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1. Determine Your Target Audience
Be clear about the purpose for your direct mail campaign – this will help you decide if you want to send your letters to your entire target market, a segment of that market, existing customers, or potentially a referring business’s customers. Then you can determine how you craft your offer, how you structure your letter, and when you choose to send it.
2. Choose what you want to say
What is the message you want to communicate to your target list? What can you offer them that will entice them to act immediately?
Create a specific offer for each direct mail campaign to ensure each time you communicate with your target list you have something new to say. Tailor this offer to each mailing list.
Decide what product or service benefits will be most compelling to your target audience, and include those benefits prominently in your letter.
3. Develop a compelling direct mail piece
You are in control of how your format your message. Are you sending a letter? A brochure and a letter? A postcard? The format of your direct mail piece needs to be tailored to your target list, and reflect your product or service. A younger audience may respond to a postcard, but an older audience may appreciate a formalized letter.
Ensure that whatever format you choose, the piece is professionally designed, prominently includes your logo and company branding, and is professionally produced.
This piece of paper has to act as an ambassador of your company – you absolutely need it to appear impressive and professional.
4. Pick your timing
Some products and purchase decisions are best made at certain times of the year, or the month. If your business or service is seasonal, then there are good times and bad times to try to generate leads. Consider the best purchase windows for the people in your target marketing. When do they get paid? When do they have the money to spend on your product/service? When do they spend the most money?
Anticipate these windows, and time your direct mail campaign accordingly. If you run a lawn sprinkler installation system and summer is your peak season, run a direct mail campaign mid-way through spring, and at the beginning of summer.
Some common time windows include:
• Holiday season (November – December)
• Fridays (paydays)
• The 15th and 30th of every months (also paydays)
• Seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)
• Financial cycles (year-end, tax time)
• Sports seasons (hockey, football, baseball, etc.)
5. Follow up
Comprehensive follow up to a direct mail campaign means two things:
1. Following up on your letter with a phone call or second letter
Often it takes more than a letter to get a potential customer to take action. This can be a result of the accuracy of your mailing list, your offer, the time of the year, or the quality of the marketing material (brochure). If you are certain that your mailing list is accurate and up to date, follow up to the piece with a phone call, or send another letter.
2. Recording, measuring and analyzing your results.
It is essential that you evaluate each direct mail campaign based on your time and financial investment and your rate of response. How else will you be able to tell if it was a successful or effective strategy?