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How To Create Impactful Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "How To Create Impactful Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns," takes you through a step-by-step process that explains all that is required to create an impactful direct mail marketing campaign. The odds of enjoying increased response rates and higher ROIs increase when executing a well-crafted direct mail marketing campaign. The recipient that receives a useful direct mail campaign piece of printed collateral in effect has received a worthy, if not desireable, offer. On the other hand, there is a difference between direct mail and junk mail. Junk mail typically fails to contain important customer data points that will engage, resonate, and elicit a response.

Our Quote of the Day:
"If you want to build your online business, research shows that one of the best ways to do it is to use direct mail to drive prospects to your site. It's the combination of direct mail with an online presence that packs such a powerful marketing punch. Even Google, probably one of the iconic internet businesses, sends out direct-mail campaigns."
        – Craig Simpson

We note that this weekend is bookmarked between Valentine's Day and President's Day.  We wish all a Happy Valentine's Day, filled with love and happiness, and a wonderful President's Day!

How to Start Direct Mail Marketing

Creating a direct mail marketing campaign would appear to be a simple process. However, what is essential to realize as with any marketing initiative is the campaign strategy. Therefore, to achieve optimal results, there are steps to follow.  First of all, three main areas comprise a starting point for direct mail marketing, the target list, the offer, and compelling creative.

Target Lists

Half of the marketing campaign's success or failure depends on the list. Your list should comprise targets that would find your product or service of interest to them. There are different types of lists, including emails you gather, social media, purchased, and of course, current and former customers. Your goal is to create a 'direct response list.' This type of list will invariably provide you better outcomes versus a list you compile from unknown sources. Therefore, valid lists require precise targeting data points, and the more time that's given to creating a targeted list, the better the response will be.

The Offer

After the target list is complete, the focus now moves to the promotional offer. You should refrain from focusing on the product or service that your brand is selling and focus on the offer. Sales come when you follow the sales funnel process. It's the course to run. So, avoid focusing on the sale itself and focus on the steps in the process to secure the deal. You may want to consider offers that are already accepted by consumers such as special discounts, free stuff, free trials, gifts, time-sensitive offers, and of course, BOGO (buy one get one).

Compelling Creative

As in society, looks and appearance are everything. Remember when folks held their nose at the first hybrid vehicles due to their lack-luster presence? It should come as no surprise that Tesla's Elon Musk took what people were saying to heart about hybrid and electric vehicles. Tesla is an attractive car by most standards. 
 Direct mail pieces that are attractive will increase the probability of better response rates. To attract attention, the creative needs to take into consideration colors, copy, texture, and if using envelopes, the text on the outside of the envelope must be attention-grabbing. Whether the recipients receive a postcard, flyer, brochure, or envelope, the piece will need to have a concise, easy to see call-to-action. If the recipients find it challenging to respond or if there is no response directive, then that creative could be for naught.

Identify the Target Market

Now is the time in the process to ensure that you have the correct target market. If you can't identify the people you wish to sell to, you are flying blind. Think of targeting this way. Would you try and sell the average 18-year-old a new house? Would you try and sell a car to a person with bad credit? Would you try and sell a musical instrument to a person who is not a musician? Therefore, take extra care to ensure that you are targeting the right people. As you compile your list, take the time to review the targets on your list. Also, you should clearly understand the wants, needs, and pain points of your intended targets. Now let's examine how to identify your best targets correctly.

1. Examine Current Customers

Assuming your company has a database of current customers, examine why they buy your products or services. Try and identify if there are any similar traits. Next, of those customers, which of them buy the most and which buy the least. Now that you have a baseline benchmark, it makes sense to identify additional prospects. They may share similar traits of your current customers. Be sure to identify those prospects that would also be in the market for your product or service based on your needs criteria.

2. Competitive Benchmarking

Most organizations conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis at least every other year. If so, your competitors should also be a part of that analysis. If not, this is an excellent time to analyze your competitors. It's essential to understand who they target and who their customers are. Further, instead of competing in the same market as your competitors, you may decide to identify a niche market where competition is limited or non-existent.

3. Product Evaluation

In an extremely competitive landscape, the buying public values both products and services that will solve their problems. In this step, measure the benefits your product or service provides, what issues or challenges they address, and how those benefits compare to the competition. Now, make a list of the types of consumers that are looking for your product or service offerings based on solution solving capabilities.

4. Targeting By Demographics

Identifying which demographic(s) need a product or service in conjunction with those most likely to buy is an important step. Therefore it is a good idea to include traits such as purchase history, age, household income, location, gender, individual income, education levels, occupation, travel, marital status, and ethnic background for starters.

5. The Psychographic Factors

Psychographics encompasses a broad scope of personal data based on individual character traits. In short, psychographics is the key to understanding lifestyle habits. These personal traits provide the overall lifestyle habits of a consumer. These traits identifiers can consist of interests, hobbies, values, attitudes, and overall personality.
For example, Subaru recently began targeting reliability, top safety scores, and how long their vehicles last. In one spot, Subaru says that parents have a way of imagining the worst -- especially when it comes to their easily distracted teenagers. A montage shows teenagers in wrecked cars appearing unbothered and staring at their phones. Subaru says a parent's worries about distracted driving can be put to rest knowing their kids are driving the Subaru Forester with DriverFocus Alerts. Conclusion: Subaru's spot appears to target the values and attitude traits of parents who express concern about their children.

When determining which psychographic traits would fit your product set, specific questions can lead to a correct assessment of your targets. Questions such as:

  • What types of products do these prospects shop for, and which type do they purchase?
  • What are their life challenges?
  • Where do they receive their news and information?
  • Which types of websites do they frequent most, and why?
  • How many times a year do they travel, and if so, when do they go?
  • Identify their most common habits
  • When will they use the product or service?
  • How are media and marketing communications received, and how do they feel about those platforms?

The set of psychographic questions mentioned earlier is but a tip of the iceberg to get you started in the right direction. Depending on your industry, there may be more questions that you will identify, and that fits your industry.

The Net-Net

How to create impactful direct mail marketing campaigns is more of a science than art. That said, it is only after a brand has taken all of these steps that it can be sure that it is in a position to create compelling marketing messages that appeal to targets that can convert into buyers. When this happens, the brand can expect to reap new business and increase sales. We hope you enjoyed this article, and thanks for reading "How To Create Impactful Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns"!

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience. Join us at our next Open House. You can learn about our solutions, including direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity, and unified marketing collateral. 

We invite you to join us for an hour or two at our next Open House on February 27, 2020, from 10:30am to 3:30pm. You can also tour our 58k+ Sq. Ft. facility and experience our vast array of state-of-the-art print, mail, and sorting infrastructure.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. 

For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.  

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the Contact Form for Dove Direct.

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