How to Avoid the Worst Direct Mail Mistakes

Some people believe that direct mail has lost its relevance in the marketing world and digital marketing performs remarkably better for small businesses. But this is a misconception.

Direct mail gets more attention and has higher conversion rates when correctly carried out. If you wish to get phenomenal results from a direct mail campaign, you should plan and execute it carefully and avoid mistakes.

Direct mail does get attention, but the critical question is what you do with that attention. Once you have captured the audience, you must direct them carefully to the outcome you are after.

Here are the top mistakes people make with their direct mail campaigns every day and end up getting poor results.

1. The Wrong List
The first on the list is the one that happens because of a lack of focus and understanding. Your direct mail campaign should begin with research on the target audience. For example, if you are selling an expensive item, the mail recipient should be in affluent areas.

Using a mailing list that does not accurately represent your target audience is perhaps the biggest mistake you may commit. Many people don’t think about their targeted audience when launching a direct mail campaign, and mostly it is because of this mistake that they receive an inadequate response.

Targeting everyone isn’t a marketing strategy. It is just plain lazy. Ensure that your list is not obsolete and will target the right audience.

2. Poor Copy
The message you are sending is crucial to hocking and convincing your existing and potential customers or clients. The copy of your direct mail may be brief, but it needs to use the right words.
Too much copy is boring to read, so keep it short. Use white space to make your message more readable and presentable. Use catchy adjectives and verbs that fly off of the page.

Don’t exaggerate your product or service with superlatives and explain your product or service’s benefits in clear language.

Avoid copy errors. Proofreading is an essential aspect of all of your marketing campaigns. Wrong phone numbers, addresses, or other vital information will mar your mail campaign.

One reason people toss direct mail quickly is the poor and boring headline that fails to grab attention. Somewhere between dull headlines and gimmicks is the intelligent use of a headline that hooks people without insulting their intelligence.

Look at your competitors’ direct mail copy and other businesses that you like and use it as a model. Tailor your message correctly. Show your mail copy to colleagues and friends and find out if the message is clear and convincing.

3. Wrong Time
The time of delivery of your mail also has a significant effect on your direct mail campaign’s performance. Even the right audience becomes the wrong audience at the wrong time.
If you are running a direct mail campaign in Sydney, know when your mailer will land at the destination and sync it with the season and cultural, social and political events. The time of mail landing has a direct connection with the buying decision of the customer.
Offering people Christmas-related items when the festival has passed will get you nothing but disappointment. Offering people beach stuff in winters is another example of wrong timing.

4. No or Unclear Call to Action
Another big reason many direct mail campaigns fail is a messy or no call to action. Your mail must contain a single, enormous, memorable and easy to complete the call to action.

Failure to tell the readers what you want them to do will defeat the point of sending direct mail. Do you want the recipients to call you? E-mail you? Buy something? Send in an enclosed postcard? Make the purpose of your mail clear and provide them with a straightforward and easy way to respond.

Many of your prospects won’t respond to your direct mail piece immediately. But if your call to action is easy to remember, you are more likely to get your audience to take action as they are likely to remember it even days later. That is precisely how direct mail works.

5. Lack of Testing
Testing is crucial to any endeavour’s success, but too many people learn the hard way that what they are doing is not practical. This is also true with direct mail marketing. Test out anything you plan to use to advertise or market your business is essential to see if it makes the desired impact. Create a list of your regular clients and staff for getting feedback on the direct mail piece you have created.

6. Form Over Function
A common mistake is focusing too much on the design elements at the cost of the direct mail piece’s content. By doing so, you will have marvellous graphics, shapes, and colours, but your message will fail to create the desired result.

7. No Follow-Up
Many businesses send out fliers, brochures and other materials without any follow-up plan. Call your customers and prospects and mail them additional information that you promise in your pitch. Fulfil requests for the product or services without undue delays.

Not following up on your marketing campaign is the cardinal sin. If you get responses, action or interest, you have to take action accordingly. If people are walking into your store, ask them about the direct mail campaign. If they are filling out forms on your site or emailing you, thank them for it. Follow up with every email, call and social media message.

8. No Expert Advice
Direct mailing has been around for decades because it works very well. But planning, designing and executing a successful and cost-effective direct mail campaign requires a whole string of skills and experience.

The experts know the right words to use and the best ways to get results. But far too few people tap into this bank of knowledge. If you think you lack that knowledge and those skills, hire an expert or a good mail house.

Alpha Mail offers a free consultation and quote. You can save your money and time by availing yourself of this service for your direct mail campaign in Sydney.

Facts Vs Fictions

Empirical data shows that consumers respond more favourably to direct mail and here are some stats to back this claim:

  • An International Communications Research survey revealed that 73% of consumers prefer direct mail over other advertising methods.
  • 40% of consumers go for trying new businesses after receiving direct mail.

Done strategically, direct mail is a fantastic way to increase revenue. The trick is figuring out how to plan the marketing campaign for your business. A key factor in the rate of success concerns the type of direct mail you produce and send out. If you are uncertain about making direct mail a part of your marketing strategy or not sure if it will yield the desired results, you can contact us for a free consultation.