When done right, your creative direct mail marketing ideas can rake in a major ROI. You’ll see user engagement rise, customer loyalty blossom, and sales figures multiply.
But there’s a flip side to that coin: If you invest in high-tech, custom mailers haphazardly, it can cost your company a fortune. Countless brands have seen their product margins dissipate thanks to a half-baked marketing plan.
Avoiding such a fate isn’t rocket science - it’s a matter of doing your due diligence and understanding the lay of the land. As you move forward, keep in mind these seven cardinal sins of direct mail marketing:
1. Settling for low-quality design. Looking cheap isn’t just a zero for your marketing game; it’s a dramatic negative. Low-end mail will always either be ignored (a zero) or reflect poorly on your brand (a negative). Sending something for the sake of sending something is a no-win strategy, plain and simple.
This takes the top spot here because high-end design is our top priority at Red Paper Plane. From pop up holiday cards to video brochures and mailers, we’re committed to producing unique templates that grab attention in all the ways you want them to. Our 3D proofing feature even lets you realistically visualize your mailer prior to production.
2. Failing to identify your target audience. Before you hit ‘send,’ make sure you properly research your most valuable prospects. You want whatever innovative direct mail pieces you come up with to immediately entice them.
To do so, you probably want to take a good long look at your website analytics, industry trends, competitor movements, mailing list behavior, relevant demographic values, and more. Figure out your users’ greatest pain points and then adopt their language as you provide a solution.
3. Skimping on printing expenses. Quality, quality, quality. Again, we really can’t stress this enough.
Oftentimes, the direct mail piece you send will be the only connection people have with your business. Investing in the materials of its production is pretty much a necessity for presenting an impressive appearance and, in turn, for solidifying a stronger brand reputation.
4. Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket. Direct mail is a great promotional tool. But it can’t be your only tool.
Like all marketing techniques, it works best if integrated into a larger, multi-faceted campaign. You want your mail advertising to complement your other initiatives - website design, email outreach, social media presence, and more.
The keys, then, are diversification and cohesion. So get creative with your marketing - send coupons, host charity events, run sweepstakes, establish loyalty programs - but at the end of the day, make sure all of it works together for a common goal.
5. Lacking a specific call to action. You don’t want your creative mailers to simply grab attention. You want them to inspire a response. Spur your audience into action!
The problem is that lots of mailers push brand awareness without a defined CTA. Be clear: What are you offering and why do they need it? And then make the next steps as easy as possible - provide a phone number to call, a webpage to visit, or a store to drop by.
Don’t leave them any room for uncertainty; keep them on a well-defined path without any forks in the road.
6. Neglecting to follow up. You’ve undoubtedly spent time and money planning out your direct mail campaign, right? Given all the effort you put into establishing a line of connection with your prospects, why would you sever that tie?
Even if you receive a “not interested” response, the door isn’t definitively closed to future communication. Remember: 80 percent of sales take place after the fifth follow-up. But if you aren’t following up at all, that percentage drops to zero.
With those recipients, you’ll want to take a highly delicate approach - be considerate and avoid seeming overbearing. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but that’s no reason to give up on them.
7. Omitting your greatest asset: The benefits. Ensure that your value proposition is just that - valuable. But not from your point of view - from the users’.
People are acutely aware of “what’s in it for them,” so make sure that your offer speaks directly to this. You want to look beyond features to clearly express the benefits of your offer. That’s how you position yourself as a cost-effective way of meeting their business needs.
A final bonus mistake: Staying too rigid
If your campaign isn’t meeting your response expectations, it may be time to think twice about your direct mail advertising strategy. Failure is only detrimental if you don’t use it to re-work and refine your approach.
Don’t stick to your guns if they aren’t bringing about results. Adopt an agile mindset centered around flexibility so that each marketing initiative lets you adapt and evolve for the better.