Direct Marketing Best Practices

Please read the original article on Splash, published August 2010.

As with any type of marketing, you want to make your direct marketing campaigns the best they can be. You want to write the best copy, design the best pieces, send to the best list and achieve the best results possible.

With all of these requirements for an outstanding direct mail campaign, how do you know if doing it right? Here are our direct mail best practices to help guide you through the process.

  1. Develop and maintain your database
    Before you even think about creating a direct marketing campaign, make sure your CRM database is up to date. You should have processes in place to add new contacts, manage all contacts and update contacts as necessary. If you don’t have these processes down, your direct marketing efforts to these contacts may be wasted.
  2. Target the right mailing list
    Make sure that the people you are targeting with your direct marketing campaign are the best people for your message. If you’re a chiropractor promoting women’s health, make sure your list is mostly women within your local area. Also, if you’re having problems creating a list on your own, there are great online options for list services providers that will help you develop a great targeted list. Sometimes the biggest influence on the success of a campaign is the list that it is sent to.
  3. Get creative with copy
    Your direct mail copy doesn’t need to be dull to get the point across. Have a little fun with copywriting. Use examples, analogies, quotes and other exciting text to gain the attention of your recipients. Also, try not to include too much copy either. Try to make your recipients interested enough to want to read more, then point them in the direction of your website for more detailed information.
  4. Include an offer
    One of the best ways to attain responses from your direct marketing efforts is to offer something for a response or sale. Whether it be an upgraded product, a free product or an informational packet, as long as it benefits the recipients, they will be more likely to convert on your marketing efforts.
  5. Design for your audience
    With the ability to target your audience and write for your target audience comes the ability to design for your target audience. You can customize the design of almost everything you send out in the mail, so make sure it will be pleasing to your target audience when it’s sent. For example, don’t send a postcard of war images or weapons to a young mom who may just be concerned about keeping her child safe.
  6. Test and re-test
    Direct marketing is one of the easiest forms of marketing to measure and test. Once you send out one campaign, keep track of conversions and other results. Then, try to improve by changing one or two things in your next campaign. Try a different list, sending on a different day, a different message or a different offer and see what happens. Then keep track of these results, and test all over again to keep improving.

By creating the best direct marketing campaign, you’ll see greater results for your marketing efforts. Your customer response rate will increase, as will your sales, and you’ll feel great knowing that your marketing campaigns were executed effectively.

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