How to Start with a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign | Taradel

Direct mail marketing is a type of marketing strategy in which instead of sending your current and potential customers digital materials via digital channels, you are sending physical materials via the post office.

Although many people will tell you otherwise, direct mail marketing is working better than ever, so giving it a try and seeing whether it will work for your business is definitely something that you should consider doing. After all, what's the worst that can happen? We'll tell you what - you'll find out that it isn't the right choice for your company and move on to other types of marketing strategies.

However, before you do anything, you need to learn some things - precisely, how do you even start a direct mail marketing campaign? Thankfully though, this article will tell you all you need to know before you start your first campaign.

Why Try Direct Mail Marketing

We already told you that direct mail marketing is still doing well these days - let us get into a little more detail about that so that you can see exactly why using it for your business is something to consider.

  • Usually, it has a better response rate - direct mail marketing campaigns tend to have higher response rates than campaigns done via other marketing types. For instance, when compared to email, direct mail has an almost 30 times higher response rate - 3.4% to 0.12%.
  • It can be an affordable marketing strategy - direct mail marketing campaigns don't have to make a dent in your marketing budget. It all depends on what type of materials you want to send. For instance, sending just postcards will definitely require fewer resources than sending personalized mugs or other types of personalized merch.
  • There will always be more markets for you to conquer - done with a direct mail campaign in your neighborhood? No worries, there are others. Done with the city? Time to move to the next one. Sending marketing materials to everyone in the country? Thank God there are others you can move on to. There will always be a place that you haven't reached with your marketing efforts yet.
  • Direct mail makes people more likely to use it - let us explain. Emails get forgotten, or people delete them on purpose - there's no connection between the customer and the thing they have received. Direct mail, on the other hand, makes people more likely to actually use it, especially if you add a discount code or a free gift that can be redeemed at a physical location.

How to Ensure Your Direct Mail Campaign Will Be Successful

There is an unofficial rule (the 40-40-20 rule) according to which how successful your direct mail marketing campaign will depend on three factors: your audience (40%), your offer (40%) and your execution (20%).

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the campaign will be a complete success, as there is a lot that goes into it that we cannot predict. However, there are certain things that can help you increase the chances of a successful direct mail campaign. You will find them below.

Quality Mailing List

The first thing that will affect just how well your direct mail campaign will do are carefully curated mailing lists - sure, it would be very easy to send mail to every single person living in a specific area. However, would it be cost-effective? Not really.

Focus on what your ideal customer base would be and try to only target them instead of everyone - your target audience is more likely to be responsive to your offer.

Good Offer

Slightly connected with the first one, but if the offer you're proposing doesn't suit the people it reaches, you will most likely not see very good results. So, instead of heavily focusing on the design of the direct mail marketing materials, focus on what you have to offer to both your existing customers and potential ones.

Appealing Packing

If your packaging isn't attractive, chances are people will throw them out without even opening them. That's because humans are visual creatures, and we need something to catch our eye in order for it to interest us - especially when it comes to mail we weren't expecting.


How are you to know if you're dealing with an effective marketing strategy if you don't track the results? The answer is that you simply don't know, which is why tracking your marketing efforts is a crucial part of the process. Use things that you can use to see progress, such as personalized URLs, trackable phone numbers, or custom QR codes.

What to Include in Your Direct Mail Materials

Even though you have creative freedom in terms of how your materials will look, there are certain things that just need to be there - the CTA (call to action) and your contact information.

First, let's talk about CTA. Call to action is probably the most important part of your direct marketing campaign - after all, it's what encourages those receiving it to take action, be it subscribing to something, visiting your physical location, visiting your website, and so on.

 Lately, a very popular way of prompting people to do it is asking them a question, something along the lines of whether they are ready to get started.

As for the information - sometimes, your potential customer might have some questions for you. Maybe they aren't sure about something or want to ask for more details to decide whether your business and your offer are something that suits them. For this reason, you need to be very clear about how they can reach you.

 Do you have a company phone number? Add it to your materials.

 Can you be reached via social media? Include that as well. The more ways a customer can contact you, the better.

Starting a Direct Mail Campaign - A Step-by-Step Guide

Starting with a direct mail campaign is not easy, especially if it's your first campaign of this sort. However, that's why we're here - below, you will find all you need to know before you launch your first direct mail campaign.

Establish Your Goals

You cannot be successful in something if you don't know what you're doing it for. That's why the first step you need to take is setting up goals. Is your objective getting people to sign up for some event you're organizing? Maybe you want them to purchase a specific product? Or maybe you want them to sign up for your newsletter?

Either way, you need to know the WHY you're doing what you're doing. Setting up a goal will also make it easier for you, later on, to come up with a call to action.

Understand Your Audience

Now that you know the WHY, you need to learn about the WHO. Who is your target audience? Do you have an ideal customer in mind? If you don't, creating a buyer's persona, which is basically a mock-up of what an ideal customer of your business is, might be worth a try.

For example, if you own a hardwood store, then the ideal customer for your business would be a man in his 30s or 40s, probably middle class, who enjoys DIY projects or who is trying to build a house from scratch.

Some of the things you can consider when coming up with a buyer's persona include age, income, gender identity, location, education, interests, or behavioral traits. You can even use a stock photo or draw an illustration of how they look so that you can truly visualize them.

Create a Mailing List

Once you have your target market in mind and know who you're directing your campaign toward, it's time to create a mailing list, which is basically a list of people or businesses you are planning on sending your mail to.

There are two ways in which you can acquire such a list. First of all, you can take a look at your own database - if you already have customers, chances are that you have their names, surnames, and addresses somewhere.

The second way in which you can get it is via the so-called purchased lists. It works the same way you'd think after hearing the name - you can purchase a list from the postal service, and they will send your mail to everyone within a specific area, be that a neighborhood or city.

Of course, the first option is definitely better, especially if we're talking about quality. Those people are already familiar with your business, so they know what they can expect from you. They will also probably be a lot more responsive than if you were to send your direct mail pieces to random people.

Create Your Direct Mail Pieces

The next step is creating your pieces - and considering everything you learned through the previous steps, this one shouldn't be too hard either. If you have some experience in graphic design and/or copywriting or simply want to try it out, you can design your mail pieces yourself.

However, if you aren't sure of your abilities, the best idea would be to use the services of freelance graphic designers or/and copywriters, ideally ones that already did some mail pieces. Since they already have experience, it will be a lot easier for them to provide you and your customers with the copy that will generate the best results.

It's important that you don't focus on yourself - instead, focus on your customers. Instead of talking about how great your product is, focus on what it can do for your customers. Remember - you might care about your products, but the truth is your customer base doesn't. What they care about is how your product can help them deal with their problems. You need to cater to that.

Include a special offer for those who receive direct mail for you. For instance, you can offer them a discount, or maybe when they purchase something from you, they will receive a free gift - choices are endless, it's up to you what you want to offer them in exchange for helping you reach your goals.

Another thing that you need to consider at this point is the format you want your pieces to have. Will a simple postcard be enough? Maybe a letter will be a better option? Or how about a mix between the two - oversized postcards? The choice is up to you.

Keep in mind what we mentioned earlier - the design of the right materials needs to be eye-catching. However, it shouldn't be over the top. Make sure that the CTA is the main focus of your material, as, as we already mentioned, it is the most important part.

A good idea would be to take a step back and look at your material like a customer would - What would you do if you received something like this in your mail? Is the offer explained in a way that makes it worth considering? Is the design of your material right? Does it make the business look trustworthy and credible? A lot of things can be revealed when looking at something from a new perspective.

You can also test your direct mail campaign by sending the materials to your friends and family and asking them about their impressions.

Mail Your Materials

If you've reached this point, you're almost at the end of the direct mail campaign journey. Once your designs are ready, it's time to print and send them.

Now, a lot of companies decide to perform this step on their own, especially if their campaign isn't targeting large numbers of people. However, if we're being honest, not only can it be a logistical nightmare, but it also often ends up costing a lot more than if you were to work with a direct mail processor.

When you're sending direct mail packages on your own, you need to consider printing costs, mailing costs, or postage costs - not to mention how labor-intensive and time-consuming it is. With a direct mail processor, you pay a monthly fee, or you can make a one-time payment (depending on the processor and the services you need), and they will take care of current and future mailings for you.

Track Your Progress

We already talked about this as well, but we cannot stress enough how important tracking your progress is. We understand that depending on what your goal is, it might be more challenging - however, as long as you have a good strategy in place, you should be good.

Combine Direct Mail Campaigns with Other Marketing Strategies

While there's no denying that direct mail campaigns are an effective marketing solution, you need to combine them with other strategies to get their full potential. And what works best? Definitely combining it with email marketing and social media efforts. Digital marketing is definitely a strong player in the marketing world, so if you want your business to be successful, engaging in it is a must.

However, no matter what marketing strategy you use, it's important to stay consistent - and direct mail marketing is not an exception. Make sure to regularly send a direct mail piece - just don't do it too often, as it might have a contrary effect to what you want to achieve. One direct mail piece every three to six months should be perfect for maintaining a consistent brand identity.

The Bottom Line

With that being said, we have reached the end of our guide on how to start with direct mail marketing.

Direct mail marketing is one of the less common marketing channels these days - it shouldn't be though. Contrary to what some people think, direct mail continues to be one of the most effective marketing strategies with some of the highest response rates. For that reason, incorporating direct mail into your marketing strategy might be exactly what you need to get your brand out there, and make more people aware of it.

Thanks to this article, you should now know how to create your very first direct mail campaign - and while it might look hard at first, the truth is that a lot of the steps are intuitive.

 For example - it's probably obvious that you cannot just go blind into a marketing campaign, and you need to know why and for who you're doing it. After you do it once, you won't even need a guide to help you, as you'll just know it.

And if you don't want to deal with the hassle of direct mail marketing by yourself, get in touch with us - we will help you with your campaign so you won't be on your own with it. We also offer digital ads services, including Facebook Ads and Google Display Ads, so if you need help with either, we're your guy. So, what are you waiting for?

 Don't hesitate to sign up - we'll be with you, ready to help at every step of the way so that you can sleep soundly.  

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