A direct mail campaign can result in a lot of sales if it is carried out in a proper manner – or it can be an expensive flop if things go wrong.  Here are common mistakes that need to be avoided while preparing a successful direct mail campaign:

1. LIST DEDUPing IS A MUST

Every envelope you post in your direct mail campaign costs your company more than 35 cents. This means if you send the mail to too many people who are not interested in buying your product or sending to the same person that is interested, the costs can quickly begin to add up and leave you worse off financially. Take the time to scrub all mailing lists. Make sure last names are up to date. You’d be surprised at how exciting it is for a new bride to get mail with her new last name! Check with your mail vendor (someone like us!) about how you want them to dedupe – if you only want one-per-household, ask them to dedupe by address and name.

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2. SENDING IMPERSONAL LETTERS

Very few people respond to letters that look like they have been written while keeping in mind a generic client persona rather than specific customers. Make sure to add each receiver’s name to the body of the letter, and when possible, refer to your past dealings with the client to assure the direct mailers that you are aware of who they are and what they need.

3. TOO MUCH FLUFF AND FILLER

Making constant use of adjectives and cramming in unnecessary information may make the letter longer, but it won’t hold the interest of the receiver. Make your point only to the extent that is needed to make the prospective client aware of the advantages of your services, and avoid word-stuffing. Respect your reader’s time. Short letters are ok – oftentimes even better than long-winded or repetitive text.

4. NOT GETTING TO THE POINT

Avoid trying to lead up to your product in the last few sentences of the copy. People increasingly have a shorter attention span, and your direct mailers need to know right from the start what the letter is about. Start the copy with a question that gets the reader’s attention. Address a problem that the reader suffers from and that your product intends to solve. Arouse the reader’s curiosity, then present your product and back up your claims with hard evidence.

5. IGNORING THE READER’S NEEDS

Think of your copy not as an advertisement for your company and your product, but rather as a direct answer to one of your reader’s needs. Fashion the entire copy around providing a solution for that need. The job of the copy is not to enhance your company’s image in your reader’s mind, but rather to compelled them to make a buy.

6. NOT USING TRIGGER WORDS

Every copywriter knows about certain trigger words that can be used to create a positive sales pitch that gets the prospective buyer involved and willing to make a purchase. Make sure to use these trigger words where appropriate within the body of the text, but also avoid putting them in randomly without context. Trigger words spark action – if you need inspiration, use the five senses or seven deadly sins to add texture and encourage response.

7. UGLY ENVELOPES

The envelope you use will create the first impression on the mind of the reader, and that impression needs to be positive. Add a teaser copy to the back of the envelope, and make use of differently shaped envelopes to make your letter stand out from the other mail that your direct mailers receive.

8. ONE SHOT MAILING

This is the practice of writing hundreds and thousands of copies and mailing them to a random list of people. In most cases, such type of mail ends up in the receiver’s trash. Sending a 1,000 copies to people with an established interest in your product is far more effective than sending a 100,000 copies to people whose preferences and needs are unknown to you, so study your clients. That is the best way to truly know your audience.

Try these tips to add strength to your direct mail campaign. Need help, ask us our experts how. Contact us!

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Written by Katina Charles

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