Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5 Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Are you wasting money? It's a simple question, and yet few business owners ask themselves that before launching their direct mail campaign. When executed correctly, direct mail can be one of the most cost efficient ways to generate new customers. But if you're new to direct mail (and even if you're not) it can be easy to fall in to these expensive pitfalls. Here's our list of 5 direct mail mistakes to avoid at all costs:
  1. Not Updating Your Mailing List/Using a Bad List: Perhaps you've accumulated a huge mailing list over the past few years, but when was the last time you did a little Spring cleaning? Are all the addresses still up to date and accurate? Not only that, but also keep in mind that just because your list is 10,000 people, this particular direct mail piece might not be for everyone. Or if you're instead buying a list, make sure you are very selective when choosing it. Do a great deal of research before spending any money, as sometimes lists can be no good.
  2. What's Your Call to Action? Not having a clear call to action is a sure fire way to create a direct mail campaign that will fail. A call to action is a short and concise way of letting the recipient know how they can take you up on your offer. Something like "Vist our Website Now!", "Call Now before this Great offer ends" will give people short and clear instructions on how to get that great deal you're offering. Speaking of which...
  3. Are You Offering a Deal That's Worthwhile? Think about the reason why you're sending out this direct mail piece and try to view it objectively. If you were a recipient, would you really be interested in this deal (be honest). If you're not so sure, than this is not a compelling offer, and your recipients will ignore it. Run the offer by a few other people, and if necessary, test the deal on a small batch first to see if it works.
  4. Skimping on Creative: If you don't have a graphic designer in-house, and you're not exactly comfortable with photoshop, make sure you hire a competent and professional graphic designer. The creative design of your printed envelopes and your proofs are everything, so make sure it looks great.
  5. Not Following Up: You've put so much work in to launching your direct mail campaign, why wouldn't you plan on following up with the recipients? Don't just send out the direct mail pieces and then sit by the phone. Get prepared to handle those responses, and if you don't get the desired results, don't be afraid to phone a few of the recipients. You can use it as research in to why your campaign did or did not work.

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