Direct Mail Ideas…

In the first part of this series, we talked through the reasons why direct mail can be crucial to your marketing campaigns. Unlike digital marketing direct mail cannot be tweaked, edited and reposted, so a well-planned, well-executed direct mail ideas are essential.

A well thought out campaign can be the difference between a incredible return on investment and no return at all. Here we’ve outlined what you’ll need to to create a clear brief for your direct mail campaign, which is the crucial first step. We cover in detail who you’re targeting, why, how to incorporate the strengths of direct mail, and know whether you’ve succeeded. Whether you’re passing the writing onto a copywriter or tackling it yourself, a brief will answer all of those questions and keep you on track.

Direct Mail Ideas - Proactive Marketing

Campaign objectives

Start by surveying your business landscape.

  • Where is your brand right now – what are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do you compare to your competition and their strengths and weaknesses?

You can use this analysis to identify where to pinpoint your direct mail ideas. It’s important to consider what you want to achieve.

  • Increased sales of a particular product?
  • A larger customer list?
  • Re-engage existing customers so they buy more or higher-end products?

Direct mail is particularly strong in capturing attention, building credibility and enhancing the effectiveness of digital channels, so think about whether your objectives particularly play to these strengths.

Direct Mail Campaign Objectives - Proactive Marketing

Establish your target

Remember, direct mail is a one-on-one communication tool. The idea is that you produce something so engaging, your intended recipient engages and absorbs what you have to say and then acts on it.

You need to build a clear picture (a buyer persona) of who that person is:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Lifestyle
  • Housing
  • Work situation

For more on building a buyer persona, you can download our free guide

Direct Mail Target Audience - Proactive Marketing

Budget, timeframe and brand constraints

Be clear from the outset about how much time, money and other resources you have available. If there are design or brand guidelines that you need to adhere to, make sure these are clearly defined in your brief. It maybe that your timeframe is contingent on a dovetailing digital or broadcast campaign tactic – in which case you can design your campaigns to boost each other effectively.

Direct Mail Budget & Time Frame - Proactive Marketing

Defining your offer to the customer

Consider what you are offering.

  • Why is it valuable to your target?
  • How is it going to help them?
  • What benefits does it bring to their life?
  • What features does it have that will back-up your claims and make your product irresistible?
  • What is the critical message you want to convey about your product to your intended audience?
  • When it comes to getting the message across, you’ll need to make sure you are clear and compelling: a copywriter is a valuable asset in powering your offer home.

Direct Mail Customer Profile - Proactive Marketing

Call to action

Be clear about what you want your target to do after receiving your mailing. Consider how you can use design to draw attention to your call to action, as well as making it easy for them to act (more on this coming up in the next part of the series). You can make it easier for them to say yes with time sensitive incentives: early bird discounts, bonuses or freebies will make your offer more attractive.

Research suggests that while direct mail captures attention, people are used to acting digitally, so plan in the option to email or login to a website. You can also include a printed reply slip if that chimes with your demographic.

It’s worth reviewing at this stage: does the offer meet the campaign objectives you have set? Are your direct mail ideas on target?

Direct Mail CTA - Proactive Marketing

Fulfilling Your Promise

Think through the practicalities of how you will track responses and fulfil orders to the timescales you’ve set out with your targets. Do you have the processes in place to meet demand on time? How will you monitor take-up to track the effectiveness of your campaign? We’ll discuss ways to maximise your ROI in the final part of this series.

Direct Mail Promise - Proactive Marketing

Going through this checklist will help you get your direct mail ideas organised, and ensure you’ve considered all the practical elements of your campaign so you and others can fulfil it effectively. But you still need to create the mailing itself – and this is where the magic happens. The next part of our direct marketing series will walk you through direct mail campaign planning and what exactly you need to get it right.

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