Direct Mail Marketing Tips

Postcards and flyer mail-outs have been used for ages to reach new customers through standard mail. We have created numerous direct mail pieces in various industries, from restaurants and realtors to homebuilders and plumbers.

Studies show that the direct mail response rate is between 0.5 – 1.0%. Though these numbers vary between industries, it is crucial to take design seriously to get the greatest response possible. In fact, 85% of people will open mail if it looks interesting.

Direct mail continues to be an effective marketing method, and with these few tips, you can expect to increase sales for your next admail campaign.

You Have 8 Seconds to Impress

Our mailboxes are bombarded with marketing messages every day, from furniture and grocery flyers to political party brochures. So to stand out in the mailbox, your design will have to grab the consumer’s attention within a few seconds.

Here are the common elements for an effective postcard mailer that leads to increased sales:

Eye-catching Photos

Make use of full-colour and glossy print card stock. When choosing a photo, select one that speaks to the end user. Images that incorporate a level of emotion tend to work the best. Of course, this will depend on your ideal customer demographic.

The photo should make sense within seconds. A clear headline will help the reader make a quick connection if the picture needs an explanation.

Short, Specific Headline

The headline should get the message across using the least amount of words. An easy-to-read typeface with larger font size will stand out. Use a colour that makes the headline pop rather than blend in with the rest of the content on the page. A subheading will also help entice people to read the content.

Explain the Benefits

This sounds obvious, but without exposing the problem and solutions you offer, the purpose of the mail piece is lost. What problems do you solve? What benefits do you bring? Think like a consumer. Expect that the average person has little knowledge about your industry.

What's the Offer?

Give people a reason to contact you using a specific offer followed by a call-to-action. For example, you may have a promotion running for 25% off when customers purchase before a particular date. The date adds urgency, and a simple “Call now” or “Purchase yours online at…” will encourage them to take action.

Contact Info & Branding

Always make sure to include your logo for company branding purposes. Make sure the logo is not too prominent and overpowering. You want the message of the postcard to do its thing. Contact info should be easily accessible. Include a phone number, website, email address, or any other form of communication you prefer.

Less is More

Use your mailer to be specific. Avoid using too much information and content that doesn’t apply to the theme of the mail piece. I understand the desire of most business owners to include all the services they offer, but this only makes the postcard more confusing. Stay on topic and make sure to include whitespace to break up the design and make it easier to read.

Increase Engagement

Direct mail has two different options for mail campaigns: addressed and unaddressed.

Addressed admail is personalized and increases open and response rates. It is more costly but does yield a higher return on investment. If you use this method, include a return address on your postcard. Increase engagement and open rates by placing the postcard in a white envelope addressed to the receiver.

Unaddressed admail is placed directly in mailboxes without an address. These are similar to flyers and have reduced open rates but are a fraction of the cost of addressed admail. In addition, unaddressed admail can be sent to specific postal codes and demographics, helping to increase open rates.

Direct Mail Designs

Below are a few postcard mailers we have created for clients. Remember, even though we are experienced marketers, the customer has the final say regardless of our professional opinion. See more in our portfolio.

Ryan Boutin
Ryan Boutin
Owner of Zeal Media, Ryan, is passionate about helping owners take their small businesses to the next level. As a long-term entrepreneur, he has started and grown multiple small businesses for himself and his kids, from building homes to selling online products.
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