote your product: Everyone likes receiving gifts, especially if it’s either food or something useful! Research done by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) shows adding a promo item can increase response rates by up to 50%, so find a promotional product that relates to your organisation and send it out along with your advertisement.
  9. 9.       Measure your response: You can measure the response of direct mail, and this means you can precise with your targeting and more realistic with the predicted outcomes for the future.
  10. 10.   Learn for next time: It is important to take on board what you were successful in and what could have gone better. Analysis of the campaign can be really useful for future campaigns, you’ll be able to continually improve the effectiveness of the programme over time.


Now, you have got the basics, it’s equally as important to plan, plan and plan some more. The building of your database of potential customers is key and must be done with care and plenty of time. Otherwise you may not get your desired response. Finally, I’ll leave you with these top tips that I’ve learnt over the years:

1st class:

Think about it; if you’re leafing through a stack of mail, and you come across an “urgent” message, what are you going to open first? 99% of people will open the priority package before anything else. That’s because that envelope conveys one thing: importance. Not only will your marketing message actually get opened, but it will probably actually get read—and your clients will be impressed by your urgency. A first class stamp will tell the reader that their business is important to them.

Don’t be afraid to be different!

If you want your direct mail marketing to stand out above the crowd, it’s going to have to physically stand out. Are you sending something through the post? Then make sure your envelop looks different – or even smells different! If your target market are females then can you really beat chocolate scented paper? I don’t think so – give them a talking point, they’ll soon share it round the office! Just using bright colours and unique designs can get you noticed.


Oh yes, I really do mean handwriting those envelopes, they are must more likely to get read if they have a hand written envelope.  And after all, isn’t that the whole point? Getting them to read it. In fact, I have just last week received a fantastic direct mail campaign – a birthday card and some mints came through the post from How’s My Driving? and what a fantastic idea! They looked great. Perhaps check out Pinterest for some ideas.

Keep the lines of communication open:

After the campaign, it is important that you keep following up the contacts you’ve made, even if they don’t initially take up the offer you’ve given to them. They may decide to buy/use your product/service in 6 months or maybe even a year’s times, the direct mail campaign won’t be a waste if you keep in contact with your new found connections.

And finally, good luck and get brain storming!