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Back to Basics: 5 Essential Elements for a Successful Direct Mail Piece

By Derek Gates, Online Marketing Manager for Modern Postcard

We see a lot of direct mail going out our door here at Modern and with each campaign, we like to understand how it performed for our clients. After talking with the most successful campaign managers, we have found that there are a few essential elements to every direct mail piece and we would like to pass those on to you.

1. Call-to-Action: Every campaign needs an action to perform by the recipient. If there is no action, then it becomes a straight branding piece and the majority of direct mailers usually can't afford that broad tactic. Whether that action is to go to your website to receive a code, call a number to enter to win a prize or take advantage of a special promotion by an expiration date, make your prospects actually do something.

2. Contact Information/How to Act: This seems pretty straight forward, but after a call-to-action, a prospect needs an easy way to fulfill on their interest. By forgetting to include contact information whether that is a website, phone number or address, it leaves the prospect an extra step to perform that can often derail their motivation altogether.

2a. Measurable Results: Give your business the best chance to succeed by making your prospect's actions measurable. If they aren't measurable or you don't measure at all, then you will just always be throwing darts while blindfolded.

3. Eye-Catching Creative: A call-to-action is only good if it gets noticed in the first place. Having an eye-catching theme, image, package or material is essential to getting your message noticed. Go a step further and correlate the imagery to the customer or to the offer and you should be on the right track to a successful campaign.

4. Easy to Understand Message: Everyone wants to be creative when it comes to their direct mail piece, but it can be easy to go overboard with your message. The best action to take is to follow the KISS formula (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and leave the guesswork of conceptual artwork off of your mailer. Give your prospects an easy message to understand, an easy action to perform, and an easy way to perform it.

5. Targeted Recipients: Don't send your message to just anyone. Whether you are renting a list or using your own prospecting or customer database, only select those recipients that have the best chance of acting. Unless branding is your goal, which most of the time it isn't, target your list comparatively to your best customers. Hedge your bets for the best results.

Follow these fundamental steps to secure the best possible direct mail campaign for your company!

Good luck.

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Modern Postcard’s project submission and tracking tools, staff responsiveness and quality of the final product all exceeded our expectations. And the timeline was significantly shorter than if we had kept the project in-house.
Dilpreet Jammu
CEO, Convergent Communication Technologies