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The 4 Most Common Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes

Direct mail has solidified itself as a key component of any multi-channel marketing campaign. However, those that develop the most successful direct marketing campaigns know how to avoid these four common mistakes. It is important not to overlook the importance identifying your audience, having up-to-date mailing lists, not developing a captivating offer, and finally an overly complicated call-to-action.

Identify Your Audience By Their Response Rate

Not only should you be targeting a specific audience, this group of prospects should have a history of responding well to your marketing initiatives. According to Craig Simpson, author of “ 10 Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes to Avoid,” he states you should, “…spend some time analyzing your best buyers. What is their demographic? What are their other interests? Then use that information to define your most promising mailing universe.” In the end, putting in that little bit of extra work will set your campaign up for an increased chance at success.

Select and Update Your Mailing List with Clean Data In Mind

This piece of your direct mail marketing campaign is the most important. As Robert W. Bly states in his article “ The 12 Most Common Direct Mail Mistakes…And How to Avoid Them,” that “in direct marketing, a mailing list is not just a way of reaching your market. It is the market.” He goes on to say, “a great mailing package, with superior copy and scintillating design, might pull double the response of a poorly conceived mailing. But the best list can pull a response 10 times more than the worst list for the identical mailing piece.” Craig Simpson recommends two things that can help improve your list: make sure if you use a list broker that he or she is reliable and compare the list to the National Change of Address list to ensure you are sending your materials to your prospects current residence. Once you have established the best list for your campaign, then you can go ahead with the design and message of your copy.

Make An Offer They Cannot Refuse

A common mistake is to push the product in your copy and not your compelling offer. Robert W. Bly defines the offer as “what the reader gets when he responds to your mailing.” This can take shape in a variety of forms, but the most obvious way to garner someone’s attention is to entice them with something free. Take their wallet out of the equation, and you increase your prospect’s chances of responding. Bly continues with, “your copy should state the offer in such a way as to increase the reader’s desire to send for whatever it is you offer. For example, a catalog becomes a product guide. A collection of brochures becomes a free information kit.” Consider what you sort of compelling offer you can include in your campaign and place less emphasis on trying to sell the product. Though the sale is the ultimate goal, with direct mail, you want simply engagement and response, which will lead to that sale you ultimately want to achieve.

Simplify Your CTA

When you are crafting your direct mail CTA, you should reduce it down to as few steps as possible. Most people these days won’t bother with following through if there are too many steps or if those steps are not clear enough. In “ 5 Direct Mail Mistakes Marketers Should Avoid,” by Vignesh Subramanyan, he says, “ don’t ask your prospects to complete more than three tasks. For example, don’t send respondents to a web page that asks them to fill out a form. Make your call to action as simple as possible to complete. ” Limiting your CTA to three tasks is a good rule of thumb, but if you can get it under three, your chances of getting a response will only increase.

Laying the Foundation for Direct Mail Marketing Success

By identifying your most responsive audience, updating your mailing lists, crafting a great offer, and implementing a simple CTA, you can build a direct marketing campaign that will have a higher chance of success. Avoiding these 4 common mistakes won’t necessarily mean your campaign will automatically be successful. You still have to put together a complete mailing package after you have put the necessary work into seeing what design or style works best. However, avoiding these mistakes from the beginning will save you from wasting time and money.

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Direct Mail Marketing Trends for 2017

With the dawn of the new year, it is time to look ahead at what trends will take shape. At the center of discussion will be direct mail. However, we will also look at some of the more general marketing trends that will play into direct mail’s destiny.

Omnichannel and Data Driven Marketing

Two of the biggest things that marketer analysts are predicting for 2017 is an increase in omnichannel and data-driven marketing. More businesses, specifically retailers, are getting more accustomed to the idea of having customers start a purchase on one device and finish on another or in-store according to Eliza Fisher, Marketing Strategist and Editor at Social Annex, Inc.

Connected to omnichannel success is the analysis of data from 2016. Devin Fitzpatrick, Founder, and CEO of CDF Consulting predicts that data will be king. The first step with any marketing campaign is to understand the customer first. To get a better understanding of how to reach your targeted audience, analyze as many layers of data as possible.

What This Means For Direct Mail

Based on the previous two trends, direct mail will be affected in a positive way. This is due to direct mail’s strengths as a marketing asset. Firstly, direct mail is great at driving results through other channels. With direct mail, you can further advance your omnichannel efforts. Secondly, it is a perfect for targeting specific audiences. This plays into data-driven marketing. By wielding your data surgically, you can greatly increase your personalization and reach your desired audience with a relevant message.

With Personalization Comes Variable Printing

Part of the above domino effect that marketing trends will have on direct mail, we will see businesses making greater use of variable printing. It is now easier and more affordable for companies to print direct mail marketing materials with greater variety. According to Arrow Marketing, small businesses are starting to realize that local marketing efforts can be improved with a direct mail campaign. In fact, they state that direct mail still makes up 43% of local retail advertising, and 76% of business owners say that their marketing strategy combines digital with print communication.

2017 Outlook: Direct Mail Integral To Marketing Success

With omnichannel and data-driven marketing trends predicted for 2017, we have seen how this will make direct mail an important part of company’s marketing campaigns. Due to direct mail’s ability to drive customers through different channels, deliver highly personalized messages to targeted audiences, and remain affordable with variable printing, we expect to see another productive year for direct mail.

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Specialty Envelopes: Beyond Your Average #10

 

If you have ever had to send correspondence to someone or mail billing, then you are familiar with the #10 size envelope. To many, when someone says envelope, that is the first image that comes to mind. However, envelopes come in many different shapes and sizes. Each one has a specific purpose, allowing its shape and size to suggest its purpose. In this article, we will cover different envelope styles and how they can be put to use.

 

Outside of the #10 Envelope

So we already know everything about #10 envelopes, which is the most common used size of commercial envelopes. Businesses typically use these envelopes, and they range in size from #5, smallest, to #14, the largest. They are open sided, and may or may not contain a window on the front.

Then there is the A-Style. The “A” stands for “announcement.” They can come in two forms: either with a deep pointed flap or a shorter flat flap.They are usually used for special announcements, whether that be business related or more personal. They can also be used for photographs, small booklets, and greeting cards.

Another familiar envelope style is the catalog. It is the standard mailing envelope for important documents such as reports, folders, and contracts. If you are like me, when I hear Manila envelope, these are the kind of envelopes I think of. They are typically open on the short side of the envelope and may have a flexible piece of metal to hold the flap in place or a mount to tie it shut.

Similar to catalog but different in its own respects, the booklet style. These kinds of envelopes are typically used for magazines, catalogs, booklets, media kits, and other multi-page documents. They are open ended on the long side of the envelope and have some sort of sealant to close the flap.  

The final two envelope styles we will cover are remittance and donation. Remittance envelopes have large flats and are used to hold private information like credit card numbers or other private documents. Donation envelopes also referred to as offering, pew, or tithe envelopes, are a cheap way to collect donations. These are most prominently used by religious organizations and nonprofits and cannot be mailed.   

 

Direct Mail and Other Use Cases  

 

Marketers should carefully consider the envelope that will contain their marketing materials. After pouring over every detail of that document, you should not put it in something that is not equal in quality. As you can see, there are a lot of different options. Whether you want to attract attention by using a different style than the standard commercial envelope, or you want to spruce up a commercial envelope to stand out, One Stop Mail can put to use its own in-house envelope printer to fit your marketing needs.

The use of envelopes doesn’t stop there. Perhaps you are in real estate and need to send an important property notice that is time sensitive, or perhaps you own an auto care shop and want to make car drop offs more convenient for your customers. Envelopes have many other use cases outside of mail. With the ability to fully customize them to your needs, consider them as a solution to improve customer service, or increase the efficiency of how you handle day-to-day business.