Marketing Advertising Postcard Pile

Expanding on my thoughts from yesterday about how some of the old tried and true marketing vehicles are some of the most effective, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about direct mail. In many marketers eyes direct mail can seem like a tedious and expensive way to spend your marketing dollars. And for a lot of direct mail campaigns this is very true. Most direct mail campaigns executed with the old shotgun approach – sending out a postcard with a generic message to everyone. This is where the words “Or Current Resident” come into play, which basically means, we have no idea who we are sending this to, but if you get this…. it’s for you!

This is an awful approach. With the wide range of tools that marketers have at their disposal these days to help them target their direct mail campaigns, there is no excuse for the expensive mass blast direct mail campaign.

Here are my tips for executing a successful, cost effective direct mail campaign:

  1. Determine and locate a very specific audience. There are a number of tools out there to help you do this. GfK and Experian are two of the best resources for tools to help you define your target. They will also help you drill down to the best areas to send your direct mail pieces making certain that you aren’t spending money on mailing to areas that are clearly out of your target audience.
  2. Create messaging specifically for your target audience(s). Don’t be generic.
  3. Multiple Campaigns. If you have multiple target audiences, don’t be afraid to create a campaign specifically tailored to each of your target groups. There are a number of online resources for postcard printing that enable you to print materials in small quantities, making it very cost-effective to create as many campaign variations as necessary.
  4. Measure. Include campaign specific phone numbers, or urls so that the success of the campaign can be gauged.
  5. Learn. Continually observe the successes and failures of your direct mail campaigns. Make a point to keep track of what works for a specific audience and what doesn’t. Learn from this and improve.