Direct Mail Checklist
In today’s world of complex creative and nonstop marketing assault, it’s easy to forget the basics. Before designing that visually extravagant mailer, take a step back and make sure you’ve covered the fundamentals.
Who are you sending the mailer to? Is the list current? Are you mailing to the right people? Are the names up to date? Are there duplicates (or even triplicates) that need to be culled?
Even if you are not using full personalization, your mailing should still have basic segmentation that allows you to speak relevantly to your core target audiences. If you’re selling homeowners or auto insurance, for example, you’ll speak differently to families with children than you will to retirees.
Especially if you will be personalizing, it’s a good idea to cross-reference your data. You can assume that customers purchasing infant formula have young children, but maybe they are grandparents picking up necessities for their grandchildren, too. If those customers subscribe to New Baby magazine, however, you can have confidence that they have young children at home.
Call to Action.
Too many mailings suffer from not having a call to action. CTAs are critical to motivating behavior, and without one, even the most otherwise well-designed campaign can fail. Make the CTA visible. Make it bold. Put it in a starburst or use brightly colored lettering. Readers can’t respond to a CTA they don’t see.
Give people more than one way to respond. Consumers’ lives are cluttered and over-scheduled. The more ways you can give them to respond, the more likely they are to do so. If you are using personalized URLs, include a personalized QR Code in case they want to respond on a mobile device. Give people a general URL, a tear-out card, and a phone number. Pre-fill tear-out cards with as much information as you can. Remove as many barriers to a response as possible.
Bullets and White Space.
Busy consumers don’t have time to read. When designing for direct mail, think “infographic.” Use bullet points, numbered lists, and graphic elements—anything that makes the information easy to absorb with a quick visual scan.
Include a P.S.
Did you know that the P.S. Is the most read part of a letter? Use this area to reiterate your key points and CTA. If people don’t read anything else, they’ll read that. Studies also show that including a deadline for the CTA is a great motivator. This is a great place to reiterate it.