Direct Mail Best Practices
Lower Your Postage Costs with Discounts.
You can lower your postage costs by:
- Presorting, or grouping, your mail together by ZIP code
- Standardizing and verifying deliverable addresses using CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) certification software
- Running your list through the National Change of Address (NCOA) database
- Formatting your mail pieces to meet USPS machinability standards
- Including an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) to meet USPS automation requirements
ProPrint offers all these services to make sure you get the lowest possible postage rates.
Mail at Lower Postage Rates.
Direct Mail can be sent First Class or USPS Marketing Mail (Standard bulk) rate - it's all up to you. First Class mail delivers in 2-7 days and is forwarded and returned if undeliverable. USPS Marketing Mail delivers in 5-17 days and does not get any forward or return privileges. If time allows, try testing USPS Marketing Mail vs. First Class mail and see if you can lower your postage costs and increase your return on investment (ROI).
Postcards are perfect for direct marketing. Unlike their enveloped cousins, postcards arrive already 'opened.' Glossy 4-color printing reproduces photography beautifully. Headlines and short copy are more memorable than letters. They have long shelf lives on refrigerators and cubicle walls. Use them for invitations, announcements, thank you's, couponing, gathering survey data and driving traffic to your business or website. A postcard's powerful impact combined with reduced postage rates make for a winning return on investment (ROI).
Hunt for Specialty Mailing Lists.
When it comes to prospecting for new customers, consider using a specialty mailing list. Three great sources are:
1) Association membership rosters. Many associations rent their mailing lists for industry-related marketing.
2) Subscribers. Almost all magazines and newsletters rent their readership files. These lists tend to be highly targeted, up-to-date and very responsive to direct mail.
3) Tradeshow, conference and seminar attendees. When matched up to your industry, these lists always perform.
ProPrint is a recognized, certified list broker that can assist you in obtaining these specialty mailing lists available only through the broker/dealer network.
Maximize Your Response Rate with Personalization.
Research shows that personalizing your mailers can lift your response rates by 30-50 percent. Personalization can take the form of speaking to the recipient by name, referring to their company, or customizing the imagery and messaging to be as relevant as possible with variable data printing (VDP). The combination of personalized postcards and a personalized web landing page (PURLs) can sometimes double response rates.
ProPrint offers powerful personalization options to help you maximize your response rate.
Evaluate Your Customers.
Evaluate your customers by how recently they've purchased, how frequently they purchase, and how much they've spent. Distinguish the highs from the lows to create different tiers of promotions that are geared toward each type of customer. For example, you can send your recent customers a thank you card, your frequent customers a loyalty discount, and your big spenders an upgrade or upsell offer. Evaluating your customers is a great way to get the most out of your direct mail campaign.
Write Like a Pro.
Copywriting can make or break a direct mail campaign. Good copywriting involves careful attention to word choice in both the headline and the body copy. Your mailer's headlines must stimulate the reader's curiosity and the body copy must move them to take action. Tap into emotions. Ask provocative questions. Make bold promises. Engage your audience directly by using "you" and "your" at every opportunity.
Sell Benefits Instead of Features.
As you develop your mailer's copy, it's important to describe the features of your product or service as benefits to the audience. Describing features as benefits is simply a shift in perspective. Instead of describing what you or your product can do, describe why someone would want to make use of them.
Use the Right Call To Action.
With direct mail marketing it's critical to invite responses with calls to action (CTAs). Make your CTA's large, bold and bright and use ample exclamation marks! Give your reader every possible way to respond to your direct mail campaign by phone, fax, email, reply card, or by visiting a website or personal URL (PURL).