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Direct Mail Mistakes

Over the last 28 years, I have seen a lot of good direct mail and a lot of mistakes. Sometimes they have been sad, like when a nonprofit had the wrong return address on their courtesy reply envelopes. They did not get any of the donation checks delivered to them.  Other times, they been really funny. Like the time when a wrong phone number was put on the mail piece so when recipients called it they reached a sex hotline. That was pretty funny. The worst direct mail mistakes are the ones that cost you the most money, so learning what not to do can really help.

Top 3 Direct Mail Mistakes Not To Make:

  1. Poor Design: The USPS has a ton of strict regulations on direct mail. When you do not follow them it can be very expensive for postage. Postage is always your biggest expense, but errors can create a really expensive problem. Some of the regulations cover where you can place an address. Keep in mind that letter size mail has different regulations than flat size mail. There are also folding specifications as well as paper weight. Your best bet is to consult with us when you are designing to make sure you are meeting all the requirements before you print. This can save you a lot of money especially when a design element is not mailable.
  2. Missing Call To Action: The purpose of direct mail is to get either your customers to buy more or prospects to become customers. When you are missing a call to action or it is unclear they don’t respond since there is no reason to. You just wasted money on print and mail. Be sure to have a specific call to action that is easy to follow. One call to action per mail piece. You can increase the effectiveness of your call to action by creating variable CTA’s based on purchase history. Don’t forget to highlight the benefits they will get when they respond. Remember that this is all about the recipient, what is in it for them.
  3. No Planning: Direct mail is one of the more complicated channels so it requires a lot of planning up front. Before you start your campaign you need to plan from design through tracking results. Set not only your goals and expectations but also your timelines with your mail date in mind. The most common planning problem is time. They do not start the process early enough and run into deadlines since the mail date is a firm date. All the time get sucked up in design and printing without leaving enough time to get the mailing out on schedule. Whenever you rush through a step there are bound be to things that go wrong, so take the time upfront to address issues before they happen. Creating the follow up with tracking and reporting once the campaign is complete is vital to your success. You need to know what is working and what needs to be changed.

All three of these mistakes can cost you a lot of money. If you take the time to create a direct mail campaign, make sure to address the potential problems before it is too late. Don’t waste your money. Direct mail can be a great way to promote and grow your business when it is done correctly. Are you ready to get started creating mistake free direct mail? Call us today in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

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