Direct mail is a complicated marketing channel and can easily give you poor results. When done correctly direct mail has a great ROI. Don’t give up after one failed attempt at direct mail. Instead take a hard look at what you did and where it can be improved.


Top 5 Direct Mail Fails:


    1. List: The people you are sending to are very important. You need to correctly target your audience to your message/offer. Many times direct mail fails because the wrong people were sent the piece. The best way to drive a good response is to have a good targeted list.


    1. Design: When your direct mail has too much information crowed onto the piece it is hard to understand and will be tossed in the trash. Use colorful images with concise text to convey your message. Bullet points and bolding help to get the most important information to stand out.


    1. Offer: Your offer must be specific. Vague offers are trash. Give people a reason to respond to you by providing them an offer they cannot refuse. Tell them what’s in it for them. A limited time offer is better at generating responses than one without expiration. The larger the discount the better the offer is perceived to be.


    1. Response device: There are many response options today. How many are you including in your direct mail? The more the better. Each person has a preferred method of response, when you allow them to respond in the way they want, the better your response rate is going to be. The most commonly used ones are: phone, web, text, email, and QR code.


    1. Size: I know we all like to think that size does not matter, but it does. A 6 x 11 postcard is going to stand out in the mail box much more than a 4.25 x 6 one. Yes, the larger size does cost a little more, but when more people see it you get a better response rate. Go big. This will also allow you more room for creative and messaging. Keep in mind the letter size postage rates versus the flat size rates. You can maximize your costs by staying in the letter size postage rate category.


Don’t let the power of direct mail marketing pass you by. Consumers like getting mail and respond to it. Yes, even millennials! Take the time to carefully plan out your next direct mail campaign and take into consideration all 5 of the elements above. When all 5 are aligned well your response rate will be good.

How to Get Your Direct Mail to Stand Out!

Still not sure you want to try direct mail again? Send us a PDF of your last mail piece that did not give you the results you expected. We can look it over and help you create a better one. There is no cost for this initial consultation and it can be done via email if you are crunched for time. Let us help you improve your ROI. Call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!