Design Distributors, Inc. (DDI) is always looking for ways to help our customers improve their direct mail campaigns. When we came across Direct Mail for Dummies, we knew we had to acquire it for our valued clients. The author, our friend Richard Goldsmith, gave us exclusive authorization to share this classic guide with you, for free.
This reference guide breaks down the 12 steps to direct mail success and provides money-saving postage strategies you won’t find anywhere else. It explores how direct mail helps businesses of all sizes, and explains why the medium is so effective.
“Direct mail works because it’s a personal medium,” it states. “People love getting mail that addresses their interests and needs. It’s a way for them to connect to other people.”
Mail is also tactile, providing something for the customer to touch, hold, and feel. Taking in the mail can be a welcome break from the computer screens most people typically spend so much time in front of. To ensure you’re using direct mail to its fullest potential, follow these processes:
1. Choose a Product or Service to Offer
Decide which product or service you’ll be offering through your direct mail campaign, and list all its benefits and features.
2. Determine Your Strategy
Set your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals. Once you’ve defined your objectives, you can plan your strategy moving forward.
3. Identify Your Audience
After you understand your product or service offer and the goals you’re trying to achieve, you can identify your target audience. This will require segmentation based on a number of characteristics such as demographics, geography, and psychographics.
4. Decide a Response Method
Determining how your customers contact you to take advantage of your offer may be the most important aspect of the direct mailpiece. This can be in the form of coupons, phone numbers, fax numbers, emails, URLs, or PURLs.
5. Create the Offer
Develop the promotion you’ll use to encourage clients to make a purchase. This can be a percentage off, buy-one-get-one sale, clearance event, free consultation, or free gift with purchase.
6. Develop the Creative
Next, you’ll need to write the draft copy and design the graphics. Decide on the color scheme and brand elements you’ll include.
7. Select Production Methods
Choose the direct mail provider. Your decision will depend on the services you need to produce your mailpiece, store your data, and provide a list. Design Distributors is a full-service, mid-size direct mailer providing lettershop, print, mail, data and fulfillment services.
8. Finalize the Creative
Proof your copy and design to ensure everything is correct, spell-checked, and inviting. Review the design to check it matches your message.
9. Determine What to Test
Conduct A/B testing to determine the best offers, graphics, and copy to achieve optimal results.
10. Mail Your Campaign
Send your campaign to the target audience through the U.S. Postal Service or your direct mailer.
11. Track Results
Once you deploy your campaign, you’ll need to track the results. This includes the number of participating respondents, the offers, and response methods.