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6 Step Plan To Increase Your Direct Mail Response Rate

August 8, 2017

Direct mailing repeatedly has one of the top response rates among advertising mediums. 3.7% is the industry average for response rate on a direct mailing campaign. Though that may seem low, it is fantastic compared to other mediums like online display ads (.02%), Facebook ads (.03%), and email (.1%). 


Don't worry if your direct mail response is not at the industry average or if you have never done a direct mailing campaign. Follow the steps below to craft a highly successful mailing campaign.



1. Targeting

Before considering the design of your mail piece, you need to decide who you are trying to reach and how you will do it. While it would be nice to advertise to everybody, a cost effective campaign needs to be streamlined to reach the appropriate prospects. Consider the following questions to decide who your campaign should be focused on.


  • What differentiates my target customer from the general population?

  • What do my customers have in common?

  • Where are my customers?

  • Why are my customers choosing to buy from my business?

  • Which of my customers would benefit the most from seeing this advertisement?


Now that you have an ideal group of potential customers you would like to advertise to, you can start making decisions on how you would like to reach them.


2. Mailing 

Two major direct mailing methods exist for satisfying different needs. Depending on the target demographic for your direct mailing, you can choose either Every Door Direct Mailing or Mailing Lists.


Every Door Direct Mailing

If your marketing efforts focus on location variables, you want to get an advertisement in the hands of everyone in your targeted geographic area. This is exactly the service that Every Door Direct Mailing provides. The post office allows for mailers to choose mailing routes where you can have your advertisement put into every mailbox along the way. Because households in a given neighborhood will share lifestyle characteristics, you can select mailing routes where the people will have incomes and buying habits suitable for your business. For example, a luxury car dealership could use Every Door Direct Mail throughout a wealthy neighborhood where their products are affordable to the homeowners.

Every Door Direct Mailing campaigns over 30,000 pieces are eligible for commingling services. Commingling services save you money by taking your mailing to a facility where it is sorted by zip code with other business mailings. Everyone’s mail is systematized and delivered all at once to the post office. Because commingling creates less work for the post office, discounts of over 20% are available!


Mailing Lists

Buyer data has more value now than ever. Maintaining a list of customers and prospective clients allows for precisely targeted direct mailing campaigns. You can separate your customers by age, gender, or occupation and send your advertisement directly to that segment. Commercial printers should have the technology to personalize individual print pieces with full names, QR Codes and URLs. La Crosse Graphics is an example of one of those printers. Consumers are more likely to engage with advertising if it customized for them. Remember to update your list with current customer information or else your mail will be sent to undesired people and places


3. Standing Out

Although shoppers are receiving less mail than ever before, you are still competing for attention when consumers are checking their mailbox. Think about which piece of mail you look at first and what about it is demanding your attention. Here are a few ideas on how to be noticed.


  • Experiment with eye-catching colors

  • Try glossy paper styles and scented materials to activate multiple senses

  • When is the last time you received a circular piece of mail? Different shapes and sizes are fascinating and will require another look.

  • Another way to stick out is to provide something of value as part of the mailing. A pen, sticky notepad, magnet, menu, or token can be traded for a few seconds of interest. As a bonus, your customer will hold onto the useful item you provided and your brand will have a lasting presence in their living space.

4. Spreading Information

Now you have finally claimed a moment of your customer’s time. Don’t waste it with jargon and cryptic wording. In an obvious location should be great big letters spelling out your message. Headlines like “THIS WEEK ONLY” or “BUY ONE GET TWO FREE” invoke emotion and curiosity. If you hook them with your headline, they will read further into your offer or information. Remember, everything should be about what you can provide for the customer. Briefly cover your services and how the benefits will explicitly help the reader.

5. Taking Action

They read your message! That's wonderful, but don't stop there. Convert! Your reader has dedicated a significant portion of their time to your advertisement and now they are excited about what you have to offer. Provide the next step towards making them your customer. Do you want them to visit your website and order something? Supply a promo code and URL to get them started. Tell the reader exactly what they should do to reach your marketing campaign’s conversion point.


6. Reviewing 

Your call to action should have a way to measure the success of the campaign. If the call to action is to engage a purchase on your website, customize the promo code to record who is following through on the offer. This is where you'll be able to examine your new and improved response rate. Hopefully the analysis will show a positive ROI, but also show areas to improve for next time. If possible, reach out to those who received the direct mail and survey their opinion on what could be improved.


Start a Direct Mailing Campaign

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