4 Direct Mail Campaign Mistakes to Avoid

Here are four common mistakes that you should avoid when launching a direct mail campaign.

Customer Relations, Marketing Campaign

Direct mail is one of the most traditional forms of marketing that businesses continue to use. However, a direct mail faux pas can leave customers with a bad taste in their mouth — rather than a lingering curiosity about your business.

The following are four common direct mail campaign mistakes and ways to avoid them.

1. Not Understanding Your Target Audience

Sending direct mail to a prospect that is likely to have no interest in your message is generally a waste of time for both parties and a waste of money. It's critical that you do some research in order to pinpoint your target audience before you start a direct mail campaign. By researching the demographics of your audience, as well as their preferences, shopping habits and behaviors, you can communicate a precise message that is tailored to their personal interests. With direct mail services, you can upload your own direct mail list or create a highly targeted list — simply search by zip code, demographics or postal route, then upload your design and your direct mail will be delivered to your customers and prospects.

2. Not Presenting an Offer

A direct mail campaign can relay important information about your business to your customers. However, merely sending out an informational flyer that does not present an offer is a major mistake. Without an offer, your mailer will probably be discarded. Discounts, coupons or special invitations to in-store events are common examples of offers that customers expect in a direct mail piece from a place they do business with. To seal the deal, be sure to include a call to action in all of your direct mail materials to inform the recipient of how and when they can redeem the offer.

3. Not Testing Different Messages and Offers

Without testing your direct mail efforts, it will be difficult to determine which offer performs best. To get the best results, try A/B testing. In its simplest form, A/B testing involves sending out direct mail to two test groups within the same target audience. Group A will receive the same direct mail as group B, except for the offer. Once you receive the responses back from the two groups, you can determine the higher response rate and decide which offer to move forward with in the future.

4. Not Tracking Success

To determine whether a direct mail campaign was a success, you will need to track the results. Tracking provides the data you need to analyze the success of the direct mail campaign and inform future marketing initiatives. If you don't track your success, you may not learn from your mistakes, which could lead to wasting money and resources down the road.

However, before you begin tracking results, it is important to set measurable goals that define success. For instance, a goal of your campaign might be to increase sales of a certain product by a specific amount over a specific period of time. From there, you can track your direct mail efforts in various ways, such as by campaign-specific URLs, promotional codes or phone numbers, to determine whether your campaign is meeting your goals.

By avoiding these four pitfalls, you will be on your way to a direct mail campaign that is sure to please your customers and boost your bottom line.