10 Common Direct Mail Mistakes To Avoid

Discover the 10 common direct mail mistakes that are best avoided. These direct marketing mail mistakes will cost companies time and money. Read on for more!

 The ability to create intriguing and personalized direct mail pieces is helping grab consumers’ attention in a day and age where we are constantly bombarded by online advertisements. According to the Data & Marketing Association, customer response rates increased year-over-year by an impressive 43 percent. Even better, prospect response rates have more than doubled to a 190 percent increase. To make the most of your direct mail marketing avoid these mistakes:

  1. Didn’t identify your audience – Don’t let your direct mail piece fall on deaf ears, or in this case, blind eyes. Determine your ideal target demographic, which can be as general as age or as targeted as location, hobbies and shopping habits. Then mail accordingly. You might have created the most brilliant direct mail piece for dog grooming, but it will go completely unnoticed if sent to a dog-less home.
  2. Bought or rented a bad mailing list – Unfortunately, purchased mailing lists with out-of-date information are commonplace. Make sure you have a reliable list that targets your desired audience. Your best mailing list is always your own in-house list; the one that is compiled from customers or prospects that have shown interest or clicked on one of your online banners/ads. You’ll already be a step ahead because you know they have a genuine interest in your business.
  3. Mailing list isn’t accurate – Updating your mailing list may seem timely and tedious, but it can provide a big payoff in the end. Correct outdated addresses of people that have moved or passed away. You can compare your information to the National Change of Address list to help reduce undeliverable mail. It’s also beneficial to check your list for duplicate names. Inaccurate mailing lists cost you time, money and will fail to reach your potential customers. Test and retest the lists until you find the perfect match that delivers the best results.
  4. Follow rules for self-mailer – Following the United States Postal Service’s self-mailer guidelines helps the USPS automation equipment run more efficiently, which saves everyone time and money. Not following these guidelines can be very costly. The self-mailer, a folded sheet of paper, should measure between 3.5 inches by 5 inches to 6 inches by 10.5 inches. If your mailer is less than one ounce it should be made from 70 pound paper stock. Use 80-pound paper stock or higher if the self-mailer is more than one ounce. Finally, opening options should never be located on the bottom of the mail piece.
  5. Not using an enticing offer to get them to respond – Dangling a carrot certainly helps direct mail response rates. Be sure to include a VERY special offer, coupons, a free gift or “buy 2 get 1 free” to help generate excitement and persuade consumer action. Experiment with different offers over time to see which offers are most popular.
  6. Message is not personalized – Make your recipients feel like you’re speaking directly to them by utilizing variable printing for personalization. For instance, you have the option to:
  • Change the name to personalize the mail instead of addressing it to “Current Resident.”
  • Put teaser messages on the outside of envelope to entice the consumer, such as, “Save 25% on your next dog grooming appointment . . . details inside!”
  • Switch out images to ones that are more meaningful to various recipients.
  • Use custom geo mapping to provide a different marketing experience and show your audience just how easy it is to get to your place of business.
  1. No “call to action” phrases were used to make it clear what they should do – These phrases work to create a sense of urgency and encourage recipients to take action and contact your business. Try phrases such as:
  • Limited time only!
  • Free brochure
  • Free consultation
  • Sign up for a free trial
  • Call or email us
  • Call today!
  1. It is not motivating, interesting or enticing to the target audience – It is vital to rouse your audience’s interest, otherwise your marketing dollars have been wasted. Research your ideal demographic and use attention-grabbing copy to connect with your target audience.
  2. Use tracking to identify which mail promotions worked best – All of your marketing efforts will be in vain if you don’t track its success. You can track your mail promotions by putting a code on your mail pieces. When an order is placed, require the code to be submitted, if they have one. You’ll know which promotion the sale was generated from so you can gage each promotion’s profitability.
  3. No follow-up – Always respond quickly to orders with a message of gratitude. Answer requests for more information with all the info they need and an offer for additional assistance along with your contact information. Prompt follow-up displays good customer service practices. Also, if a consumer is on the fence about a purchase or commitment, your timely follow-up can help close the sale—an opportunity that might otherwise have been missed.

Reach Millions Of Consumers With Direct Marketing Mail Services

Direct mailing continues to be a highly effective advertising channel, contrary to popular belief. Reach millions of consumers with blended media solutions using shared or solo mail networks. GMS can provide your company economical and cost effective direct marketing mail services. We can prepare mailing lists based on your preferred demographics to ensure you reach your target audience. Contact us here to get started or email us at info@yourgms.com.

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