In May of 2015, the USPS reported a net loss of $1.5 billion during the first three months of the year, due to a decline in first-class and standard mail (2.1% and 1.1%). Though it is common knowledge that mail volumes have taken a hit, the numbers are not as low as predicted. In fact, the latest direct mail statistics are rather encouraging.
Thanks to innovations in design, production and data management, marketers are much closer to bringing those numbers back up to where they used to be. That is, if they play the game right. Here are six ways to improve your direct mail marketing return on investment.
Know your audience
In marketing, both inbound and outbound marketing, knowing your intended target audience is hugely important. An effective direct mail campaign begins with your target audience. As a marketing professional, you must know your target’s needs and how you establish a connection with them.
Make your content pop
While making your content personable, you also need to have clear and entertaining messages. Your main goal is to show your prospects how and why your services or products can benefit them.
Comply with postal regulations
There are several important factors to consider while designing your piece. First, in order to get the best postage rates, make sure you are leaving plenty of room in your design to allow for the address and the barcode. Then, there is thickness. The USPS postcard requirements state that postcards must be at least .007” or thicker. Letters cannot be more than ¼” thick, and folded self-mailers must be on 70# text or thicker. If you do not follow these guidelines, your postage is going to cost you a lot more money than it should be. And while this could be beneficial to USPS’ wallet, it won’t be to yours.
Choose your colors wisely
The colors you choose to use on your mailer will set the mood for the piece. Colors have varying subconscious effects on people, and it is important that you choose wisely. Red, for example commands attention, while blue inspires confidence. Green can be connected to money, the environment, healing, and tranquility.
With all the improvements happening with mobile phones, the internet, and video-based communication, it is important that your direct mail be technology friendly. While we are sticking to the basics by using snail mail, it is suggested that you make your mailers web-compatible. By including a simple QR (quick response) code, you are reinforcing your email and social media campaigns, through direct mail.
Direct mail can come in all shapes, sizes, and formats
The key in selecting which format will work best for your mailer is knowing your audience, how much mail they may receive on a daily basis, and what message you are trying to send. Your goal should be to be creative and to grab your audience’s attention. You don’t have to stick with a 2-dimensional design. Feel free to experiment with shapes, layers, and pieces. Test your materials, measure their strengths and weaknesses, and track your results. Check out Urban River for some great, creative direct-mail examples: https://www.urbanriver.com/10-creative-direct-mail-examples/
Direct mail is a critical component of contemporary cross-media marketing campaigns. If you design your direct mail with the goal of getting noticed, and integrate the messaging with your other cross-media platforms, you will begin to close the loop on your lead conversion cycles.