Oscar Wilde, the Irish writer and poet, once said, “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” However, when it comes to your business bottom line, it is always best to know what mistakes you can avoid. You can get the most out of your direct mail campaigns by understanding what gaffes to dodge.
Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid with Direct Mail Campaigns
- Direct Mail Campaigns That are Not Well Planned
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make with direct mail campaigns is failing to plan this type of marketing effort properly. A campaign that is not well planned is doomed to failure before it even starts. You are wasting money that could be better spent on other areas instead. Every step of the marketing and campaign process should be well thought out.
If you plan to go big with your direct mail campaigns, hiring a dedicated employee to handle the planning and details can help enormously. But some businesses find it more economical to hand over all the planning to an experienced printer that handles graphic design, printing, and fulfillment.
- Only Using Postcard Printing
Postcard printing has its place in marketing your company, but this should not be the only thing that you are doing. You need to use other marketing methods and techniques together with postcards if you want to get exceptional results and a great response rate. Too many businesses limit their marketing to a postcard or two and they are missing out.
Sending strategically timed different items works successfully for many direct mail campaigns. You might first send an introductory letter, then a postcard, and follow up with a small promotional item.
- Designs that are Sloppy or Uninspired
You need designs for your direct mail campaigns that are inspired. If you create a boring piece then few recipients will bother to read your item before they throw it away. A sloppy design is also a drag on your marketing efforts, and this will have a negative reflection on your brand, your business, and your products. This could hurt your business reputation instead of helping it.
Color is a big aspect of direct mail graphic design, and certain colors can actually boost your response rates and get your direct mail noticed right away.
From our article, Does Your Direct Mail Graphic Design Sell or Fall Short? Want to read the complete article? Click here.
- Using the Wrong Mailing Lists
One of the most costly mistakes you can make with direct mail is to use the wrong mailing lists. This is true whether you are postcard printing or you plan to send out full color brochures or catalogs. If the mailing lists that you use are not accurate and highly relevant then you could get a very low response rate, if you get any response at all.
List professionals can help you find promising new names that you never knew existed.
- Failing to Provide Several Contact and Order Options
The contact information and order details that you provide on materials used for your direct mail campaigns should include options for the reader. Some may prefer to contact you or order online, others may prefer the telephone, and some people will want to use old-fashioned snail mail even in this modern age of technology. Give consumers options for a better response.
- Low Quality Printing Results Due to Poor Printer Choices
Make sure that you use an experienced and highly qualified printer for your direct mail campaigns, even if the only thing you order is postcard printing. If you get low quality printing results then you may be better off not mailing the materials at all. Make sure that your chosen printer can handle the job, deliver on time, and ensure the highest quality for your materials.
- Failing to Test Enough
A big mistake with many direct mail campaigns is failing to test and then test again. A control mailing can help you evaluate your final design, and continuous testing can help you make improvements that will increase your response and conversion rates over time. Testing gives you the information you need to analyze the effort and verify results.
- Direct Mail that is Not Personalized in Any Way
Even postcard printing should include content that is personalized for each recipient if you want to make a connection and build up trust with consumers. If you fail to personalize your pieces then the recipients may not be interested, and you lose a chance to connect with the consumer on a deeper level and start building up trust as a reputable business.
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- Putting Your Best at the End of the Marketing Material
When you engage in direct mail campaigns, it is a costly mistake to save the best for last. If you do not engage the reader with appealing content from the very start then the reader may not make it to the end where you have the best offer or great value listed. Start off strong and make the entire content exceptional so that you grab and hold their attention.
- Failing to Proofread the Materials Thoroughly Before Printing
One of the most common and costly mistakes with direct mail campaigns, whether you are looking for postcard printing or a 30 page brochure, is failing to proofread your materials carefully before they go through the printing process. Even a single misspelled word or sentence with poor structure can cast doubt on your professionalism and company image.
What mistakes have you made with past direct mail campaigns?