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Direct Mail Marketing Tips

At Modern Postcard, we’re often asked about direct mail advertising and strategy tips, and we’re excited to share some with you today.

Women in a modern office reviewing graphics and charts, reviewing direct mail marketing tips on a laptop and tablet

But first, we’d like to highlight something we think is worth noting when contemplating if direct mail is worth the investment. This question, about allocating budget on direct mail versus other marketing channels, is a common question among prospective clients. And the answer is that direct mail marketing, when done right, ranks the highest Return-On-Investment (ROI) when sent to prospects at 112% compared to SMS at 102%, followed by email at 93% ROI. This statistic, revealed by the Association of National Advertisers, should have everyone stop and consider direct mail marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Modern Postcard has an ROI calculator that we encourage you to use when planning your direct mail campaigns.

One of the most important strengths of direct mail is its open rate. You can have the most beautiful advertisement or commercial created by the most talented graphic designers, but if your message is not being seen (by the right people, and we’ll get to this later), then… well, it’s just money wasted that could have been better spent somewhere else.

Let’s take email for example. This medium is very popular because of its affordability. But how many people actually end up seeing a particular email message from a business versus a direct mail piece that’s delivered straight into people’s mailboxes? According to the Data & Marketing Association, up to 90% of direct mail gets opened compared to only 23% for emails. So, when you ask yourself if direct mail is worth the investment, think about where you want to spend your budget; with a physical marketing channel that lands in the hands of your target audience, or a digital alternative that may never reach your intended prospects.

Next, we have a few tips we’d like to share regarding making your direct mail piece stand out in the mail. According to the USPS®, the most common direct mail format used by U.S.-based marketers is postcards (66%). This is not a surprise. Mailing postcards is an effective strategy because they are affordable, easy to get in the mail stream, and they are instantly recognizable, making this particular marketing ideal for both B2B and B2C prospects.

Direct Mail Postcard Design Tips

People working at a busy desk showing hands pointing at screens and reviewing direct mail marketing tips

It’s important to contemplate your postcard design thoroughly, because it’s one of the things you need to get right in making your direct mail more effective. While images and color schemes are generally quite flexible, some aspects of your card are not. Always lead with an attractive offer. If the incentive isn’t there for prospects to want to reach out to your business, they most likely will choose one of your competitors instead.

With the offer, you’d want to add a call-to-action (CTA). This can be anything from nudging the reader to contact your business, either by phone or in-person, or visit your company website.

In addition to an offer and a CTA, it’s a good idea to think about an eye-catching headline, a paragraph and bullet points that describe the benefits of your product or service, and last but not least, don’t forget to include your contact information, logo, images, and any other important information. Perhaps even a testimonial if there’s room on the card.

If you’re interested in obtaining a direct mail marketing tips template, please click here.

How to Market Through Direct Mail

In addition to the above tips on how to design a direct mail postcard, it’s imperative to focus on choosing your target audience. If your postcard reaches the wrong prospect, then you’re no closer to gaining any new customers. For example, if you’re a hardware store that wants to boost your lawn mower sales, it’s probably not a good idea to mail your postcard to a residential neighborhood that’s primarily made up of apartment buildings. There are many variables to think about when it comes to choosing your recipients, and this short video illustrates how we can help you find the right prospects, because at the end of the day, the effectiveness of a direct mail campaign really does depend on the mailing list. In fact, 40% of direct mail’s success relies on the list.  So, when we’re asked the question “is direct mail marketing effective,” the answer is an astounding YES, if done right!

And so many companies do get it right. Just look at these numbers from The Business Research Industry that show the market value of this industry: The direct mail advertising market is expected to grow from $42.79 billion in 2021 to $46.33 billion in 2026, and reach $47.93 billion in 2031.

The benefits associated with direct mail advertising are contributing to the growth of this lucrative market, and perhaps the number one reason direct mail is so popular is its cost per acquisition compared to other marketing channels. Direct mail has an extremely competitive average of $19 cost-per-acquisition compared to mobile and social at $16-18, paid search at $21-30, and internet display at a whopping $41-50. (DMA Response Rate Report)

3 Keys to a Direct Mail Marketing Promotion

We hope by now you can see that direct mail marketing tips and tricks are rooted in established practices. If you want to take away three keys to a successful direct mail marketing promotion, we’d like to highlight the following:

  1. Design your postcard thoughtfully and with the right components listed above
  2. Make sure you have identified the appropriate prospects with your mailing list
  3. Use a print, list, and mailing partner who has the expertise needed to support your campaign before, during, and after your piece is in the mail

We’ve spent quite some time reviewing the pre-planning of a direct mail campaign, but equally important is what happens after your postcard has reached its destination. Watch this video to learn more about campaign tracking practices and how to measure delivery, response, and conversion.

When you’re ready to amplify your business with Modern Postcard, give us a call to get the conversation started!

If you’re interested in obtaining a direct mail marketing tips template, please click here.

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