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Best Practices for Direct Mail Campaigns

With inboxes filling up with multiple email marketing messages, invites and the like, some small businesses are turning to direct mail as a way to stand out with specific audiences. While direct mail requires more time, more money, and more creativity, with the right planning and these best practices, your direct mail campaign can prove well worth the effort.

Be Picky

While email marketing is targeted, it’s still mass communication compared to direct mail, because with a few tweaks and some automated personalization, you can send essentially the same email to hundreds and to thousands of people. The effort of direct mail campaigns limits your recipients so your time and money will be rewarded when you have a very clear, narrow and disciplined target audience.

Choose only the most valuable targets to engage with in this medium to ensure the greatest rewards.

Be Unique

Direct mail isn’t rare enough to be noticed by itself; you have to think of something more. Use your direct mail campaign as a unique opportunity to do something different and fun. While a letter may still be one of the most read pieces in any direct mail package, a hand written note will be more impactful. An old school pop-up brochure or a clever inclusion of augmented reality will get more attention than static pieces that are easily thrown away. Design is not the place to be cheap so prepare to spend a little more to get a bigger response.

Be Generous

Being unique doesn’t mean getting away from classic coupons and samples, especially if your company sells product. Adding a valuable piece to your direct mail package will encourage your audience to try your product, but doing it in a unique way will make them excited to do it.

Be Short…Or Not

The information you include in your mail package pieces will depend on what you’re trying to achieve. If the goal of your campaign is to drive responses, you’ll want to include as much information as possible and a variety of ways for recipients to respond.

If your goal is to generate sales leads however, the information in your direct mail package will serve your efforts better if they are short, less detailed and more focused on the value your products or services deliver to their lives, rather than features and benefits.

Regardless of your goals, be sure to repeat the most relevant information and include your call to action throughout your package and multiple ways to answer that call; with a simple website URL, QR code, hashtag, etc.

While direct mail doesn’t end up on the front page of your favorite marketing blog, with these best practices, it will end up in front of your target audience.

Image: Photospin

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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