7 common direct mail mistakes: How to not mess up your direct mail campaign

Direct mail should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. We’ve found that spending a good amount of money on direct mail can yield a huge ROI. If executed well, direct mailings are often the most effective piece of your marketing campaigns. However, direct mail campaigns can be expensive and a total waste of money if you aren’t following some basic principles.

Here are 7 common direct mail mistakes - things to avoid when working on your direct mail campaign:

1. A hidden call to action

We’ve seen far too many mailers without any visible call-out item. You’ve put all this effort and money into getting your potential customer or client to read the mail piece, but you’ve made it hard for them to figure out what you want. When brainstorming and designing your direct mailer make sure your call to action is clear, and easy to find.

2. Not including your printer

Your printer is (or at least should be) the expert on direct mail campaigns. They’ll be able to guide you according to your budget and goals. Details like postage costs, postcard dimension restrictions and printing methods for your mailer are an essential part of planning a direct mail campaign. A good printer can answer all those questions about presorting, paper weights and run-times. When you include your printer in the planning process you’ll meet deadlines and have a more effective response.

3. Forgetting to send a test mailer

direct mail - mailboxYou should always send out a few test mailers. There are a number of reasons for this. First, you need to know that the post office can mail that specific size of mail. You also want to see how long it takes you direct mail piece to arrive in your target’s mailbox. If you want your piece in the mailbox by a certain date, you need to be sure you give the postal service enough time to deliver it.

4. Bad design

We can’t stress the importance of good design enough. If you want people to read your direct mailer, you’ve got to make it worth their time to look at. You’re spending money to mail the piece, so invest a little money to make it look great. Test your design on others, make sure you have a good amount of feedback before sending any designs out the door.

5. Scrimping on printing costs

We know that direct mail campaigns aren’t always cheap, but wouldn’t you rather have a large, beautifully printed and creative piece that gets the attention of the people you send it to, rather than a small 4X6 postcard that the majority of people you send it to throw it away without really even looking it? We’ve found that those who invest in good design and printing, creating mailers that stand out, are far more effective than those small and boring postcards.

6. Not integrating it with other marketing tactics

Sometimes we have a client come in and tell us their past mailing wasn’t very effective. Most of the time, we find out that those clients didn’t follow up the direct mail piece with any other communication tactic. Don’t just send a mailer and expect your audience to act immediately. A good marketing strategy will integrate your printed piece with other marketing tactics - social media and perhaps a follow-up phone call or a visit from a sales rep.

7. A bad offer

If you’re going to offer a deal on your direct mail piece, make it worth the target audience's time and effort to take action on the offer. Hopefully it goes without saying that giving them a deal that’s easy to pass up isn’t going to yield much of a response.

If you or your business needs help with a direct mail campaign, let us know. We’re here to help strategize, design, print and even mail for you.

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