10 direct mail mistakes to avoid

Direct mail can be a bit complicated, for you to be able to make your direct mail campaign work, it is important to avoid common pitfalls. These can be your copy, your list, or even what you put on your envelope.

1. Not Identifying a Target Audience

You have to choose the right lists, have compelling design and make the perfect offer, there are lots of things that can go wrong.  Here are ten direct mail mistakes to avoid that can help you save money.

Spend some time analysing your best buyers. What is their demographic? What are their other interests? Then use that information to define your most promising mailing list. Sending mails to a random sample of names won’t get you the sales you want instead refine your lists to reach just the people you want. :

2. Location

Another common mistake that some companies are doing is that they are sending mails that are too far from their location. You may need to ask yourself what communities you serve on a daily basis especially if you own a small local business.

It will not make any sense to send direct mail to neighbourhoods outside your traditional market unless you’re planning to open a new location. Instead, a letterbox distribution campaign should just advertise only to those addresses within a fair distance from your business. This can help you to avoid wasting money on prospects that are outside your usual service area that are unlikely to convert.

3. Offer

You do not present a compelling offer. Think about this, there has to be a reason why people should respond to your offer, right? If you are just sending them a piece with information about your product, without any special offer. Even if they’re interested, there’s no reason for them to answer at this time.

However, if you do have a special offer say a discount coupon, a two-for-one deal, a bonus gift, or any other special benefit, people are more likely to read and be engaged with your piece and start to order.

4. Call to action

Here’s another common mistake that most companies forget, especially the newcomers. They sometimes forget to add their Call To Action. The main purpose of advertising is to get prospects to take action. You need to give your audience a reason why should they reach out. So before sending out your next mail, make sure that your pieces include a clear and precise call to action (CTA). 

5. Testing

You are not testing enough. 🙁  If you’re running multiple direct mail campaigns throughout the year, you have to track and measure the success of each mailing and use that data to test changes. Start experimenting within a small group before mailing into your whole list. 

You can also try new formats, offers or even change your headline, it can really make a difference. Do everything you can to continuously improve your performance

6. Design

You are failing to execute a great design for your mail. To grab your audience’s attention it is necessary to have a clean design with easy-to-read print and eye-catching graphics. If your mailpiece is dull and boring, it’s going to blend in with the rest of the mail.

On the other hand, having too many flashy colours and long texts can distract the reader from the message or offer. You may want to work with a professional designer to create a balance between simplicity and professional-looking mailing campaign.

7. Tracking

You are not tracking your results. How will you know if your direct mail campaigns are working or not if you are not tracking the results? Make sure you have a unique tracking method for every point of contact or coupon you have on your direct mail pieces. Just be sure to use different codes for each campaign you send.

8. Message

Another common mistake in direct mail is having an impersonal message to your audience. Keep in mind that the more you can personalise your message, the more your prospects will feel that you are speaking directly to them and that you truly understand what they need and how you can fulfil that need. 

9. Follow-up

Here’s another mistake that you should avoid, having a poor or no follow-up. Think about this, you want your customers to have a pleasant experience and you want them to be one of your loyal customers. So, you should prepare yourself to be able to respond as quickly as possible to their orders or other queries. Prove to them that you really are what you promised them. Give them the best customer experience and your business will flourish.

10. Selling with Postcards

Another major mistake some direct mailers make is trying to sell with a postcard. While postcards are great for prospecting, they’re not really suitable in making a sales pitch. There’s simply not enough space on a postcard to clutter it with all the text that you may have, so remember to just be clear and concise with your messaging. Leave the selling to your sales team. 🙂

How Can You Avoid These Mistakes?

There are lots of things to consider when planning and executing a direct mail campaign. The best way to avoid some of these mistakes is to work with an experienced and trustworthy direct mail company. A good mailer will be able to help you in taking care of all the details so you can focus on what you do best.

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