5 Ways to Fail at Direct Mail


5-Ways-to-Fail-at-Direct-Mail.jpgDirect mail has a somewhat bad, definitely undeserved reputation. People call it outdated or ineffective, or they just dismiss it outright as a marketing strategy, saying they have tried it and it did not work. However, usually, when you scratch the surface, you find that they did not give it time, they did not plan properly, or they committed one of the cardinal sins of direct mail. We look at the top five mistakes people make, so you can avoid them next time:

1. The Indiscriminate List

Most of the people who fail in their direct mail efforts do not use a qualified list, do not target their ideal demographic, or rely on the quantity over quality idea to succeed. However, whether you are sending out addressed mail to a list of customers and leads, or delivering unaddressed flyers to mailboxes, you need to target your mail.

If you have a mailing list, go through it regularly to update it and keep it current. If you send unaddressed mail, make sure that you are targeting the right areas. For instance, if you are selling prefabricated garages, but delivering mail in an area where most people live in rented condominiums, you are not going to have the success you want!

2. Not Tracking and Testing

People who fail at direct mail are often the ones who don’t test their marketing materials and methods first, and who fail to track results. At the very least, you should have objective people critique your marketing materials, and you should be tracking the response rate on every campaign. Gather as much data as you can at every stage of the process, so you can replicate what works and forget what does not.

3. Not Using Sales Letters

When you are sending out direct mail to a defined list, it has been proven that packages that include a sales letter, preferably one with the customer name and address on it, results in up to three times as many responses. If you already have the database, and you already have the customer name and address, then why not simply create a mail merge sales letter and send them something a little more personal? You will reap the benefits!

4. Not Focusing On Your Customers

If you are focusing on features rather than benefits, then you probably are not getting great results from direct mail. Customers do not care about how awesome your product or service is. They care about how it will benefit them. So stop selling features, start selling how your company can benefit consumers, and watch your results improve!

5. You Don’t Create Offers

Sending out direct mail without an offer means that your customers have no incentive to call you. You are not offering them a better deal. You are not creating a sense of urgency by limiting the time it will be available. Why would anyone rush to call you if you are not giving them a reason to? Every direct mail campaign needs to have a clear offer, and a clear call to action.

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