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Get your targeting right and spend less

So you’re planning a direct mail campaign, but how can you get it right without busting your budget?? While it’s tempting to print and mail multiple thousands of copies of your carefully crafted missive, doing so can leave you with big bills and a low return on investment. Instead careful targeting of your campaign can mean your messages are reaching the right people and fewer copies end up straight in the recycling.


And of course it’s not just your bottom line that pays the price for printing more than you need, here at PMG, we’re committed to clever print solutions that are good for the environment and your budget.


It’s no secret that paper prices have been rising steadily for years. When Print Week announced price rises again in October last year it was with some stark numbers. Since November 2016 the price of Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp had increased from $810/tonne (£627/tonne) to $1,230 tonne, with nine paper price rises in the 27 months to October 2018. Some increases have been caused by global and political events, but the price of pulp has gone up by £300/tonne in that time.


Smart targeting


So what can you do? Well, it’s time to look at your lists. While getting your messages in front of the world and its wife might seem like a good idea, getting them in front of the right people is an even better one. It starts with defining your audience. Precisely who are you trying to reach? If it’s the people who buy the coffee, you probably shouldn’t be sending your coffee marketing material to every HR Director in Yorkshire. Instead, you need to establish who the right people are. In bigger organisations, that might be facilities or procurement teams, in smaller businesses, office managers might make the call. Spend some time interrogating the information you have to make sure you’re targeting the right people.


Getting clear on who, what and why


With your list sorted it’s time to define the purpose of your communication. What is it you want to say? Are you promoting a new offer, a new product or a new service? Are the people on your list likely to be interested? Will the communication you’ve got in mind drive sales? Do the same messages work for your whole audience or do you need to break your list down further and personalise the content to different sub groups?


Taking the time to think about how you answer these questions can be the difference between success and failure of your campaign. In the example we’ve used above, facilities managers, procurement teams and office managers will probably all have slightly different needs when it comes to buying their coffee. Big businesses will have an eye on the quality and ethics of their supply chain, while office managers in smaller firms might focus more on quality and price. If you’re not sure what will work best, it never hurts to ask. A brief online survey or even just picking up the phone can make a world of difference.


When it comes to producing your material, there are some standard requirements:


  • What’s in it for them? It’s all very well talking about how great you are, but why should the potential customer choose you?
  • What do you want them to do? Make contact details easy to find and, if you’re including an offer or discount code, make the terms of that prominent too.
  • Use clear graphics, white space and fonts and colours that represent your brand. You should be instantly recognisable and your communication should be attractive to view
  • Consider including authentic testimonials – no matter how much people like the idea of being individuals, the evidence shows our natural tendency is to follow the crowd.


With the right audience, the right message and the right design, your mailing will do the hard work and turn your investment into new business, more than paying for itself. If you want to get your money’s worth out of your next mailing, talk to our Clever Design Studio team, who can use their wealth of experience to help you achieve the success you’re looking for.

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