Direct mail is not an obsolete form of marketing. It remains a powerful way to grab attention and convert leads. 2018 saw significant growth in direct mail response rates from 2017 (a 3.9% increase in house rates and a 2.1% increase in prospect response rates). Direct mail response rates were higher in 2018 than when the report started in 2003. Even with digital marketing taking center stage, smart marketers do not dismiss direct mail.
Direct mail might be a rewarding addition to your marketing strategy. Your customers respond to many different forms of brand communication. Direct mail can increase response rates by literally putting your content in the hands of your existing customers and targeted prospects. To get the most out of your strategy, use these six direct mail design tips from the experts at Boingo Graphics.
Build a Smart Mailing List
Don’t waste money or resources on sending mail-outs to the wrong people. Direct mail campaigns are most effective when you take time to tailor the people on your mailing list. Target people who have already expressed an interest in your brand, services, or products. Use lead scoring to identify warm and hot leads.
Warm leads are the customers who have opened your emails, clicked on your links, submitted contact forms, and browsed your website. User behavior data can give you the information you need to identify leads that are a good fit for your direct mail marketing campaigns. Choose people who are already interested in your company for the best odds of recipients paying attention to your mailers and taking your CTA.
Design Your Cards With Conversions in Mind
The design of your direct mail marketing materials is imperative to the overall effectiveness of your campaign. Direct mail is a visual art. While it should also include information about your offer or product, it should mainly serve to grab attention through stunning visuals. The graphic design of your postcard or pamphlet should be bright, fun, and in conjunction with the style or tone of your other marketing materials. Choose a larger size if you go with postcards, as this gives you the opportunity to include more information without appearing crammed.
Convey as much information as you can through visuals such as illustrations, images, layout, and white space. Keep your words to a minimum for the greatest impact on customers. Make sure the printer you choose can guarantee high-quality imagery. You want your customers to see the very best representation of your company possible. Always use both sides of a postcard to maximize your reach. The goal should be to hook recipients into wanting to learn more, and taking your CTA.
Capitalize on Personalization
Direct mail gives you the opportunity to personalize your marketing efforts for each individual recipient. Since you have precise control over who is receiving and reading your marketing materials, you can personalize each postcard for the recipient. Almost 60% of shoppers believe personalization has a noticeable influence on purchasing decisions. Thirty-one percent (31%) say they wish brands would personalize their shopping experiences more than they currently are. Personalization is an important marketing tool, and one you can use to your advantage during a direct mail campaign.
Include a Call to Action
Your direct mail materials must include a call to action (CTA), just as a landing page on your website would. Your CTA should express a feeling of urgency, but it shouldn’t be too pushy. Customers today do not want to feel yelled at or harassed by companies. They want to feel that they can get something of value from following up with a CTA. Make recipients feel like they will miss out if they don’t call your company or take the desired action. Create a special offer with a deadline, for example, or state that you have limited quantities. Make sure your direct mail CTA prompts readers to take the next step in the sales funnel.
Don’t Forget Postage Regulations
One of the unique factors involved in direct mail campaigns is postage. Postage is often the largest expense connected to direct mailers. Keeping postage regulations in mind during the design phase of your postcards can help you control and minimize your related costs. You could potentially save a lot of money on postage fees by designing direct mailers that only require one stamp, rather than additional or special postage.
Take advantage of postcard postage rates for the cheapest mailers. Keep your postcards to 6” by 4.25” for a postage rate that’s less than a standard stamp. Include local customers in your direct mail campaign and send them through USPS’s Every Door Direct Mail program. This gives you discounted postage for recipients within five miles of your business. If you plan ahead for the timeline of your campaign, send cards through bulk-rate or standard class postage. This will take longer to reach recipients, but it can save money.
Test and Tweak Your Direct Mail Campaign
Continuously give your direct mail efforts their best odds of success by testing your campaign and making changes to improve results. Send out mailers in groups of 1,000. Measure the response you receive from these mailers. Then, test out a slightly different strategy – perhaps a different personalization technique or a new way to give your CTA – on 1,000 more.
Continue testing different strategies over time to see what garners the greatest response. You can also send out two different types of mailers simultaneously to see which “wins” the best results. The winner will become your control. Keep designing mailers to test against your control. Use the top performer as your current direct mail model
Start an Effective Direct Mail Campaign today
A bonus tip for an effective direct mail marketing campaign is to partner with a printing provider you can trust for top-quality products. Boingo Graphics can handle all aspects of your direct mailers, from ideation to creation. We are a full-service firm with marketing services, integrated print, commercial printing, direct mail fulfillment, and more. We can help you find postage discounts and deliver exceptional products without hassle. If you want to learn more about how you can get serious returns on investment for a direct mail campaign, contact Boingo Graphics and we’d be happy to help.