When you’ve put hours upon hours of hard work into a direct mail campaign the last thing you want is a poor response, or even worse, no idea how the campaign performed at all! We’ve put together a list of six of the most common mistakes when it comes to designing, sending and measuring the results of your direct mail marketing campaigns to help you avoid these pitfalls.


1. Not defining objectives early on

Ultimately all marketing activities should have an objective, whether it’s to raise brand awareness, bring sales leads or advertise an event and so on. Your direct mail should have a clear goal and a great way to achieve that is by thinking about its SMART objectives early on.

SMART objectives can vary but as a general rule they should be:

S – specific

M – measurable

A – achievable

R – relevant

T – time-bound

Once you’ve set these objectives it will become easier to build a purposeful and measurable direct mail campaign.


2. Failing to include a compelling offer

Adding an offer like a discount or free trial can be the perfect incentive to get customers to carry out a follow-on action after receiving your direct mail. However, in a world where sales and free-shipping are a constant fixture in every store and website, you need to ensure the discount you offer is of value to the customer. One way to do this is to target a segment of your mailing list with a discount that is unique and useful to them. For example, if you have a segment of parents with young children, offering a discount on nappies or toys will have a unique and appropriate appeal.


3. Forgetting to add a call to action

No matter how good your design, copy and offer may be, if you don’t tell a customer the next steps on their journey to your product or service, you will most likely see a much lower response rate. The best strategy here is to make it as easy as possible – for example including a QR code, website address, social media account or adding the contact details and address of your company.

Including directive words in your call to action can also help to improve response rates. For example ‘call now’, ‘learn more’ or ‘visit today’.


4. Not proof reading or testing design

A spelling or grammar mistake can discredit any marketing campaign, but it can be especially problematic with direct mail because it can’t just be amended as it could with something online, so proofing before you even get to the printing stage is vital. Design should also be considered, to ensure that all copy is legible and there are no obvious mistakes.


5. Sending to a mailing list that has not been cleaned or segmented

There are many ways a bad data list can have a negative impact on your direct mail campaign, from wasted budget to complaints or even fines. Cleaning your mail list means removing any duplicated or invalid addresses, as well as the details of anyone who has moved home or passed away. Mailbox offers a Data Health Check service that will identify any bad data in your list, to save you money on your next send.

If you can segment your data list, this is a fantastic way to create more targeted campaigns – for example targeting existing customers only, or customers who have purchased a specific type of product, with a unique and compelling offer.


6. Not tracking campaign results

It can be easy to see why many people struggle to see how direct mail response rates can be measured – especially when you compare them to the incredibly specific data we now have at our fingertips when it comes to digital campaigns. There are however ways to track offline marketing, including:

  • Creating a dedicated landing page address if you would like recipients to visit your website.
  • Adding a unique code to your coupon or offer (whether this is to be used in-store or online.)
  • Asking! Whether this is online or over the phone, by simply asking customers where they heard about your brand you can gain some insight into the effectiveness of your marketing channels.


Expertise for your next direct mail campaign

For specialist advice on high quality yet cost-effective targeted, data-driven printed communications contact Mailbox at the Taylor Bloxham Group by emailing callme@mailbox-direct.co.uk today or by calling 0116 240 5712.

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