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Direct Mail Is Working Better Thanks to Social Media

Your Direct Mail Is Finally Unique!

With all the excitement and time spent on social media, aren’t you finding that the piles of “junk mail” (aka “direct mail”) that used to flood your home are decreasing? I certainly pay more attention to the pieces that I get than I used to, especially if they look “right” to me.

There are 3 steps to an effective mailing, and here are the first two:

1.  Get the Right Mailing List

You can get many of your best lists just by asking, or by common sense – no need to pay for all your lists.  But the important thing is that it is a list that is going to the demographics of your customer.   If you are selling summer camps, you need a list of parents.  If you are selling women’s clothing, you don’t want to waste your mailing on men.

direct mail piece from chico's

These people know my demographics

Examples of potentially free lists:

  • Chamber of Commerce – as a member, you should be able to get this extremely valuable list free. You can tailor your ad to Chamber members only.
  • Your “association” directories – women’s groups, professional organizations, community organizations, and related businesses, etc.
  • Your own customer database.

You also can pay to buy mailing lists and labels through many companies, and you can tailor them for specialized demographics – people with annual incomes over $75K, companies in a certain zip code, etc.  You’ll find list sources on the web under “mailing lists” and “lists.”

2.  Design the Right Piece

direct mail recycled

These ads look BORING — the kiss of death!

It doesn’t have to be scientific — just think about all of your customers and come up with the closest guess you can make about them as a group — male/female?  age?  income?  location?  amount they usually spend?  

Then you need to decide exactly what item that you can offer to them that is going to lure them into reading your ad and what action you want them to take — can they call?  order on the web?  come in to the store?

With all this information, you’ll talk to a graphics designer who will use your logo and colors (and other branding if you have evolved that far) to put together your piece.  But before you start producing it, show it to at least 2 or 3 people within your demographics to see their reactions, especially if YOU aren’t part of your customers’ demographics. 

It’s tough to design for someone else.  I’ll never forget when I was working at Jack In The Box, the franchisees just hated some of the ads.  Well of course!  The ads were aimed at 16-20-year-old males, not business owners.

The more creative you are, the more attention you’ll get.  Here’s a video with some unique mailing ideas:

Mail It Right or Watch It Come Home to You….

Any mailings that you do must comply with postal regulations (which change from time to time without warning). Before you print an item to be mailed, a visit or phone call to the post office may save you money. You need to know if:

  • the paper weight is thick enough (currently .009″).
  • the size is within the limit for the postcard or envelope you are mailing.
  • you are putting the correct postage on the item.
  • if there is another just-as-good size that will work for you and be cheaper to mail.
  • You are keeping the mailing in zip code order – pay close attention to the regulations if you want a special rate.

For completely up to date info direct from the post office, click on this:  Post Office Rules

3.  Mail your piece in a classic 3-Step program

Read about this in my next blog:

and thanks for reading!

If you want to read more posts in this blog, CLICK HERE so that you can scroll through.

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