Sometimes it can be hard to put your finger on why a direct mail piece works. It just does. But, generally speaking, a few tried-and-true ingredients belong in any direct mail formula. A good direct mail piece will:
Be mail-able. While it’s true that you can mail just about anything (yes, you can put enough stamps on a watermelon to have it delivered!) the cost of postage and packing materials can really add up. Don’t forget to consider this expense when designing a direct mail piece or selecting a promotional item.
Grab and hold the reader’s attention. The biggest challenge for any direct mail piece is surviving the journey from mailbox to desk/coffee table/countertop without hitting the trashcan first. How can you ensure your mailers get opened? Chunky, lumpy, three-dimensional mail consistently gets a much higher response rate than flat mail. We also recommend using clever and colorful packaging material and writing each address out by hand. Anything that screams OPEN ME!
Include a call to action. Your mailer might be well-written, creative, and eye-catching, but if it requires no action on behalf of the recipient, it will lay forgotten on their coffee table. The purpose of your mailer is most likely to secure an appointment or a sale, so ask for it. This advice holds true with every marketing piece you distribute.
Get followed-up on. If you’re going to invest time and money in a direct mail piece, do not ignore the most important step: follow-up. Call or email your contact list immediately after the mailer hits to ensure delivery and answer questions. Subsequent follow-up is highly recommended.
With these tips in mind, let’s review and grade the office show-and-tell piece from Thursday’s post.
Was it mail-able? A+
A paper envelope, sticker, and postcard cost pennies to produce and $0.44 to mail.
Did it grab and hold the reader’s attention? A
The handwritten envelope, ambiguous return address and mysterious URL got us hook, line and sinker.
Did it include a call to action? C-
Once the game ended, the mail piece couldn’t convince us to visit a designated website for additional information, and the little red ‘X’ on the upper right toolbar made the better case. If our company had a need of or use for the product being offered, maybe our response would have been better.
Did it get followed-up on? F
Nope, we never heard another word about it.
What’s the most interesting direct mail piece you’ve ever received? We’d love to hear about it! Tell us more on Facebook.
And, if you would like a printable copy of the quick checklist I use in planning direct mail pieces, I am happy to share – just drop me a line at Lindsay@sonicpromos.com.