Direct Mail: Things to Consider

October 19th, 2016
Direct Mail Planning Board
Direct mail campaign planning
Direct mail campaign planning

Direct mail campaigns can be categorized in two ways – low-impact and high-impact. A low-impact direct mail piece might be a postcard or a flyer. They’re simple, usually one page, and can be mailed with just a single stamp. Alternatively, a high-impact direct mailer can take many forms – it could be a sales kit, a box of promotional items, a brochure, a video player, etc. – traditionally they’re 3-dimensional and built to pack a punch.

But which direct mail option should you choose for your campaign?

Here are some things to consider at the outset of campaign development:

  1. How many contacts are you trying to reach?
    • What is the scope of the campaign?
    • Did you buy a list or are you pulling from your own qualified database?
  2. What is your current relationship with those contacts?
    • Are they existing customers?
    • Are they lapsed customers? If so, why did they leave and how could you go about winning them back?
    • Are they prospects? If so, how familiar might they be with your brand, services and products?
  3. How complex is your message? Can it be handled in a single message, or will it require two or three touches?
    • Is it a simple reminder? “Come see us at this trade show”
    • Is it a product launch? If so, what are the critical communication points you’re trying to get them to understand from your mailing?
    • Are they expecting to hear from you, or will this be new information?
  4. In what ways can you personalize the message based on your relationship with the client?
    • Can you send them to a salesman they’re already familiar with?
    • Do you know anything significant about their previous purchase history?
    • Have you met them at previous industry events?
  5. What is the call-to-action? What are you trying to get them to do after reading your message?
    • View a landing page?
    • Fill out a survey or contact form?
    • Contact a salesperson?
    • Be familiar with your brand prior to receiving a call from a salesman?
  6. How urgent is your timeline?
    • Is there a deadline – a launch date, an event date, an “end of season”?
  7. What’s your production budget?

Once you have an idea of the kind of scope and constraints of your campaign, you can begin to think through how you’d like to see it take shape. Stay tuned over the next couple of posts as we break down the pros and cons of low- and high-impact direct mail pieces.

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