The Ultimate Guide to Sending Direct Mail

About 20 years ago, right when email was beginning its takeover as one of the quickest and most effective ways to communicate, people loathed receiving direct mail advertisements. That’s because they received dozens of pamphlets, booklets, flyers, and handouts all promising their company was offering the best solution for whatever problem they might have. Today, though, the tables have swiftly turned: people look forward to receiving direct mail, which has become much less frequent in the advent of email marketing, and groan every time they open their email inbox to see hundreds of promotions and spam emails.

That being said, direct mail shouldn’t be viewed as an antiquated method of marketing; rather, since so many companies have dropped out of the space over the years, it’s a chance to stand out and have your message heard.

Why Direct Mail is Better than Email

Consider this: 98% of Americans check their mailboxes every day, and 79% of mail received is read for at least a minute. Compare this to the pitiful open rate most email marketing campaigns strive for–20%. That said, direct mail is now preferable to email for many reasons, including:

  • The delivery rate of direct mail is about 98%, while email delivery is about 50%. And of the emails that do get delivered, chances are they’ll be a victim to the trash button.
  • Direct mail does not require an opt-in in the same way that email does.Most office workers receive an average of 121 business emails and 100 personal emails a day. On the other hand, the average household only receives 16 pieces of direct mail a week.
  • Emails rely on subject lines to entice readers to open them; direct mail has limitless space to personalize and stand out.Americans tend to keep direct mail pieces for about 17 days, whereas the average lifespan of an email is two seconds.
  • Direct mail generates response rates that are 600% higher than all digital channels combined. Specifically, email marketing had a 3.7% response rate with house lists and only 1% with prospect lists.
  • 56% of consumers believe that printed marketing, including direct mail, is the “most trustworthy” media channel. Email marketing, conversely, is viewed as spammy and informal.
  • Three out of five Americans enjoy receiving direct mail about new products versus 43% who enjoyed opening emails about a new product.

The Dos of Direct Mail

In order to keep your direct mail efforts out of the trash, make sure you heed the following tips:

  • Mail your piece to the right people; be as specific as possible with your recipient list. Creating personas is helpful for this step.
  • Spruce up the mail; grab your reader’s attention quickly.
  • Keep your message clear, simple, and prominent.
  • Include a sense of urgency (like an offer or incentive) or a call to action to increase the reader’s interest.
  • Keep sending mail–direct mail becomes most effective after the third piece sent.

…And the Don’ts

Keeping in mind the best practices for direct mail marketing, be sure to avoid doing the following:

  • Using an unreadable font. We know, there are so many neat fonts to choose from, but if you want people to actually read what you sent, make sure you use an appropriate font style and size.
  • Lying; always be open and honest about whatever you are offering. Otherwise, you risk alienating your target audience.
  • Sending to an old list. If your list is three years old (or older), don’t bother using it. Make sure you keep a clean mail list to ensure maximum results.
  • Using an unclear call to action (or not including one at all). If you don’t include this: mail, meet trash.
  • Focusing on product features, not benefits. When you’re trying to sell to someone, you don’t want to focus on all of the new colors your product is available in, for example. Tell them how the product can help them solve their problem.

Final Thoughts

At Advertisers Printing, we can help you get your direct mail campaign on track. We offer both marketing solutions and printing solutions that are sustainable and efficient. For more information on how we can help you, please contact us!