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Start a Direct Mail Campaign

A direct mail campaign going into the hands and homes of customers.

You've decided to make Direct Mail a part of your marketing strategy. Great choice! Direct mail has some of the highest engagement rates, open rates, and return-on-investment rates in the marketing industry. Now that you have chosen to run a Direct Mail campaign, what's next? Let's discuss everything you need to start your campaign.

Specifying a clear, unobstructed goal with your direct mail campaign

Specify Your Goal

Specifying a goal keeps your content clear, concise, and effective. An effective goal includes:

  • Specifying your audience

  • Clearly state what you want them to do

  • Identify how this brings value to your audience

  • Detail the incentives or offers you will give your audience

The more specific your goal, the more likely you are to receive effective results. Keeping the above in mind, stating that your goal is 'just to bring in sales' isn't going to be very helpful in narrowing down what you want to offer, your message, your design, or your direct mailing list. A much better goal would sound more like this: "Secure more spa bookings: alert young mothers nearby to our supervised, children's play area in our spa. Stress that this service is free for all customers, and provide a coupon that allows them to receive half off their spa treatment if they bring a buddy.

ie: My goal is to encourage qualified, grade 12 students to apply to our university by alerting them to the services, classes, and facilities unique to our university.

Create a call to action

Now that we know what we want our audience to do, we can create a much clearer and impactful call to action. A call to action tells the customer what you want them to do with your mailer. Good calls to action are attention-grabbing, memorable, and include equally important, supporting information: what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. For example, you wouldn't just ask your audience to "Enter to Win", and leave the rest of the information out. Instead, you would fill in the details.

ie: Enter to Win! Go to or scan the QR code on the front of this mailer and fill out the online form to automatically be entered into our contest.

Direct mail campaigns can come in many different formats and sizes

Choose your mailer

Knowing your audience, message, call to action, and offers, allows you to select an appropriate mailer. For example, if you're encouraging wealthier business owners to donate to a cause by offering them awards and badges for their generosity, a formal letter and form inside a self-addressed envelope would be better suited. Lastly, always contact the direct mail company of your choice before choosing a mailer to ensure you stay within budget.

  • Postcards: Standard postcards (4 x 6 inches) are a common type of direct mail piece. They are a cost-effective way to mail. Oversized postcards (6 x 9 or 6 x 11 inches) are also an option.

  • Letters: Letters are also known as “the classic package.” The mailer usually includes a letter and a response form with an envelope.

  • Self-mailers: Self-mailers are similar to letters, but don’t have an envelope. The ad is folded before the address and postage are applied.

  • Brochures and catalogs: Catalogs are a way for companies to showcase their entire or partial product lines.

  • Inserts and wraps: Inserts and wraps are included within other mailers, such as catalogs and magazines.

  • Dimensional mailers: Dimensional mailers are the most expensive and stand out the most. These mailers use pop-ups and other 3D elements in the design.

Design the mail piece

Design your mailer to be clear, focused, and easy to understand. This includes utilizing easy-to-read fonts, making your call to action the focal point, and proofreading your design multiple times. Also, tailor your message to your audience or personalize it for every individual using variable data. To maximize your exposure, you can design a digital version of your mailer and set it up in Informed Delivery. Informed delivery alerts users to mail that has arrived in their mailbox and even shows them a picture of it. Users can digitally interact with your mail piece by directly linking them to web pages if you submit a properly designed document to USPS.

Once you send in your list and have your mailer designed, all that's left is to schedule your mailing and send out your mailer. As long as you have designed your mailer and chosen your audience for a specific goal and call to action, your mailer can reduce its campaign costs and target the desired audience more effectively. If you would like a complete checklist of all of these steps, click here. If you would like to get in touch with a direct mail company in Pennsylvania, click here. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are happy to help.


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