Direct mail is not an easy marketing channel to do right the first time. It takes persistence and perseverance to get the results you want. Angela Duckworth has written a book called “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” This book has many great takeaways for how we can improve our lives, but it is also very applicable to direct mail marketing. Grit means committing to make things better, not waiting to see if it gets better. Grit takes control of a situation and makes things happen. So how can we apply this to direct mail?
- When you consistently look for ways to change your direct mail for the better, you are more likely to find them and make them work.
- When faced with a direct mail failure, identify the problem, fix it, and try harder next time.
- Continue to innovate and change your direct mail formats.
- Be open to all possibilities and the good parts of change.
How can you accomplish these ideas? Ask yourself the following questions:
- What can I do differently this time?
- Is this the right color, right message, right offer?
- What ways can people respond, do I need to change them or add more?
- How is my list doing? Do I need to refresh it?
- Who can help me? Someone on my team, an expert I can reach out to?
Direct mail strategy meetings can be a great way to generate ideas from your team. Ask them to come to the meeting with some sample mailers that they have received in the mail. Keep in mind that you have to try hard things — they push you to do better than you thought you could. They help you grow and create better direct mail. The more you try them the better you will get. As you make changes and try new things, you should test them on only a segment of your list at a time. This A/B test will allow you to see if the changes you have made gave you a better result. After all, the results are what matter. A bad result is not a failure, but an opportunity to change what you are doing and make it better next time. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” Along the way, you also find what does work — do not get discouraged; have grit.
Remember to strive against conforming to direct mail norms. Stand out proudly as something special. Of course, you do need to keep postal regulations in mind so that you are not spending extra on postage. Even with the regulations, you can create fun direct mail that stands out. The more determined and persistent you are in your direct mail marketing, the better your results are going to be. You don’t just will it to happen, you make it happen through relentless testing and change. That is having grit in your direct mail marketing. That is how you have success.