Start your 2019 year off right with a better direct mail marketing strategy. The DMA has reported that customer response rates increased year-over-year by an impressive 43% and prospect response rates more than doubled — reporting an astounding 190% increase. The USPS "Household Diary Study" found that people read postcards in greater numbers with a 3.9% YOY rise. With these results in mind, is your current direct mail strategy working as well as it can?
We all set goals and expectations for our direct mail campaigns, but they don’t always go as we expect them to. Working on a better strategy can help us achieve better results. Before we get started on 2019, we need to look at our 2018 results. Did customers and prospects show interest but not purchase from you? Was there no interest at all or just below your expectations? Did you have any known issues with campaigns in 2018? Focus on both who bought from you and who did not. Are there any likenesses between the people in each group? In many cases, we will find that there are common issues with people that can help us better target the ones who did not buy.
Direct Mail Elements
- Audience — The people you are mailing to really matter. Do you have the most current data for mailing? There are many was to clean up your mailing list, make sure you are using them. Once you know you have the right addresses you are ready to focus on other parts of your data. Tracking purchase history, demographics and geographics helps you to target them better. The more information you can collect and process to refine your target audience for each mailing, the better your response rate is going to be. Keep in mind that you can also purchase targeted lists based on your best current customers. If you have not tried this before, you may want to consider it for 2019.
- Offer — If your offer does not resonate with your prospects and customers, they will not buy from you. Look at your best offers in 2018 so that you know what works best. Then take a look at the offers that bombed. What was different about them? How can you make sure that the offers in 2019 are much better? Targeting the right offers to the right people is critical for your response rates.
- Design — Did you have some great designs in 2018? There are many areas where you can get creative to stand out in 2019. What size pieces did you send last year? How well did they work? Have you considered using larger pieces to stand out in the mailbox more? Color, images and copy placement are all factors in good design. Consider using higher impact images, bolder colors and fun creative elements, like texture, to draw people in. Your choice of paper stock matters, too. So consider a different, heavier stock this year, or even a pearlescent to really sparkle.
Now that you have some things to consider for 2019, remember that it is best to only change one thing at a time to be able to recognize the impact that each change makes. Ideally, you will want to run an A/B test by using a piece that worked great in 2018 to test against a newer piece for 2019. This will give you an opportunity to continually create better direct mail throughout the year. The best direct mail pieces target the right people with the right offer at the right time. Are you ready to create your best direct mail campaign?
A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 27 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. You can find her at Eye/Comm Inc’s website: eyecomm.org, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.