Tuesday, August 20, 2013

10 Reasons Why Your Direct Mail Campaign is Terrible

It's time for some tough love. All too often a company will run a direct mail campaign (usually without the help of an experienced company), sending out one piece to a few thousand people. They don't bother with proper follow-up, then assume that "direct mail doesn't work" (even though there's been numerous studies proving exactly the opposite).Rarely do these companies look at their own campaign and try to correct the issues, instead taking a very shortsighted point of view. So before you decide direct mail doesn't work, check out these 10 reasons why it didn't work and try applying them to your campaign:

  • You didn't Test: Did you send out a small batch in order to test your campaign or just have a graphic designer whip up a piece then send it out to everyone on your mailing list? With any kind of marketing you need to test in order to get the best results. When you don't test, you marketing can get very expensive and ineffective.
  • No Follow Up: A campaign should never be one and done. What's the plan after the piece goes out?
  • Bad or Non Existent Call to Action: You know that you want the customer to go to your website to take advantage of your amazing offer, but is it obvious to them that's what they're supposed to do?
  • Your Campaign Isn't Focused: Speaking of your mailing list- Who will be receiving this direct mail piece? Are you sending one out to everyone who's ever interacted with your business? Instead focus your campaign on a specific audience. That way you can cater the piece towards them, which will lead to a better response rate.
  • Boring Design: Try to look at it objectively: Are the colors and images in your piece boring? Is the envelope unexciting and plain?
  • Lack of Branding: Is it obvious who sent the direct mail piece? All of your marketing should be an extension of your brand. A generic piece will get ignored.
  • Not Researching What Works: How can you know what makes a good postcard if you haven't done any research. Check out the direct mail you receive personally- What do you find effective? What do you think doesn't work?
  • Too Much Fluff: You've got to be good at editing in order to create an effective direct mail piece. Keeping it direct and to the point will help you focus on what's important in your piece and increase the likelihood the recipient will read it.
  • Not Integrating with other Marketing: Remember, your marketing efforts do not live in a bubble. If you send out a direct mail piece, try sending the recipient an email a few day later. All your marketing should be working together in order to achieve a common goal.
  • Not Proofreading: Could you imagine sending out a direct mail piece to hundreds (or thousands) of people, only then to notice you've misspelled a word? It actually happens more often than you think! Always proofread multiple times and have several people look it over too.
What other direct mails tips should I add to the list?

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