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6 Steps to Success with Direct Mail

Blog post   •   Aug 30, 2013 09:34 BST

Step 1: Planning 

The first step is to define what success will look like, what you are trying to achieve and who you are going to speak to? Define your direction and objectives, what are you trying to achieve? Sales and customer acquisition 
  • Product promotion
  • Lead generation
  • Brand awareness 
  • CRM and retention
Define your target audience, who are you trying to contact?
  • Businesses 
  • Consumers
  • Enthusiasts
  • Specific age groups
  • Job Titles Locations

Stage 2: Creating/Acquiring a Mailing List

Your mailing list will be shaped by your target audience and objectives, particularly if you are marketing to customers, prospects or a list of cold data.  One option is to buy mailing lists – if you take this route be sure to find a reputable supplier of high quality, up to date and relevant data. You should also ensure that the list excludes anyone that has requested not to be mailed, either direct to you or through the Mail Preference Service (MPS).You can also use data you have built on prospects and customers, although be sure to make sure that this data is cleansed and up to date. When creating a list you should also consider ways to segment the data in response to your target audience. If you are targeting businesses, then factors such as job title, company size and location are all likely to be useful. If you are targeting consumers then age, sex and income or hobbies and interests are likely to play a part in refining your list. It may sound obvious but always keep your target audience in mind when selecting data. 

Stage 3: Creating the Collateral 

First create a proposition that appeals to the target audience and differentiates you from your competitors. Base messaging on the wants, needs and interests of your target audience.Make it easy for recipients to respond, either over the phone, mail or online. Include “calls to action” to encourage recipients to respond to the mail piece. Use striking, attractive and unique designs to ensure the mailing piece is memorable.

Stage 4: Preparing the Mail

Ensure you have all of the required materials – paper, envelopes etc... Have your mail printed (only after stringent proof reading). Define the size of mail send as this will have a large effect on the postage costs. Define the envelope messaging and fold mailing piece to the appropriate size. Identify the cheaper ways to post e.g Royal Maill discounts for bulk mailings.Send out the mail so that it arrives at the most appropriate time for your audience.Personalise the mail for maximum impact and relevance.

Stage 5: Measuring Success

To ensure you can measure success use trackable contact methods such as a special phone number or a unique website landing page such as company.co.uk/postal-offer. With the contact methods in place, you can then use analytics software and CRM systems to help understand metrics such as initial response rates, conversions and lifetime customer value. Measure metrics directly against the objectives, to assess the return on Investment.

Stage 6: Evaluate & Refine

Following the campaign it’s important to look at the overall performance, understanding what elements were successful and which failed. With this understanding you can then use this insight to improve your next campaign. 

If you are planning on conducting your own direct mail marketing, please get in touch with one of our experts to discuss how Neopost equipment can help you generate the largest ROI from your campaigns.

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