The 5 Steps of Smarter Direct Mail Planning

Just like many other marketing aspects of your business, there needs to be a plan behind your direct mail. After all, you’re investing your hard-earned money, and you hope to get a return on your investment. Whether you’ve used direct mail in the past, or you’re looking into it for the first time, consider the following questions when planning your next campaign.

Determine the goal of your campaign.

“What do I plan to accomplish?”– it’s a sensible question. It may be as simple as bringing in enough new customers that the campaign pays for itself, or more aggressive – like growing your new customer base by 50 percent. Whatever the case may be, set a goal that you feel is attainable and tailor the message of your campaign to this goal.

Identify the target market.

The products/services that you provide simply aren’t going to appeal to everyone. That being said, target prospects that you believe have a high probability of becoming your customers. To identify who your future customers are, look at who you’re currently doing business with. Look for recurring demographics, such as age, profession, distance from your office/shop, income, interests, etc. and use that as a basis to target additional prospects.

Include an enticing offer.

You have to give to get – this couldn’t be more true today. Your prospects want to know what’s in it for them if they choose to do business with you. What are you willing to give your prospects? Whatever the offer may be, make it both enticing and easy to act on. This may be a discount on products, a free consultation, a sweepstakes/giveaway or a QR code that drives them to a website for more information. One thing is for certain: leaving an offer or incentive out of your campaign can have crippling effects on its success.

Track results to measure success.

Tracking the results of your direct mail campaign is integral to determining its success. Put a practical results-tracking system in place before launching your campaign. This may be as simple as documenting the number incoming calls, emails or website visits that may come in response to the campaign, or the orders and sales that come after. Take your results tracking system a step further by calling/emailing prospects to make them aware of your direct mail piece before receiving it, or to collect their feedback afterwards.

Determine your budget.

Figuring out if your campaign is going to work within the constraints of your budget involves asking yourself several questions, including “What am I willing to pay to convert a prospect into a customer?”; “How much revenue is associated with a new customer?”; and “How many new customers do I need for the campaign to pay for itself?” Start with evaluating the projected costs for prospects’ data, printing, design and postage for each piece mailed. If you see the costs outweighing the potential return on your investment, consider ways to keep your costs down.

While there are no guarantees when it comes to direct mail, the above are examples of just a few steps you can take to increase the chances of your direct mail campaign’s success. Have direct mail successes or other insight to share? Leave a comment below!

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