Every now and then—over the more than 40 years we’ve spent helping businesses and organizations with their direct mail needs—we’ve had a prospect tell us, “We need to get a mailing out in the next month or so.” Our response to that statement sometimes surprises them: “Why?”
Sure, we provide a wide range of world-class direct mail services, but in order for our clients to succeed we know that they need to have a good direct mail strategy—or they will simply waste their time and money. Strategy doesn’t have to be over-complicated. But it needs to be clear. Here are some of the key elements:
- Clear Goals: What is it you want your mailing to do? What are you trying to accomplish? What are your expectations? What are your metrics? By that, I mean how will you know whether your mailing was successful or not?
- Specific Budget: How much are you prepared to spend to accomplish your goals and objectives. Is your budget realistic? A “one-and-done” mailing propbably isn’t going to achieve your goals, so are you prepared to stay with the program over time until it bears fruit?
- Realistic Timeline: Successful direct mail programs don’t happen overnight. You need to plan adequate time to get all of your direct mail ducks in a row. Rushing through the various phases of the direct mail process can be costly and can negatively impact your results.
- Audience Identification: Not everyone is your potential client. You need to make sure you have a clear understanding of who you’re trying to reach. That goes beyond basic demographic information such as age, gender, income, and location. You need to identify key characteristics of your audience so that you can craft your message appropriately.
- Offer: You don’t just want people to read your mail—you want them to respond. You need to give them a reason to reach out to you. Deciding on the right offer (what you’re offering to them) is absolutely crucial in order to make that happen.
- Call-to-Action: If you want people to respond you also have to be crystal clear about how they are supposed to do that. Your Call-to-Action (CTA) is where you spell that out in very clear and specific terms so that there is no question about how they go about taking advantage of your offer.
Direct mail can be a very effective way to reach and engage your ideal prospects. But you can’t just “get a mailing out.” You need to be intentional and strategic. Take a look at this infographic that spells out the proven direct mail process we walk our clients through to help them succeed with their direct mail programs.