The new year has begun and just about everyone is in the goal-setting mindset, which is why we wanted to share some advice on how to improve your direct mail results in 2018.

Good goal setting acknowledges where you’re at and where you want to go. Then, action steps are drafted to get you to your goal.

So, here are a couple of baseline questions:

  • What was your response rate in 2017?
  • What do you want it to be in 2018?

The next two questions are going to vary based on your campaign objective. Is your goal lead generation or direct sales? Pick whichever one is appropriate.

  • What was your cost per lead / cost per customer acquired?
  • What would you like it to be?

Here are some actions that you can consider taking to accomplish those 2018 goals:

  1. Test Different Offers – Your offer is one of the strongest parts of a direct mail piece. If it’s not receiving any traction or conversions, you should test different offers. To do this well, think about what kind of offer it would take for you to personally take action.
  2. Test Different Creative – Make sure you cut through the clutter. Your direct mail piece needs to make an impression within a matter of seconds. Make it stand out, have it be simple and to the point, and then highlight and reinforce what action you want the recipient to take.
  3. Test Different Sizes or Packages – Evaluate the impact of changes to your mail pieces by trying out different sizes, or post cards versus letter in envelopes.
  4. Develop Better Measurement Methods / Metrics – This is critical to knowing how your direct mail campaigns are working. Make sure you’re including trackable and measurable items on your direct mail pieces, such as: PURL’s, unique phone numbers or email addresses, coupons codes for a designated campaign, etc.
  5. Clean Your Database – Data really makes or breaks direct mail campaigns. House lists have higher returns because you have deeper insights into those leads or customers versus a blind list obtained from an outside service provider. However, you cannot ignore your data’s upkeep – always make time to periodically clean or update your data so you continue using strong and relevant messaging based on the data points you have.
  6. Evaluate Whether Better Segmentation Could Help – When you have an abundance of data, it’s important to understand how you can segment your data per campaign. For instance, you could segment your list by location. Current customers within a set mile range of your store could receive a redeemable coupon, whereas those who fall outside of your store mile range could receive an online promo code to use. Another tip for segmenting your data is considering the average time it takes for buyers to make a purchase. By understanding how long it takes, you can strategically send out time sensitive information during each sales stage to keep them moving forward.

Other examples of segmentation could include:

  • Retail Industry: Dog owners versus cat owners, lapsed customers versus current customers, etc.
  • Higher Education Industry: Adult students versus high school students, transfer students, etc.
  • Building Supply Manufacturers: Builders, consumers, dealers, etc.
  1. Decide: Targeted Direct Mail or Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) – After reviewing your data, you might want to consider which method is best for you. Targeted direct mail is great when you want to be personal, highly-relevant and have strong data points to integrate into your mail pieces. EDDM works well for driving local traffic and brand awareness, but the offers featured on EDDM pieces need to be enticing.

We hope this direct mail advice gives you something to think about and can ultimately help you improve your direct mail efforts you or your team set for 2018.

If you’d like help or want some new ideas for your direct mail, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to share some ideas with you!

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