Direct mail gets attention, but what do you with that attention? You only have about 3 seconds before your prospect, customer or lead puts the direct mail down so you better make those seconds count. Here are the top 10 mistakes we see people make with their direct mail campaigns every day.
Your Direct Mail Has No Defined Goals
Start with the basics: what will make your campaign a success? Will it be more walk-in traffic, better name recall, or a huge turnout for an event? Set your goals up first and be clear, honest and demanding with how to measure success. Once you have goals, you can measure how close you got to them.
- Pick one goal per campaign.
- Figure out how to track it (we are fans of using direct mail to drive digital action, like using your app or going to a website).
- Make the goal easy to complete. Have a 35 question form? What is wrong with you. Throw that away.
You Picked the Wrong Audience for Your Direct Mail Campaign
Too many people don’t think about their audience when launching a direct mail campaign. Targeting everyone isn’t a marketing strategy, it is just plain lazy. Direct mail doesn’t work for everyone, no channel does, so use direct mail intelligently. Research your market, slice and dice the data, and build segments that join together to reveal your audience. Tailor your message correctly.
Also, the right audience becomes the wrong audience at the wrong time. Get your timing down. Know when your mailer will land and time it with other events in your area, the season or where the customer is in their buying decision.
Think about all those times you bought something on Amazon and then the ads for that item follow you around the Internet. Don’t be like that – get your timing right.
Too Much Copy in Your Direct Mail
Too much copy is boring to read.
Use white space. Use sizzling hot adjectives and verbs that fly off of the page.
Keep it short.
Your Direct Mail Has No Clear Call to Action
Our opinion is that the number reason that direct mail campaigns fail is a muddled call to action. Your direct mail piece must contain one, single call to action. It must be enormous, bold, memorable and easy enough for someone to actually complete.
Pretend your prospect will put your direct mail piece but will remember it, vaguely, days later. Because that is exactly how direct mail works. If your call to action is easy to remember you are more likely to get them to take action.
Here are some tips:
- Seriously, just one call to action.
- Bold, bright colors. Research shows that people remember some colors, like orange, better than others.
- Make your call to action personalized by using Personalized URL, a QR code or personalized copy or images on the piece.
Your Direct Mail Focuses on Features
No one cares about who you are, what you can do or how you got where you are. No one cares if you’re having a good time or if you’re going out of business. Remember: people don’t buy drills, they buy holes in things.
Your direct mail, and the rest of your marketing, can not lead with features. You must lead with value. Too many direct mail campaigns stutter and die because they don’t offer value.
Be relevant and be read.
Only Using Direct Mail as a Coupon
To be clear, sometimes a direct mail coupon is a fabulous idea but unless you already have a relationship with the recipient (they are an existing customer or partner), a direct mail coupon can spur the wrong type of action.
No one wants a customer that is just looking to save a dollar. Those people are mercenaries and they’ll drop you fast for the pennies on the dollar in savings. Here are some ideas to get that same great juice without squeezing a coupon-lemon. (Just go with us, we know that was a weak analogy).
- Send a sample. You get their purchase at full price and a lumpy package gets opened.
- Offer a discount if they refer a friend. Include all the info on the direct mail. This works great because direct mail is perfect for literally giving to a friend.
- Send a catalog personalized to a customer’s taste, so they see products that are curated just for them. Sounds expensive? Impossible? Think again because Printing for Less can make personalizing your direct quick, easy and affordable.
Your Direct Mail Branding is Off
Everyone hates the brand police. But you know what they hate more? Going belly-up because you can’t be consistent with your message, your customers leave you and everyone hates what you’ve become.
Seems dramatic? Well, it is, but that could happen. Being consistent in your marketing messaging is critical. You should be able to boil your company down into one, short and memorable statement (sentences are way too long).
Keep your direct mail bound to that core idea.
- Use the right brand colors.
- Use approved messaging and copy.
- Target audiences that are part of your marketing strategy.
- Give direct mail its own special twist so it can stand alone, but keep it on brand.
Top level branding is pretty high-level, squishy academics. In the real world just remember: follow the style guide.
Your Direct Mail Ignores the Power of Tactile Sensation
Direct mail is the only marketing channel that lets you advertise to fingers. Seem silly? Did you know the human finger is one of the most sensitive fingers in the entire animal kingdom? If your finger was the size of the Earth, you could tell the difference between a house and an SUV.
Why would you pass that up! Add a tactile element to your printed direct mail. Use a textured paper, embossed design or even an element that is normally intended for visual pop like high gloss spot UV coating.
But add small designs for touch, like tiny wrinkles, bumps or ridges. Anything that the finger can process with a touch. If someone feels something startling, they will remember your message longer.
There’s a special coating called SoftTouch that feels like velvet, add it to your next piece.
You Didn’t Think You Could Make Direct Mail Personalized
People respond to their name, birthday or other personal information. Using a technology called Variable Data Printing you can print your direct mail pieces so they are hyper-personalized to your customers.
- Include a customer’s name, birthday or anniversary.
- Change pictures or graphics based on customer age or demographics.
- Change copy on the direct mail piece to keep the message local by referencing their city or sports team.
If you have the data, almost anything is possible with personalized printing.
You Didn’t Follow Up Your Direct Mail
The cardinal sin of any marketing campaign is not following up. If you get responses, action or interest you have to take action. If people are walking into your store, ask them about the direct mail campaign. If they are emailing you or filling out forms on your site, thank them for opening up their mailbox to you.
Follow up with an email, phone call or replying to a social media message. These folks raised their hand, they want to talk to you, do what it takes to make these conversations happen.
The problems that stimy a direct mail campaign aren’t that different from the ones that hamstring other campaigns. Remember to use a mailing service to save time and your sanity, and look into special services like Every Door Direct Mail, which can get your direct mail circulated without needing an address list.
Need help with your print? Talk to a live print expert today: 800-930-7978.