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Top 10 Keys to Effective Direct Mail Marketing

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru



Even with the growth of Internet marketing, direct mail marketing has remained one of the most effective ways to reach new customers and to stay in touch with established customers.

But good direct mail marketing means more than just mailing out catalogs or postcards. Make sure your marketing plan is on target with these 10 keys to direct marketing that works

10. You’ve defined your demographic or target audience

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Top 10 of direct mail marketing

A basic requirement of any advertising campaign is to identify your target audience. In direct mail marketing, this becomes even more critical because you will be paying to mail cards, letters or catalogs. Making a mistake in targeting means wasting the money spent on each and every piece mailed. Define your demographic and ideal customer before you select mailing lists, target neighborhoods, or even ad content.

9. You know what your target audience wants and needs

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

Great direct mail campaigns are built on solid knowledge of the wants and needs of the target market. Do your homework and create a clear picture of your prospects’ tastes, budgets, style, communication style and culture. You should also know how and where your audience wants to shop. Do they like paper catalogs? Are they using their smartphone? Are they social shoppers? Do they respond well to discovery shopping? If your potential customers like using a digital version instead of paper, explore what you need to create one, like the Dynalog dynamic catalog.

Getting those details right can make the difference between lukewarm responses and success.

8. You know your competition

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

The Art of War advised people to know their enemies. No where is this advice as valuable as in marketing. If you hope to win over customers from other merchants, you need to know your competition. Study their products, prices and marketing messages to learn what you can do better.

7. You have a quality product

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

It’s nearly impossible to have a successful direct mail campaign if the product or service you’re trying to sell is sub-par. Any short term sales will e overshadowed by bad reviews and negative word-of-mouth response. Make sure whatever you’re selling is really worth buying.

6. You’ve priced your product correctly

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

Recipients of direct mail marketing materials are very price sensitive. Price your products too low, and people suspect a scam. Price it too high, and people are unwilling to spend for something they were not asking to buy.

Use the information you gathered about your competitors to price your product in line with similar offerings.

5. Your layout and design are appealing and easy to read

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

A big part of direct mail is the appearance. If you select the wrong font (or font size) or an unappealing color scheme, you could lose potential buyers with just one glance.

Make sure your message is easy to read. Limit clutter, and offer an attractive layout targeted towards your audience rather than your personal taste. Make sure your layout is distinctive, and easy to remember.

4. You’ve included a clear call to action

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

All the clever messages and beautiful images in the world won’t sell your product if recipients don’t see a clear call to action on your direct marketing piece. Ask readers to do something…call, visit, go to a website, rather than just offering information and images.

3. You have the personnel to respond to orders, calls or visits

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

Make sure your staff is ready and able to handle the influx of calls, e-mails, website requests or visits following a direct mail marketing drop. If necessary, have well-trained extras on call, in case the volume of response is higher than expected.

Remember, this may well be a customer’s first impression of your company. Make it a good one.

2. You have metrics in place to track results

Top 10 of direct mail marketing

Good marketing of any kind depends on knowing what works and what does not. Make sure you have metrics in place to track the source of call and visits by marketing channel and specific campaign.

1. You’ve made it a part of a complete campaign strategy

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Top 10 of direct mail marketing

Direct mail marketing can’t stand alone as the only way you market your company or product. Build your direct mail campaign within a larger marketing plan to make it truly effective.

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