Marketing, Sales

Creating a Direct Mail Campaign that Gets Results

Reaching your audience can be accomplished in many different ways. Large corporations invest small fortunes on television ads and national branding strategies. These approaches to marketing are designed to reach a large audience and create brand awareness. For small business with significantly smaller budgets and resources, one of the most efficient and cost effective methods of getting the word out is Direct Mail.

Now, before you go sticking postage stamps on a stack of envelopes and dropping them off at the Post Office, there are some things that need to be done. Many companies simply send out Direct Mail pieces such as flyers or pamphlets, with general distribution and no offer or call to action and wonder why it doesn’t work.  Direct response marketing can be an important tool, but it needs to be done effectively. Here’s how…

Identify Your Target Market (Create Mailing List)

Be very specific about who your audience is and then develop a mailing list around those parameters. To ensure your Direct Mail piece gets to your intended reader, be sure to include a contact name.

Speak to Your Audience

Create a message that speaks to your target audience and contains a compelling offer. If your target market is business owners with 5 or more employees, annual revenues of $1M – $5M, and a mindset for learning and growth, tailor your message to speak to them in their language. If your target market is mothers of pre-school children ages 2 – 5 years, who work from home, ensure the content of your message clearly speaks to that audience. Make your message clear, and remember to include a ‘call to action’ component to ensure a higher response rate. Including an expiry date will also result in a better response.

Create a Direct Mail Process

This is a very important step that can sometimes make or break a Direct Mail campaign. For companies with limited operational resources, consider leveraging your time by outsourcing the printing and mailing labour to a local print company that offers this service. This can also be more cost effective than going it alone, as print companies may offer discounts on postage for mailings over a certain quantity. Next, decide how you are going to follow up with your audience. Here are two approaches that will make your Direct Mail campaign more effective…

Sequential Direct Marketing Approach # 1: (Collection agencies follow this model)

  • 1 notice
  • 15 days later they send a second letter with a bit stronger tone
  • 15 days later they send another with a stronger tone than the previous letters plus the original invoice

Sequential Direct Marketing Approach # 2: (The personal touch)

Phone Mail Phone / Phone Fax Phone / or just Mail Phone

Call to tell them it’s coming

Allows you to deal with a misplaced letter

Allows you to deal with procrastinators who have maybe set the letter aside ‘to deal with it later’

Don’t lie


What it boils down to is, Marketing is an investment that should garner a return. Following these simple steps will help you achieve better results from your Direct Mail campaigns to see the returns you are looking for.

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