All too often, we receive direct mail pieces that have been thrown together at the last minute. You can tell which pieces were rushed, and your prospects and customers can, too. So let’s clean up your future direct mail campaigns by planning them better. There are five steps to take before you send out your campaign.
Where are you now compared to the competition? Where do you want to be? What is your competition doing? Can you do it better? Set your goals accordingly.
Step 2: Permission
Do you and your team have the authority to plan and execute effective direct mail campaigns? In other words, are you being told what to do, or can you decide what needs to be done, and then do it? If you do not have the authority, find the person who does and work with them to plan out the strategy. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas.
Step 3: Creation
How are you going to go about design, copy and offer? They must work together to make an effective mailer. Will these components be produced in-house or do you need help? Who is going to do what and what will the timeline be? Keep in mind that postal regulations may limit your creativity, so make sure you know the rules.
Step 4: People
Who are you going to send to? This needs to be heavily considered. Do you already have a list or do you need to find a list of the right people for your offer? Should you employ different versions to better target people? Have you built personas so that you know details about who you want to target?
Step 5: Execution
You are now ready to proceed to sending your mail. Can you facilitate the printing and mailing in-house or do you need help? Make sure to assign someone to track results so you know what is working and what is not. The process does not stop once your campaign has been mailed — it continues on.
In this fast-paced world, it is hard to carve out the necessary time to plan and strategize a good direct mail campaign. However, it is also vital to the success of your mailing. Working through all five steps gives you a chance to conceptualize and build a comprehensive campaign.
The goal is never to just get it in the mail. The goal is response. You decide if that is measured by purchases, sign-ups, appointments or another approach based on what you are looking to accomplish. But the results you track need to match with your goal — do not track sign-ups if your goal is purchases.
The whole process may seem daunting, but when you break it down into steps you will find it much easier. And you don’t have to do this alone; there are plenty of companies that can help you create awesome direct mail. The most complicated part is postal regulations, so find someone knowledgeable to consult when you are designing so you do not have to pay extra postage.