Catching the Direct Mail Surge – 4 Behind-the-Scenes Elements of Successful Direct Mail Campaigns

I am so very excited about this article!  It’s a little crazy how these topics hit me, but I’m thankful I’m able to utilize a little creativity as I help find ways to coach you through the process of composing the best Direct Mail campaigns you can.  Today is no different, and ironically, it started from a simple Facebook post.

I knew I wanted to talk to you all about how to choose the right format, style, and tone for your campaigns.  It’s super critical to find the right balance between message and Call-to-Action, right?  (In a moment, I’ll explain four of the must-haves that go into a great campaign.)  Well, right before I fired up Word, I ran through Facebook and was awed by a 4-person group covering a Lee Ann Womack song, “I Hope You Dance.”  Their performance and the arrangement instantly made me think of you all, and I knew what I wanted to say.

We’ve talked about saving every bit of Direct Mail you receive – and especially ANYTHING from your competition.  Look at what they’re putting out, and decide if you can do it better.  Decide if you can repackage or reformulate what they’ve done – making sure it is ‘new & improved’ with your unique touch and feel.

When thinking about your own campaign, I think it is wise to consider these 4 behind-the-scenes elements as you begin to arrange your Direct Mail vision:

  1. Use your best judgement – This is about selecting the right format. Are we talking about Rock N’ Roll, or some smooth jazz?  Is a large-format or a traditional-format postcard the right way to go?  Do you have a lot to say, or are you wanting to entice the reader into learning more about you and your company?  What is going to not only grab their attention, but make them want to keep reading?
  2. Have an honest idea about your budget – The flashy stage and the backup dancers cost money. By understanding how much you have to work with, what you expect to get in return (remember that earlier post about Return on Investment?), you can tackle your Direct Mail project with a sense of confident relaxation.  Knowing what you want to spend going in helps ground expectations and can provide a spring board for the next phase of your outreach.
  3. Be firm on the type of offer – Sometimes the song and the singer just don’t match. Am I right?  Don’t do that in your campaign.  Understand your audience, know what they’re looking for, and what kinds of Calls-to-Action you need to implement to get their attention.  Don’t offer a weekend woodworker a white paper on the large-format furniture construction technology she’ll never use.
  4. Demographics are everything – The right audiences for your Direct Mail campaigns are as different as the audiences at Celine and Slayer concerts. Part of making a connection with your mailing depends solely on the people you’re wanting to reach.  Once you know the people you’re looking for, understand what you’re going to ask of them (the Call-to-Action), and work to make sure that the style of the message is in tune with what they expect (think: language, presentation, etc.).

Just like covers of already-famous songs, I’m sure you’ve all seen Direct Mail postcards in your mailbox that reminded you of past mailings.  And I’m just as sure that sometimes they’ve been hits (maybe you got the white paper or called for the ‘special’ they advertised); and sometimes they’ve been failures that ended up in your trash can.

There is a delicate balance between copying someone’s work and adding something different and authentic to ‘make it your own’, in hopes of being even more successful in terms of response and ROI.

We have Direct Mail coaches standing by to inspire new ideas, educate you on our proven strategies, and guide you toward success.  Set up a free coaching call with us and we’ll help you find that chart-topping harmony to help you achieve your very best results!