Don’t Let Your Business Make These 6 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes

There are many reasons to opt for a direct mail marketing strategy for your business. However, too often we see businesses making simple mistakes that threaten the success of the campaign. Today, we’re listing some of these mistakes to avoid so you can boost the success of your direct mail marketing strategy.  

#1: Not targeting a specific market 

Being too general is not only a hindrance to success – it’s actually a waste of money. While generalising your message might seem like a good idea because it can ‘apply to more people’, it’s actually driving away the customers you would have got with a specific message.  

Instead, tailor your message to your specific target market. This way, customers can find out the information they need – particularly, why your product benefits them. Your customers want to feel included through the language you use.  

These are a few techniques you can use to personalise your message: 

  • Write in second person point-of-view (‘you’) 
  • Using the customer’s name in the supporting letter
  • Mailing on the customer’s birthday 

#2: Using over-the-top copy 

The aim of sales copy is to be as specific, concise and helpful as possible. Making general statements that exclude facts is a surefire way to lose the interest of your reader. Therefore, you should try to have clear-cut copy that is easy to understand.  

Your direct mail copy should: 

  • Incorporate the appropriate tone  
  • Be well-researched 
  • Include facts and statistics the reader will find useful 
  • Direct the reader using a call to action 
  • Include headings, image captions and subheadings to split up information 


#3: Not using or knowing key phrases 

Keywords are extremely powerful because they can directly affect the actions of your readers. This is because your readers are looking for familiar signposts to guide them through the marketing material. Having keywords throughout your mail piece hence maintains engagement and often emphasises the perks of your product.  

You should try to incorporate at least a few of these words in your copy: 

  • Free
  • New (for consumers) 
  • Proven (for technical/industrial clients) 
  • No obligation 
  • See inside 

It’s also important to take note of incorrect keyword usage. Using excessive exclamations, caps lock or bold writing can be cues of junk or spam mail. For example, you’re likely to be skeptical of a piece that is titled “Check Out This AMAZING Travel Deal!!!” Instead, something like “Fly To Japan This Year For Less Than $500!” is much more specific, informative and leaves the reader wanting to know more.  


#4: Having a bad mailing list 

For obvious reasons, direct mail marketing relies entirely on your mailing list. A poor mailing list can render your letterbox distribution campaign almost ineffective, no matter how good the copy is.  

When creating your own mailing list, you should use your in-house list. In short, this is a collection of all the details of customers who have previously bought from you or responded to one of your campaigns.  

If you’re planning on using a list broker, you should ensure they are reliable. A credible list broker has connections to good mailing lists. Get them involved before writing the mailing piece. This way, you can tailor the material to those on the list you’ve been provided.  


#5: Saving the best point for last 

Your copy might be punchy and the content might be interesting, but if you’re leaving the best feature of your product for the end, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, aim to have a strong, clear opening so that your reader decides to continue engaging with your material. Try to have the best feature listed closer to the top of the list. 

Some tried and true methods of engagement include: 

  • Asking a question at the start 
  • Answering a common question or problem the reader might face 
  • Starting with the offer upfront (particularly if it’s a money-saving offer) 
  • Inciting curiosity with bold headings 


#6: Not tracking results 

Let’s face it: the only way to measure your success is to literally measure your success. Tracking results means you will have an idea of the most fruitful marketing methods you’ve used in the past. By tracking results, you’ll know what works for your readers and for your company.  

You can track results in a number of ways: 

  • Including codes (such as coupon codes) that can be used for readers to make an order – then counting the number of codes used 
  • Track the number of calls you get from customers using call tracking software 
  • Include a trackable URL on your direct mail 
  • Following up with customers 


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