Direct mail is an effective and affordable way to reach new customers and maintain old ones. Good direct mail pieces require more than a mailing list and a postcard. You need a strong concept, targeted lists, and to keep a close eye on cost.
An effective mailing piece stands out in mailboxes and speaks to the recipient in a compelling way. These are 3 key things you should always keep in mind:
1. Is your concept unique?
People’s mailboxes are flooded with offers every day. If you want to stand out, you need a concept that is relevant to the recipient and easy to understand. A good direct mail piece has a clear value proposition and a clear offer and/or call to action.
Once you have the offer and language, you need to ensure the presentation is strong. Even an amazing deal will be ignored if the mailing doesn’t grab attention. Work with a designer to find the right balance of style, solicitation, and suitability for your audience.
2. Is it targeted?
Database and list management are the foundations of effective direct mail. A good list helps you maintain high deliverability, accurately estimate mailing costs, and see a strong ROI on each mailing. If you don’t have a strong list management approach, it’s likely that you are wasting time and money.
Data management is even more important when you are buying or renting a list because you have an additional built-in cost. You’ll want a mailing partner that can help you develop the list, clean it, and avoid duplication from your existing database.
As direct mail experts, we work with you to develop an ideal customer profile based on demographics, affinities, and past purchases. From there we can build a list that meets your targeting needs and budget. The next step is to compare the rented or purchased list with your existing records to avoid duplication. Lastly, the list needs to be updated and certified with a program through the USPS that provides the most up-to-date addresses and zip codes and scrubs non-performing or obsolete records.
Between your house list and purchased lists, you can reach people around the world. Good database and list management makes sure that you and your customers get the most benefit from your mailings.
3. Are you getting the best postal rates?
Direct mail is a numbers game. You send X number of direct mail pieces to get Y return. When you first start, you might be surprised by the results. But over time, you learn to estimate what you’ll get from each mailing.
One of the best ways to enhance your ROI is to optimize mailings for the best postal rate discount possible. The discounts will vary based on media and batch sizes and sometimes time allotted for delivery; you should always keep rates in mind and work to get the greatest discount.
A high-quality direct mail house will help you analyze your mailings and identify opportunities to save. The great thing about monitoring and maximizing discounts is that they scale with the size of your mailing. Optimizing your mailings for discounts will allow you to control costs even as you pursue new concepts and send to new lists.
Direct mail is both a science and an art. Don’t be afraid to try new concepts or new list sources. Keep these three tips in mind and you’ll find your lists and your business growing in no time. Here at Porath Print Source, we are ready to assist you all the way from concept to print to delivery!