5 Tips For Getting Your Direct Mail Message Read

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Being in business for 40 years has given me some insight into the direct mail business.

It used to be that direct mail was the low cost option for marketing. Now, with all of the digital marketing methods out there, direct mail was not as cost effective as it used to be. However, direct mail still plays an important role in marketing and is worth the investment.

Here at Bluegrass, we are in the home stretch of this political season. One thing I can tell you is that direct mail is still the preferred method in this industry. But why? The targeting capabilities and the level of personalization that can be achieved through direct mail is unique. These qualities carry over to many other industries as well. The key, though, to any successful direct mail campaign is getting your message read.

It’s a letter, not a newsletter.

Personalized letters have their place in the direct mail world, but should be used sparingly in your marketing mix. The general public doesn’t have the attention span to read a letter that is sharing general information about your company. Letters should be tailored to the recipient, and should contain important information that specifically affects them. Above all, your message should be concise.

Make your point known.

Whether you’re sending a postcard, tri-fold brochure or a letter, a well-planned layout is more effective than slapping words on paper. Every type of marketing has a message hierarchy. Figure out what is most important, and pare down the rest. This echoes the point that your message should be concise, no matter what the medium. Partnering with a graphic designer to figure out the most aesthetically pleasing way to emphasize your main points will pay off in the long run.

Make it personal.

I can’t stress enough the importance of personalization in direct mail. With today’s technology, there is no excuse for a generic message. Going a step beyond Dear Mr. Doe, Variable Digital Printing allows for copy and images to be personalized as well. A message that is this unique to an individual has high returns.

It never hurts to ask.

Every piece of direct mail your company sends out should have a call to action. Whether it’s directly asking for a sale or even just to connect on social media, provide next steps for the recipient. Some people argue that providing your contact information counts as a call to action. While the case can be made for this thinking, not including a direct ask is a wasted opportunity.

Follow the rules.

One of the easiest ways to make sure your message is getting through to your customers is to make sure it actually ends up in their mailbox. Following the United States Postal Service guidelines for postcards and letters will ensure that your mail piece will be delivered. Also, make sure that the address doesn’t cover up any important content on your postcards.

Check out our resource “Five Strengths of Direct Mail” to learn more about direct mail.


Bill Nichols

October 24, 2014

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