5 Epic Fails with Direct Mail

Direct mail is a marketing medium which is sometimes criticized as being outdated or ineffective, yet direct mail continues to be a successful strategy for many businesses which achieves significant return on investment. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common direct mail marketing mistakes that businesses make and how you can avoid them:

1. Bad mailing lists

No, we’re not referring to Santa’s naughty list, but rather an indiscriminate, poor quality mailing list. One of the top reasons that businesses fail at direct mail marketing is that they don’t pay enough attention to their database. Often the contacts in your mailing list contain outdated contact details and your database needs to be updated. You may also need to review your targeting. You could be targeting too broad a market segment or geographic area in the hopes that quantity over quality will lead to sales. Your money may be better invested by focusing more heavily on a smaller segment of the market or geographic area where the audience is more closely aligned with your target demographic.

2. No measurements

One of the key project management principles lies in identifying and then measuring the indicators of success. When run a direct mail marketing campaign for your business, it should be treated like any other project. You should work out how you are going to measure success and then use these tools to evaluate the success of your campaign. At every stage, you should collect as much data as possible about your marketing campaign, so that you can identify what worked and change what didn’t work for the next campaign.

3. Not making it personal

When we open direct mail, we usually check to see whether the mail is addressed to us or is relevant to us in some way. That’s why you should also personalise your direct mail wherever possible. You can include a letter is addressed to the recipient or go one step further and tailor the content to the specific needs of the recipient. For example, you might include a specific offer or refer to particular products that are relevant to mums if you know that the recipient is female and has children.

4. Not having a customer-focus

Direct marketing is more complex than people think. It is easy to fall into the trap of selling by simply informing people about the features and benefits of your product. Direct mail should focus on the customer’s needs, and how your product or service can help them meet that need. Mail that doesn’t achieve this goal is likely to end up in the recycling bin.

5. No incentives

Does your direct mail campaign have a hook? What is the incentive for the recipient to take action in response to your direct mail campaign? Make your customer feel special by offering them an exclusive offer, discount, giveaway, free delivery, etc. Create a sense of urgency by limiting the time that the offer is available. Make sure that your direct mail message ends with a clear call to action and you will effectively harness the power of direct mail marketing.

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