There are three big mistakes organizations make when designing direct mail campaigns, which are caught when working with reputable custom mail services. However, you should also be aware of good practices—and bad practices. Before you embark on your next campaign, look through these three mistakes that can sabotage your marketing efforts:

1.   No Call-to-Action (CTA)

cabrillo music festival postcardEvery piece of direct mail needs a CTA. This is a singular action you’re telling your audience to do. It doesn’t have to be making a purchase or scheduling an appointment. It can be directing your audience to a newsletter subscription, visiting your website, participating in a holiday event your business is hosting, etc. Your mail should have exactly one CTA. If you skip out on it, you’ll have a harder time nurturing a prospective customer’s interest. If you have more than one CTA, you risk losing their attention.

2.   Cluttered or Vague Copy

You don’t have much time to capture your audience’s attention. Your direct mail should have professional graphic design that attracts attention, keeps it, and gives the audience all the information they need with a brief scan. Most people don’t read their mail beginning to end. They skim over words and images, lingering over anything of particular interest. A best practice for design is to make every element important to your direct mail.

The copy should be short, direct, and tell the audience what the next step is to use your products or services. If you want them to contact you for a free consultation, all your copy should be targeted toward that CTA. If you want them to bring in the flyer as a coupon for a service, your copy should clearly direct your audience to that action.

Any copy that detracts from the main message can send a prospective customer to their next item of mail. Time is short, especially when their attention is involved.

3. Sending to a Bad List

Direct mail services can boost your marketing efforts only if your mail reaches the right people. Otherwise it’s a waste of your time designing the mail, and spending your money on business mailing services. Before sending out any direct mail campaign, confirm your mailing list is updated and relevant to your business or organization.

If you’re using custom mail services to design your mail, select your mailing list, and send out your mail, your list probably is appropriate. But make sure you’re working with someone who can provide customized mailing lists. Your mailing list might be tailored to a specific demographic or geographic area, such as those below.

Sample Mailing Lists

  • Mail to million-dollar households in a specific county
  • Mail to locally-owned businesses
  • Mail to executives with a certain amount of income for a charity drive
  • Mail to professionals in a specific industry and income range

It’s a good practice to research statistics on direct mail to help determine your audience and mailing format.

Business Mailing Services — Bay Area & the Central Coast

Complete Mailing & Printing provides a full range of custom mail services for businesses and nonprofits in the Bay Area and on the Central Coast. Contact us to receive a quote for your direct mail project, including design, digital printing, mail merging, bulk mailing, and database management.