Direct Mail Marketing Why It’s Not Working

Why your direct mail marketing isn’t working better.

When a business’s direct mail marketing campaign doesn’t perform to their expectations the blame falls either on direct mail marketing or the company performing the direct mail marketing campaign. Instead of making changes to the program and testing, they give up.

There are a number of common mistakes that companies make in developing direct mail marketing campaigns that don’t succeed. This article outlines some of those mistakes and how to leverage direct marketing best practices to make adjustments that can lead to successful direct mail campaigns.

1- Don’t assume everyone is like you or in general, the same

Everyone in our industry talks about shortening the message on your postcard or your letter when in reality you must include as much information needed for the reader to say “yes”. By providing information in multiple layouts, you give the opportunity for the reader to choose how they digest the content. It is important to look at the direct mail piece with the “eyes” of the reader and consider what information they need to make a decision. A decision can lead them to your website or a landing page, sign up and send back, generate a call or walk in with the ad.

2- Mailing to your entire market, or even a high percentage of all prospects

Targeting, targeting, targeting is your key to delivering a successful direct mail program. It will reduce your investment and waste while increasing your response rate.

3- Don’t think everyone wants to respond via a web page or landing page

The reality is that today recipients want and expect options. They are accustomed to having alternatives for ways to respond. One key trend is ensuring landing pages are mobile-friendly. A direct mail advertisement should provide a response mechanism; such as a mail-back enrollment form, a phone number, a web link/URL or just to bring in the postcard.

4. Prospects have a tough time responding

People are procrastinators. Provide call-to-action multiple times within the direct mail piece, and to be extremely clear on the desired action. A rule of thumb is a minimum of three times within the piece alone.

5. People are bombarded with ads throughout their day

So, give them what they desire. Successful direct mail campaign tests show that personalized information, including personalized URLs (PURLs), empower and reinforce your direct mail communications. Generic direct mail packages without personalization have been proven to be not as effective and produce inferior results compared with meaningful and accurate personalization. At a minimum, it should be accurately addressed to the recipient on the household level. Variable data printing (VDP) makes the most impact and can drive higher than normal response rates

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