If no one sees it, it doesn’t matter how good it is

How to get your direct mail opened by the right prospects.

There’s a lot at stake when it comes to your direct mail campaign.

Not only does direct mail generally require a more significant financial investment than most times of marketing, but in almost all cases, it requires more of a time investment too.

And whether it’s your own time, or someone else’s time you’re paying for, you don’t want to waste it.

And you certainly don’t want to waste your money either.

You know what’s a massive waste?

That perfectly constructed, carefully crafted piece of direct mail that never gets into your prospect’s hand.

Never gets opened.

Never gets actioned.

So regardless of what else you do to make sure your direct mail is a roaring success, it’s absolutely vital to make sure that it arrives with the right person, and gets opened too.

Here’s how to give yourself the best chance of that happening:

 

1. Ensure your data is correct.

It might sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many people fail at this hurdle.  An incorrect datasheet can cost you thousands of pounds in both print and postage cost as well as lost orders.

To try to prevent this, make sure you start with an up-to-date mailing list, acquired from a source that you can trust.  That’s rule one.

(As an aside if you’re mailing “cold” i.e. it isn’t your own customer or prospect data, then it’s vital that you understand more about the data you’ve procured before sending to it – are they the right people for your product or service?)

 

2. Make sure your message gets seen

Whilst you’ve got more chance of your prospect digesting your sales message through direct mail than you do through email, it isn’t a foregone conclusion.

People generally sort their mail into three piles: “open right away”, “open at some point” and “throw straight into the bin”, and it goes without saying that you want your piece to be one that gets opened straight away.

Anything that looks too “hype-y” or “salesy” is likely to end up in the bin, whereas something that looks interesting and a bit out of the ordinary stands more chance of ending up in the priority pile.

Ultimately, there’s no definite answer regarding the appropriate direct mail piece for you, because it depends on your audience, and consequently, there’s one big thing you can do to give yourself the best chance of getting your message digested:

Find out who’s sending the most direct mail to your audience.

They might not be selling the same product, service or solution to you, but if you can work out which companies are spending the most to market offline to your potential customers, you’ll be able to get a very good idea of what successful mail looks like in that sector.

3. Keep your list clean

The reality is that your list will require cleaning on a regular basis, especially if you’re sending a lot of mail out and regularly getting new data to mail to.

Managing your database to ensure that existing customers don’t get a new customer promotion and that you’re only sending to existing addresses is a sensible thing to do in order to keep your mailing costs as low as possible and give yourself the best chance of getting your mail opened and acted on.

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