For many marketing teams, direct mail is their go-to, delivering an MVP performance every time. But other marketers have just started adding it to their media mix, in light of its impressive ROI and response rates. But then they step up to the plate and swiftly strike out, proving once again that creating an effective direct mail campaign isn’t as simple as it looks.

A little coaching can go a long way. We provide guidance to both newbies and experienced pros to help them get the most out of their direct mail efforts for the least amount of money. Here are a few of the most common rookie mistakes that can cost you dearly!

Not integrating your direct mail with other tactics

Direct mail works best when it’s part of a multi-tactic campaign. This can look different for every company, brand and industry. It may also differ, depending on where your potential buyer is in the purchasing journey. Invite recipients to continue their journey by including your URL and social media icons on your mailer; then, you might consider following up with an email. There’s no “one size fits all” approach here, and we’d be happy to help you crack the code on the right content and cadence (or how many touches, how often).

An underwhelming CTA

You remember that famous baseball movie line: “If you build it, they will come?” Unfortunately, that’s not how direct mail works. You can have a beautiful design, but if your call to action (CTA) doesn’t include clear and actionable steps for your audience, you won’t get the results you want.

Your CTA should be very specific, convey urgency and add value. Here are a few examples:

Good: Call us now.
Better: Call us now to receive your free quote at no obligation.

Good: Donate today.
Better: Donate today to help make a difference – and we’ll match your donation.

A poorly maintained list

If your list is filled with people who aren’t really interested or haven’t engaged with your company, or if there are too many incomplete or undeliverable addresses, that’s money out of your pocket. You’ve probably heard the perils of purchasing an email list – the results aren’t much better for postal mail lists.

Here’s where integration comes into play! One of the best ways to build your database is with useful Web content that sells the value of a relationship with your business and persuades would-be customers to sign up to receive additional communications. Then direct potential customers to your website with tactics that include banner ads, social media and, of course, by featuring your URL on your direct mail.

Not making your direct mail drops measurable/trackable

You may not be able to A/B test quite as quickly as you can with email, but there are still ways to measure your mailer’s performance, such as using a vanity URL, a unique offer, custom coupon or QR codes. You can easily see if your mailer is working or not by tallying the number of website visits via the unique URL or coupons redeemed and compare it to the total number of mailers sent.

When you do finally work up to A/B testing, you’ll be able to incorporate these elements and have a simple way to understand which version is the better performer.

Relying on spell check rather than having it proofread

Spell checking your files is a good, necessary starter, but you’ll only catch the most egregious spelling and grammar errors, much less aesthetic problems, such as a font that suddenly changes in the middle of a sentence. A live human should review your files before they go to print. For best results, select a printer that can help you check your files and finished pieces at every step of the process.

Maximize Your Results: Talk to Us Early!

Even if you’ve been in the game for years, you can get more out of your direct mail by choosing a printer who’s a true partner in your success. Include us in the planning stages so we can help you save money on printing and mailing while providing guidance on everything related to your creative. Contact us to learn more.

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Get in touch with us today and let’s collaborate to help your business grow.