Planning Ahead for Direct Mail Success


Planning-ahead-for-direct-mail-successIf you’re like many businesses, you may be pretty focused on wrapping up the end of the current year. It’s important to finish well. But this time of year is also a great time to think ahead and plan improvements for the coming year.

Planning is the operative word here. It’s one thing to hope for improvement and want to generate more business. But success doesn’t just happen. How are you going to make it happen? What specific steps can you take to generate more business?

For a lot of businesses, direct mail plays a significant part in their overall marketing strategy. But success in direct mail doesn’t just happen, either. How can you plan ahead to ensure your direct mail efforts are successful? Here are a few steps to consider.


What did you do last year? How did your mailings perform this year? What worked—and why? What didn’t work? What did your direct mail marketing efforts cost? What did they generate in terms of new business?

Set Goals

What specific goals do you have for the coming year? Are your goals measurable? Are you looking for a specific number of leads? What are you willing to spend to get those leads? What’s the long-term value of a customer for you (average dollars in sales times average length as a customer)?

Integrate Your Efforts

Direct mail today doesn’t work well as a stand-alone effort. Think through how what you do with your mailings relates to your other marketing efforts. Think about how people will respond to what you mail. It used to be that people sent back reply cards or called to ask questions or to place an order. Today, most people prefer to go to a website for more information. Is your website set up to handle inquiries? Does your strategy include your other efforts such as TV or radio promotion?

Measure Your Results

The success of your direct mail depends on learning what works and what doesn’t. Part of your plan should include what steps you need to put into place to track your results. Then you’ll know what to repeat—and what to avoid.

For some additional insights into how to plan for direct mail success, check out 4 Things to Do Before Executing a Direct Mail Campaign.

Direct Mail Best Practices