Direct mail has been a useful business tool for decades, and it’s not going away anytime soon — even if a lot of marketing business has gone digital. It’s not only large corporations that are still using direct mail to reach an audience, but small businesses, grass roots organizations, and everything in between.
But just as there are things you should avoid when designing virtual marketing campaigns, there are common pitfalls in the world of direct mail. For every direct mail marketing campaign that brings success and tangible results to the business behind it, there’s a campaign that didn’t really work out as planned. Understanding the difference between the two might make the different between success and mediocrity for your campaign.
1. Not targeting your audience
One sure way to a failed direct marketing campaign is to spend little or no time developing a plan to target your audience. The more analysis and intelligent thinking that goes into your targeting, the more focused and effective your campaign will be. It sounds complicated, but a experienced direct mail marketing professional can give you tools that simplify your objective and put your goals in focus. Sending your message to a bunch of random mailboxes and crossing your fingers — that’s just not going to cut it.
2. Buying a no-so-good mailing list
Access to quality mailing lists is one of the keys to your success. The problem is, there are a lot of poor quality lists out there, and a lot of “marketing professionals” who want to sell them. Reputable direct mail marketing specialists only deal in reputable lists that provide meaningful opportunities to make an impact.
3. No tracking your results
Success in direct mail marketing doesn’t happen automatically. In most cases, it takes several mailings before you really hone your approach and begin to find the audience you want. Everything constantly changes, including the business landscape and the messages your competition is sending out. Direct mail marketing is an ongoing process of testing and refining your approach. This includes detailed tracking measures that give insights on who is responding to your message, who isn’t, and why.
4. Your message doesn’t grab people
Of course, you can have our audience just right, and you can have the best mailing list in the world, but if your message doesn’t interest people, your efforts will be in vain. Crafting a compelling message and an interesting offer, presenting it in a palatable and well-designed format, and providing a clear call to action — these are important aspects of any direct mail marketing project. Failing in these areas is bound to limit the productivity of your efforts.
How do you avoid these and other direct mail marketing mistakes?
Direct mail marketing may seem like a tricky and complicated subject. The key is having the insight and understanding you need to put the right message in the right hands. Where do you find that insight and understanding? Partnering with a reputable direct mail specialist is perhaps the easiest and most effective way. Don’t look for a company who simply takes your plan and sends out the envelopes. Look for a true partner who brings experience and marketing savvy to the table, and who helps guide you away from common pitfalls that cause direct mail campaigns to fail.