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.

How do you Prevent Bulk Mailing Campaigns backfiring?

Send Bulk Mail

Bulk mailing campaigns is a direct mail method that allows you to solicit a response from your potential buyers. Some small business owners’ resort to direct mail solutions to obtain immediate sales or find potential buyers for the products and services that they offer. Whatever is the purpose in availing bulk mailing solutions, every business owner must be able to understand with clarity the element of the mailing strategy to ensure success.

What should you Send or Share in Your Bulk Mail?

Send Bulk Mail

A Well-worded Sales Letter goes a long way

Sales letters are proven traditional marketing tool that generates sales. Sales letters must be complete in form and substance. It should generate interest and convince the recipient to initiate a desired action. Sales letters can make the difference in your potential leads to your potential buyers. You should know that a single sales letter cannot do the trick. It takes quite a good mailer to establish rapport with your recipients/potential buyers. You must be able to compel the recipients to get in touch and ask more about your service or product.

clear, Informational flyers spark interest

Informational flyers expand awareness of your company, its products and services. The key ingredient of your informational flyers is not the product features or the service upgrade they can get. It should gently remind your recipients about who you are, what your company is all about and a reminder of the quality of your service or the reason for your products existence.

Newsletters should be informal yet educational

Newsletters are proven to offer greater value to your intended recipients. It may be time consuming, but you cannot underestimate the fact that there are still who appreciate a long good read. Well-drafted newsletters can help improve your credibility and authority in your space. Position yourself as an expert and provide useful tips from your industry that the ordinary reader can relate and put to action immediately. Use your position to advance yourself and your business by implanting good advice.

Seasonal Greeting Cards will show a sign of Goodwill.

We particularly appreciate companies, who take the time to drop a mail and share their well wishes for the holidays. Never ever doubt the value of thoughtful wishes and courteous messages. Never miss an anniversary special to thank your customers for their patronage.

Simple Tips to Make Your Bulk Mailing campaign a success!

Offer incentives to buyers
Offer incentives to buyers

Offer incentives to Your Customers

Everybody loves a good bargain. Special offers make your customer feel valued for their patronage. Establish service or product loyalty by creating irresistible bargains. Incentives have been proven to increase rate of return by 1.5%. A hard offer can be in any form of something free that they can avail when they visit your clinic, store, shop or website. You can offer a FREE DENTAL CLEANING for the first 50 who will turn up your clinic on Monday with the sales letter or coupon you sent.

Customise not just your marketing, but your Envelope

Customise your envelops or papers when sending out your bulk mail. Nothing speaks personal other than a well-designed and carefully chosen envelop or a good art paper used in the printing or a well-meaning postcard for patients. Know your market needs is the ultimate and most basic requirement in marketing.

Test, Test, Test!

Even digital marketers are prompted to test the efficacy of their digital campaigns. For direct mailers, you can test your bulk mail campaigns by sending to small, targeted group. The response rate will tell you if you need to tweak your content and presentation, or upgrade your offer or packaging, or if you are ready to send out to the entire state.

Direct Mail Solutions is one of Australia’s leading mailing service provider that can handle the enormous pain of bulk printing and mailing services. Our in-house mail assembly system provides you with the highest level of professionalism, speed and accuracy in all areas of direct mail solutions.

Are You Overspending on Bulk Mailing?

overspending on Bulk mailing

Bulk mailing can be an inexpensive path to driving traffic to your local store or increasing your overall revenue. To ensure that you are not overspending on your bulk mailing campaign, we’ve prepared a list of cost-effective practices to lessen expenditure.

1. Understand the costs of bulk mailing.

Before engaging the service, it is wise to check with your service provider the necessary expenses to cover in sending out bulk mail campaigns. This will allow you to plan and prepare costs you are comfortable and able to spend.

2. Clean Your Mailing List.

Sanitise your list as frequent as you can. Make it a habit to check and remove bad addresses and duplicated recipients.

If you are sending mail to the incorrect address, or inexistent contacts make you waste money on postage and ultimately on your campaign. Periodically cleansing your mailing lists with duplicates, past customers and deceased recipients will lessen your bulk mailing costs and improve the return of your letterbox distribution efforts.

If you want to know more about Benefits of Bulk Mailing: Read Here

3. Plan Your Campaigns.

It easy to get lost in the process of creating content for your bulk mail campaign, often, the absence of proper planning and project time allocation will cause irreversible mistakes and money loss. Planning your content, design and distribution will help you minimise errors before printing and send- out. Unlike online campaigns, the error in print media will require higher costs in reproduction and correction alone.

4. Watch out for dimensional pricing.

Postage costs rely on size and weight content being mailed. Keep a list of dimensional pricing handy in your office or during pre-planning of material. Send a postcard instead of a letter. Opt for specially designed coupons to drive traffic to your store or get them to visit your website.

bulk mailing templates

5. Respect Your Recipients Option to Unsubscribe.

This is a way of telling them that you value their privacy and preferences. This is also a better way to trim down your list and save on unnecessary postage costs. Sending repeat mailing to recipients who will send them directly to trash is a total waste of your money.

6. Presort Your Mail Accordingly to Avail Special Discounts.

Direct mail providers normally presort mail to ensure faster and more efficient delivery. The local postal office appreciates less work forwarded to them and will offer you a discount in return. Presort by zip code or presort by distribution centres. There are many ways to ease out the process of bulk mailing and get better rates in return.

7. Stay within your postal services regulations.

Bulk mailing is an effective advertising strategy for any business. Be mindful of postal services rules and regulations to ensure fast and efficient service. It will be inconvenient to have everything ready for send-out only to find out that your chosen wrapping or envelope is too heavy for the standard rate. You may have gone too crafty that it affects the weight of the mail, and will require you to cover a more hefty postage fee or worst, you will be asked to recreate and repack, whereby you incur additional costs and charges, not to mention the time involved in ensuring your mailings are compliant to postal regulations.

A local service mailing provider like Direct Mail Solutions understands the prerequisites of postal services. Contracting them for your bulk mailing will significantly reduce the stress in understanding every regulation.

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 


Make Direct Mail More Trustworthy; Avoid These Mistakes

You can put a lot of time and money into a direct mail campaign, however if your content is not believable it is not likely to be successful. Building trust between consumers and your brand is an essential marketing skill, so we’ve listed a few pitfalls that may be holding your campaign back and how to fix them.

Steer clear from superficial content

The best way to connect with your consumers is by providing them with honest, to-the-point content. NEVER include content containing false promises, outrageous or misleading claims/statements, or misrepresentative images in your direct mail. Instead focus on authentic and direct messaging and images (real photos always take preference over generic stock photos) and find a way to relate to your customer.

Out-of-date design

If you’re sending the same direct mail you first designed a few years ago, it’s very unlikely you’ll get a good response rate. It’s important to keep up with the latest design trends, without making your designs gimmicky, in order to captivate your audience. Steer clear from fonts and images that look dated and instead go for a clean yet striking design.

Unclear font

Fonts that are difficult to read, either due to size or typeface, can elicit suspicion in consumers and therefore should be avoided at all costs. Opt for clear, professional typefaces that complement your brand identity and help to deliver your message, and be sure to keep your target audience in mind – if you’re marketing to

Vague testimonials

If you insist on including testimonials in your direct mail campaign, make sure that they are authentic. Testimonials should include a detailed, personalised review of your products or services, alongside the name, suburb, and preferably photograph of the person who provided the testimonial. Whatever you do, do not include a fake testimonial – it is better to have nothing at all than a testimonial that comes across as disingenuous.

By avoiding these common mistakes, your direct mail will come across as more honest, engaging and convincing, which will help you to convert and retain a solid customer base. Direct Mail Solutions are an experienced direct mail services provider and will work with you from design conception right through to delivery to create a winning direct mail campaign.

The Five Biggest Don’ts of Direct Mail

While there is a wealth of information available on how to construct an effective direct mail marketing strategy, you should also consider potential areas where your campaign may get it wrong. By understanding some of the most common direct mail mistakes, you can actively take measures to avoid them in your next campaign. Here are five of the biggest “don’ts” in direct mail.

Don’t: neglect quality control

While the concept, design, tone, and overall aesthetics of your direct mail campaign are important, these elements are nothing without proper quality control. It’s extremely important to thoroughly check your direct mail for errors such as typos, formatting issues and inconsistencies before sending it out to potential clients. By investing in proper editing and proofreading you will be able to maintain a professional image, increasing the likelihood of a successful campaign.

Don’t: forget the importance of a mailing list

You may have the best direct mail campaign in the world, but it won’t be successful without a relevant mailing list. Mailing list rental is valuable service offered by many mailing houses. The right mailing list will ensure you are in touch with a suitable target market, which will inform the structure of your campaign and increase your potential response rate.

Don’t: fail to follow up

Good direct mail marketing isn’t just about making one-off sales; it’s about growing a loyal customer base. Make sure you follow up all responses to your direct mail campaign in order to cultivate an ongoing business relationship with the customer.

Don’t: skip the incentives

A good direct mail campaign will not only be catchy and attractive, it will also a clear incentive. Don’t forget to include an incentive such as a coupon code, special offer, or giveaway in your next campaign.

Don’t: ignore other marketing channels

Multi-level marketing is always the best approach, so it’s important not to neglect your other marketing channels when developing a direct mail campaign. Stay on top of things like social media and digital marketing, and try to integrate them into your direct mail campaign for the best results.

By avoiding these common direct mail mistakes, you will be setting your campaign up to achieve the best possible results. Direct Mail Solutions are a professional mailing house, covering all aspects of direct mail design and distribution.

How to Avoid the Junk Mail Stigma

Whilst there is plenty of evidence to suggest that bulk mail is more effective than digital marketing, many business owners are reticent to use this marketing channel for fear of being perceived as junk mail advertisers. Junk mail is defined as advertising mail that is not wanted, so the challenge for bulk mail advertisers is to create print advertising that is valued and appreciated by the target audience. This week, we look at three key things advertisers can do to avoid having their bulk mail labelled as junk.

Offer the customer something valuable

Traditionally, junk mail advertising uses obnoxious hard sell tactics to promote a business. Whilst this juggernaut approach certainly builds brand familiarity, it comes with the wrong kinds of connotations. Instead of pushing your brand message, try reaching out to the consumer with a voucher or offer that lets them sample your products and services at a discounted rate. Using this approach not only encourages the consumer to take action and approach your business of their own volition, it also attaches a literal value to the advertising you send, thus reducing possibility of it being seen as useless junk.

Invest in quality paper

Another common characteristic of junk mail is the flimsy, low quality paper it’s printed on. Whilst this might seem like a trivial thing, the thickness of the paper you use conveys a lot about the quality of what is printed on it. Classic junk mail advertising is flimsy and lightweight, with GSM somewhere between 50 and 70, but by investing a little more in a properly printed design with a GSM of 120-150 and a gloss or semi matte finish, you can create an aesthetically pleasing document that conveys a message of quality.

Address the target audience

One of the biggest reasons that junk mail is ineffective is because it takes a scattergun approach and tries to apply a homogenous advertising tactic to a broad consumer base. In reality, an effective piece of bulk mail will address the specific challenges faced by it’s target audience and offer a solution, it may also use tactics like addressing envelopes to further individualise the recipient and make them feel valued.

Direct Mail Solutions specialise in helping small and medium sized businesses run successful bulk mail campaigns.


4 Common Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes

Direct mail marketing is a powerful tool but it needs to be used strategically in order to get the best results. In this article, we examine some of the most common mistakes made in direct mail marketing campaigns and how you can avoid them.

Ignoring the customer

The key to great direct mail is writing content which speaks to the needs and desires of your customer rather than the features of your product. The customer plays a central role in this type of marketing as it only works if they feel compelled to act as a result of your letter, so it pays to think carefully about who your target audience is, and what your product or service provides for them. Personalisation can also strengthen your appeal to the customer, and addressing the letter or envelope to them can have a potent psychological impact.

Having the wrong kind of mailing list

All the glossy images, creative copy, and jaw dropping deals in the world wont help your direct mail marketing campaign succeed if you don’t have the right mailing list. It really does pay to do some preliminary research and test your mailing list before you dive into a fully fledged mailing campaign. First and foremost, you need to utilize your existing customer base, as research shows mailing to this group of people produces a response rate which is double that of outside lists. If you are renting a database, work closely with your provider to make sure you select the right mailing list for the niche your business is trying to fill and don’t design your mail out until after the right database has been decided upon.

Not testing

Companies that run large scale mailing campaigns use testing as part of their modus operandi and it really is the only clear-cut way to understand if your mail is having the desired effect. Large companies test everything from content to the formatting of the indicia to ensure they produce the most effective print media possible. Direct mail marketing can be unpredictable, what works in one industry does not necessarily work for another and even brand to brand there can be significant differences in what gets a response and what doesn’t. Even feedback from small scale testing can help you achieve a dramatically different response rate.

Not making an offer

Because direct mail marketing requires an active response from the reader, you need to offer a reward for their efforts. If a piece of mail advertising comes with an offer, then it becomes an item of value and something the customer is more likely to hold onto or display.

Direct Mail Solutions offer an extensive range of direct mail services which can be tailored to suit the needs and scope of your business.

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.