52 hints to rock your direct mail campaign

Yesterday we had a successful Alexander’s Academy event that focused on direct mail. Kelly Thompson, who led the seminar, offered 52 Hints to Rock your Mail Campaign. In order to make sure our attendees play their cards right with direct mail campaigns, Kelly gave each attendee a deck of cards featuring these 52 tips. We’d like to share them with you, so that you too have a good hand in the marketing game.

Hearts--Return on Investment

1. Have a great offer.
2. Set a hard expiration date.
3. Forecast.
4. Spend a sufficient amount of money in order to get an appropriate ROI.
5. Always use tracking and reporting tools to measure response.
6. Tailor your message.
7. Don’t mail to anyone who won’t buy from you.
8. Send multiple pieces in a campaign.
9. Go to the well to close the gap--- look to existing customers, people who have already purchased from you.
10. Follow up.
11. Create offers that generate buzz.
12. Give-aways rock.
13. Make it easy for the recipient to respond, contact you and buy.

Diamonds—The Flash

1. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Copy good designs.
2. Fill your design notebook with other great designs.
3. Stay on brand.
4. Use less fonts.
5. Make your piece so substantial it can’t be thrown away.
6. Make the piece fun and quirky.Don't explain so much; give people credit to get it.
7. Die cutting, embossing, and other design features go a long way.
8. Great paper makes a great impression.
9. Send a beautifully packaged sample.
10. Make your piece the most obnoxious piece in the mailbox.
11. Spend $100 on your very best prospect, instead of $1 on 100 shots in the dark.
12. Make a piece that makes your contacts say, “Wow, this is cool.”
13. Once a year, mail something crazy.


1. Design to your envelope.
2. Pay someone to spell and grammar check your piece.
3. Inspect a finished piece before it gets mailed.
4. Keep a list of all your suppliers and what they do best.
5. Mail a piece to your house.
6. Don’t use too much copy.
7. No cheap tricks. It makes you look tacky.
8. Use big, bold claims.
9. Be careful when using a postcard. Would a bigger and bolder piece be better?
10. Test the market.
11. Utilize your press sheet (if you don’t know what this means, talk to your printer).
12. Get professional help managing data.
13. Personalization does not make your message relevant.


1. Consult your post office experts.
2. Prototype everything.
3. Design time is cheaper than postage.
4. Use first class to vet your lists.
5. Set immoveable deadlines with everyone.
6. Drop ship to Canada or other foreign countries.
7. Hand-deliver great offers and high end promotional pieces.
8. Understand postal delivery timelines.
9. Spend 33 percent of your time understanding who your client is.
10. Invite your printer to your brainstorming meetings.
11. Ask your printer for ways to economize without compromise.
12. Review your deadlines every day.
13. Don’t mail square pieces.

We hope that these tips help you create a rocking mail campaign. If you have any questions about printing or direct mail marketing, contact us. We specialize in variable data, printing and strategic marketing.

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