There are many similarities between direct mail campaigns and other sales and marketing strategies. The most critical aspect is to ensure your mailings are optimized. The way to do this is just like with any other marketing strategy and that means doing a lot of testing and sticking with it. Many people who are inexperienced with direct mailing or are novices seem to come up against a brick wall.
What they don’t realize is the wall is climbed by testing, optimizing, and then persisting. It’s extremely rare for anyone to be successful in the first round, so don’t anticipate it. This, however, isn’t true for professionals in the DM business who have been at it a long time. However, they reached that point by playing the gaming, testing, optimizing and learning as much as they could.
If you want to do direct mail properly, you need to choose between a postcard or a sealed envelope mailing campaign when you begin. Which you choose depends on your budget, experience and comfort level. If your business is small and your budget limited, it’s best to test the waters with postcards. Keep in mind you’re not limited to the small 4.5″ x 6″ postcards. You might want to use glossy professional postcards that are larger in size. Using effective copy is the key to succeeding with this tactic. You only have a few seconds to get the prospective buyer interested. Adding a call to action, plus your strongest benefit, can help you achieve success. It is important that direct mail list management become part of your business operations everyday.
The reason for this is you should verify the addresses are still valid and deliverable to the person on your list. There is software that you can use that will interface with the National Change of Address Service (NCOA) and U.S. Postal Service to check this out. You can use this software, which sometimes comes with the list rental service you use. You have options and should explore all of them and go with what your budget allows. List management is a strategic part of any direct mail business because the cost of non-deliverable mail adds up.
A great decision to make, especially if you want to have results with your potential clients, is to use direct response copywriters to gain an advantage. Whatever you write, it has to appeal to your audience. That’s what good sales copy will do. You do the same thing when you write sales copy for your online business. Web copy, on the other hand, is written for quick scanning, not reading. The off-line reader needs to be approached in a different manner. Remember this when writing your copy. Of course, writing to your target audience is the same with direct mail. Perhaps you are taking a copywriting course, and there are examples. This will help you write off-line copy very proficiently.
When you are knowledgeable about direct mailing, you can start to set up your own campaigns. But do yourself a favor and don’t get so worked up over it. The first mail campaign is somewhat like creating your first website. You are frustrated with what is going on, but it will be some time before you get positive results. The second website will not seem as problematic and will not take as long to create. The same thing will happen with direct mailings, so just do it.