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Your Great 3-Step Direct Mail Program

 3 Steps to Make Your Direct Mail WORK for You

(This is the second in a 3-part series on direct mail.  CLICK HERE to read the first part first.)

Step 1 — Mail something that they’ll look at      

direct mail

Postcards get the most attention

It used to be that people had time to open envelopes and read letters, but unopened envelopes in the trash are common. Hey — check your recycle bin — you throw them out, too!  Consider this:

Postcard mailings are less expensive and more effective than envelopes and get the idea across quickly.
Many people never open a “junk mail” envelope at all.

If you need to use a letter because of extensive or personal information, try to make the mailing envelope as personal or interesting as possible.  Once I got a letter with a sticker on it saying that a 500-pound gorilla was going to appear at my door and stomp me if I didn’t open the envelope.  What could I do?  I opened it.

Your mailing piece’s goal is to do three things:

direct mail example

These people know my direct mail demographics, and there is always a $25 off coupon or a big shoe sale

  • gain attention, then
  • create interest, and then

The secret of success in direct mailing is found in these principles that you should use to produce your mailers:

  • Personal – Address it to the buying prospect whenever possible. You won’t be able to do this with all lists, but you WILL be able to mail to your in-house database.  And the ones that look handwritten are especially good.
  • Concise – Add good graphics with short punchy sentences free of gimmicks
  • Benefit driven – Give a discounted price or tell the reader what is in it for them, such as save money, get extra services, etc. The word “FREE” is incredibly effective.
  • Call to action – Tell them what you want them to do – call you, mail/email a reply, see your free offer on the web.  An expiration date?  Has pros and cons — decide carefully.

Here’s a video with exact instructions for designing a postcard mailing:

Step 2 – Get it out there – in manageable segments

If you are planning to mail to your entire city or territory and your “deal” isn’t linked to a specific date, such as Valentine’s Day, then you can stagger your mailings so that you have a steady stream of calls rather than being jammed up one day and then nothing. Send 100 a day or something.

Step 3 – Analyze the responses so you can do better 


direct mail

Recycling is great…when it’s not your ad

• How will you know if your mailings are paying off?
• How will you know which mailings are paying off?
• How will you know which ads are paying off?


Track your results, not just your buyers….

• How will you keep track of people who have expressed an interest but didn’t buy at that time?

• How will you know when to call your clients or potential clients back?

Install and maintain a quality database and/or a contact management system so you will be able to stay close to your best clients and keep track of your potential clients.

You may be able to request most free lists in a computer format that you might be able to merge into your database program automatically.  If you are purchasing a list, you can order it in your exact computer format so that you can reuse it.  (See my March 10 blog for info on mailing lists)

For a non-high-tech to keep track of things, tape the ad or mailing to a piece of paper and make a mark on the paper every time someone responds to that mailing or ad.  Put it in a 3-ring binder.

For a more sophisticated method, on your database specify a  place where you can enter each of your mailings by name (postcard 4-20-2013, Yellow Pages, etc.).  Always ask every new customer how they heard about you.  Then in your database, put a check in that column showing that customer’s original source.  Then, keep track of every regular customer when they respond to one of your ads/mailings.  (I’ll talk about analyzing those results in another blog.)

cat in suitcase

Make sure the item you’re mailing is packaged correctly

To set up your mailing correctly, read these 3 basic steps first!

For the next posting to show you how to analyze your results, CLICK HERE

Please share and send this to your friends!



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