When it comes to direct mailers, the phrase “never judge a book by its cover” no longer applies. Companies are prone to spend large sums of money on direct mailers that usually get tossed in the trash before anyone reads the content. So the big question: how do we change that? The most important thing to remember is that presentation is everything for successful direct mailers.
Spend Money (and Time) on Looks
The first step towards producing successful direct mail is having a distinguished brand. Without a polished brand, people won’t be interested in what you have to say. Before you even consider a direct mailer campaign, make sure you brand is communicating the image and message that represents your company.
After you have re-established the quality of your brand, start considering your packaging options. The outer envelope is the most crucial part of a successful direct mailer. Although it’s the last step in the process, it should be one of your first considerations. Think about the paper and printing techniques that you want to use. Add texture with varnish and embossing. Add flare with a burst of color. Add things like zip-strips to ensure that the recipient spends a little longer examining your piece of mail. Overall, this type of detailing will make recipients interested about the contents.
The Envelope Comes First
The biggest thing to remember is that the envelope is the first thing they see every single time they open the mail. Agonizing over the content will be pointless if your packaging doesn’t do the legwork first. If you don’t think color and embossing is enough, try changing the shape of the envelope entirely. No reason to stick to conventions if you don’t have to. If you try a rounded envelope, people might become curious just because the mail is shaped differently than what they normally receive. Curiosity can go a long way with direct mailers.
Content Comes Second
After you’ve created a plan for your packaging, you have permission to consider the content. There are few tried-and-true methods that help people appreciate direct mail campaigns. One that has consistently proven a good technique is including a letter. This type of personal touch can redeem any type of crumby content that might exist in a direct mailer. People will feel like you took extra time to be personable, which will leave a positive impact.
Make the Mailers Worth It
The overall goal in direct mail is to create the perfect balance of packaging and content. Neither end of a direct mailing should be neglected. The packaging shouldn’t lead to anti-climactic content, and the content shouldn’t get ignored because of boring packaging. Working to find the appropriate balance can be a frustrating process.
Remember that direct mail require a few test runs before you know what techniques are effective and which ones are pointless. Be patient with yourself and your team. You will eventually hit your stride, and people will be happy to see your mailer in their mailbox. Until then, keep experimenting with new types of packaging until you get it just right.