Effective direct mailing campaigns: 4 secrets you need to know

ManagementSmall Business Marketing

Learn how to create effective direct mailing campaigns: 4 Secrets

Part 3/4: Series for small business owners by Arteest Marketing

It is probably the trickiest promotional activity to track, so here is our take on what makes an effective direct mailing campaign. When it’s time to get into your prospect’s mailbox with a postcard, your hours of effort will get seconds of attention before someone decides to either tack it on the fridge or toss it in the blue bin. Here are 4 secrets that will help your campaign  make it to the kitchen instead of the curb.

  1. Connect with humour or another emotion

Make your prospective customers laugh (or at least crack a smile) when they open the mail; it’s a friendly and genuine way to connect with them. Don’t be afraid to stand out, but make sure your humour is tasteful and not at all offensive. (Check this with a few different people before printing.)

People are more likely to hold on to something that stirs up an emotion, rather than something that feels only like a sales pitch. Charitable organizations do this beautifully. Think of what’s in your customer’s hearts as well as what’s in their heads. For example, an orthodontist can appeal to the desire for a winning smile and a life filled with confidence over low prices. A housecleaner can talk about more free time to enjoy yourself over a clean bathtub. What do you provide for people beyond your basic products or services?

  1. Make your direct mail campaign relatable

This requires some research. Go back to the basics of marketing and ask yourself: Who is your audience? What is his or her age, gender, place of residence, culture, and income? Find similarities and figure out what will make someone more likely to react positively to your message.

One of our clients did a direct mail campaign based on the nostalgia of old cartoons. They combined humour with the knowledge that their ideal demographic would remember and appreciate the style.

  1. Direct mailing campaigns are effective when tracked properly

Take advantage of the online world. Use your offline (e.g., direct mail, magazine advertising) campaign to drive people online to your website. Depending on what you want people to do (your call to action), after reading your flyer or letter, you can track your success in different ways:

  1. a) Discount code

If you operate an e-commerce store, assign a special discount code to your direct mail campaign and ask consumers to use the code before checkout. It will be easy to see how many clients you acquired through that one marketing tactic.

If you own a brick and mortar store, assign a special discount code to your direct mail campaign and ask your customers to bring this code in to the store when they purchase.

  1. b) Landing page

If your intension is to have people sign up for your newsletters and offers, create a designated landing page with a unique web address. Make it short and easy to remember. No one will type a long, complicated URL into the browser.

  1. c) QR code

QR stands for “quick response.” A QR code is a square barcode that can be scanned by a mobile device. From there you can direct prospects to a page on your website that outlines an offer, event details, product details, etc.

  1. Direct mailing campaigns are not effective if you don’t follow up

You created the perfect direct mail piece, sent it out, and tracked your results. Now what? It’s time to analyze and take action accordingly. Divide your leads into categories. For example:

  • Those who followed your call to action and ultimately made a purchase

These customers are the ones you should thank and give special treatment to. Keep sending them offers, ask for their feedback, and reward them. Keep track of them and try hard not to lose them!

  • Those who have followed your call to action and did not make a purchase

You have definitely caught their attention but not yet closed the sale. Sometimes these customers need a second offer. If possible, get feedback from them – find out what stopped them from making a purchase and what you can do to address their needs.

  • Those who did not follow your call to action and did not make a purchase

A second or third attempt is recommended, but do not invest the bulk of your time and do not take rejection personally. You don’t want to “spam” people who are not interested in buying from you, but do remember that it just might not be the right time for them. It’s not a bad idea to keep your brand top of mind.

If you’d like to learn more, check out our Direct Mail PackageAlso, subscribe to receive future posts in your inbox and check out the other 3 parts of the series for small business owners:

Part 1/4 Stand up to stand out: Brand awareness tactics that work

Part 2/4 Four common logo design mistakes and how to avoid them

Part 4/4: Case Study: Thos. R. Birnie & Sons: Hamilton’s most recognized plumbing company


So there you have it! If you follow these steps, you will have more chances to achieve an effective direct mailing campaign! Also, we’d love to hear from you. Do you have more secrets to add? What kinds of marketing pieces get your attention?

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