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Five ways to improve results from direct mail campaigns

Today’s print marketing campaigns thrive on a targeted approach. With brands gathering more and more data about clients, it can and should be used to improve your direct mail campaigns. Customers respond better to marketing campaigns that reflect their own needs and preferences, not generalised marketing material that’s clearly been sent out to a large, unfocused group of customers.
Targeted direct mail can significantly improve response rates, but not every direct mail campaign will see the same level of success. Print design, print management and the content itself will all contribute to response rates. Here, we share our tips for improving direct mail results.


#1: Be prompt

If you’re a B2C retailer and like to send out the occasional catalogue or brochure to customers, you have to bear in mind two timing-related factors. First: the products. Are they likely to go out of stock before the catalogues even reach some of your customers? If so, you need to push to release your catalogues earlier. Additionally, include launch dates for certain product lines in your catalogue just in case snail mail works more quickly than you expect. Secondly: the data in your mailing list will also go out of date. Once you have your brochures printed and ready to send out, don’t hold onto them for too long – your targeting efforts will gradually become less accurate as time goes on.


#2: Give the campaign a purpose

Don’t send out a brochure every quarter just because that’s how you’ve always done things. Marketing campaigns need a purpose and a goal to be most effective. This goal should dictate the design and content of your direct mail. If your goal is to get more Twitter followers, you’ll give your Twitter handle pride of place on the front of the brochure and perhaps include highlights from your Twitter feed somewhere else in the brochure. If your goal is to boost sales of a certain range of products, you’ll feature them heavily and focus the bulk of your brochure on these products, perhaps offering discounts or deals on them.


#3: Consider conversion

Make it easy for customers to buy via direct mail by giving them plenty of different options – include a response form with the catalogue, offer a route for them to order over the phone and make sure your website address for your brand’s online shop is prominent. Consider using QR codes or shortened, memorable URLs to make it easy for readers to take the next step. Tempt more sales with a small, time-limited discount.


#4: Design update

Your direct mail should focus on visuals, not text. Study eye tracking in print to learn how readers react to visual elements. Use new photos, images and graphics. Think outside the box and create a design that sets your brand apart from the competition. Consider how you react to direct mail. Which design features stop you from throwing it straight in the bin?


#5: Talk about your customers, not about your brand

This is one of the main rules of marketing that almost every brand is guilty of breaking. Sure, you want the world to know why your business is better than the competitors, but if you’re sending out direct mail to these clients you’ve probably already won their custom. They know what you do. Instead, talk about your customers’ common problems and how you can help to resolve them.

For more print design tips, get in touch with PMG’s design studio. We can help you revitalise your print marketing materials and improve your return on investment.

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