Don’t Become Junk: Top 5 Things to Do to Increase the Success of Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns


Posted on:

Has your company tried a direct mail campaign in the past and not had much success? There are some things you can do to stand out from the crowd, encourage customers to hang onto your direct mail pieces instead of tossing them into the round file, and retain those people as customers for years to come. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that 65% of people wound up making a purchase because of a piece of direct mail they received and reported the finding in their Factbook for 2013.

Because of the popularity of web advertising, new opportunities have opened up for small business owners to try out print advertising options at a more reasonable rate. John Schulte, President and Chief Manager of the National, stated, “Over these last few years, magazines, newspapers, and various forms of direct mail have taken a back seat to the web, causing a decline in revenue for many of these media outlets, thus opening up a buyer’s market for small businesses to buy targeted print advertising at a bargain rate.”

However, without a plan in place for how to utilize the opportunities afforded from direct mail, you may just spin your wheels and waste your advertising dollars. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to encourage success with your direct mail efforts.

1. Use Postcards Instead of Letters
The DMA conducted a Response Rate Report in 2012 and discovered that postcard marketing beats letters almost every time. It provides a cheaper means of reaching each lead at around $54.10 per lead while print ads and telemarketing run $60.50 and $190.49 respectively.

2. Write a Call to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) is simply a way to point the customer to what you want him to do. According to Amazing Mail, it’s a good idea to place three CTAs per mail piece. So, if you have a postcard and your goal is to get them to sign up for a special contest you’re running, you might have a headline that reads “Enter Our Amazing Contest”, a cut out that reads “Enter Now!” and a note at the bottom of the page that says, “Remember to enter our contest at www.amazingcontest.com.” This puts the contest idea in front of them three times. You can use this method with whatever your goal for the direct mail piece is, from getting them to sign up for a newsletter to getting them to call for a free estimate.

3. Mail More than Once
According to the DMA report, people are about 46% more likely to respond if they’ve heard of the company before. So, sending out more than one mailing is a way to generate name recognition with customers you’re trying to reach. Also, it makes sense once you’ve invested the time and money into building a mailing list to reach out to customers more than once for cost effectiveness. However, don’t irritate the customer. Once every two weeks is fine, but once every other day is overkill.

4. Customize the Mailing
Imagine that you just received two postcards or letters in your mailbox. They read like this:

  • Dear John, Your friend Mary Doe gave me your name and address and thought you might be interested in our free summer air conditioning inspection.
  • Dear Friend, Would you be interested in a free summer air conditioning inspection?

While you will probably read the rest of the postcard sent by someone your friend Mary trusts, you probably are going to toss the second example. After all, they don’t even know your name.

Even if you purchase names and addresses, you should also develop your own mailing list by asking current customers to provide the names and addresses of family and friends who might be interested in your services. This also gives you a chance to personalize the mailing. You can now write a short note that says the person referred you and you wanted to let them know about a special offer.

5. Follow-Up Is Vital
The best direct mail campaign in the history of direct mail won’t equal success if you don’t have a solid follow-up plan in place. According to InfoUsa, a Direct Mail consulting company, it is important to plan “four additional contacts after that initial mailing.” These can include more postcards, an email, and/or a phone call. “Many business-to-business marketers choose all three – a mailing along with an email and then a follow-up phone call.”

If you’ve been reluctant to try direct mail because you just don’t know where to start, the tips above should give you a good idea of what you need to accomplish a successful mailing. Remember to have a plan in place to deal with those who respond to your mailing. If you offered free inspections, you’ll want to make sure you have the staff in place to meet those requests quickly and efficiently. If you offered a contest, who will collect entries and how will a winner be chosen? Failing to plan ahead could make your company look unprofessional and hinder the success of your direct mail effort. So, have that plan in place, send out your postcards, and watch your business grow.

Lori Soard

Posted In: Sales & Marketing

Looking for an ACCA QA Accredited Contractor?

Are you a homeowner or building manager?

BECOME AN ACCA MEMBER

join now

PLUS It's Risk Free!

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST and Get the Latest HVACR Industry Updates.