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3 Direct Mail Tips for Maximum ROI

Thinking about using direct mail marketing for your business? If so, the number one question on your mind is probably ROI. Will you get a return on your investment and make some profits while you’re at it?

To make sure the answer is yes, here are three things you need to do…

#1: Get Your Mail Delivered

It’s been said that neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor hail can stop the mail from being delivered…but it’s a different story for “junk mail.” You might not think your direct mail piece is junk, but the people at the post office have a different take on that, and every day thousands of pieces of “junk” mail never get delivered. Bottom line, your customer isn’t the only person who could toss your direct mail piece into the trash can.

This is why you need to keep your direct mailer from looking like junk mail. So avoid any generic references on the envelope which suggest that your mailer is a part of a bulk mailing. For example, addressing someone as “current resident” screams junk mail. So does using metered mail. So does sending your mail anything but first class.

So do everything you can to make our mailer appear personalized instead of appearing as part of a bulk mailing. This will raise your price per piece, but it will dramatically increase how much of your mail pieces get delivered.

#2: Get Your Mail Looked at

If your mailer makes it to the recipient’s house, you’ve got another hurtle to leap and that’s the customer’s initial resistance to “junk” mail.  Imagine your customer sorting their mail over the trash bin. That’s what you’re up against. So you can’t just assume your customer will open your mail because it arrived in their mailbox.

You need a compelling reason for them to open it. Most importantly, the “teaser” on the outside of your mailer needs to be consistent with what’s inside the envelope. Don’t try to fool your customer into opening the mail and hope you can hold their attention after they’ve found out you tricked them.

If you’re not using an envelope, you still have to keep your customer from tossing the mail in the trash. The best strategy for making this happen is to use what Dan Kennedy calls “lumpy mail.” Lumpy mail is anything that includes more than just a flyer or a letter inside an envelope. For example, your mailer might come with a small trinket or in an interesting shaped package instead of a regular letter in a regular envelope.

If you’re selling a service that will help your customer’s make more money or save money, you can create a piece that looks like a wallet with your offer inside the “money pouch.” Again, this is more expensive than the regular envelope and letter approach, but not when you consider the difference in your response rate.

#3: Get a Response, Anything Will Do

If your mailer survives the US postal service and the customer’s trash bin, your final job is to get a response. Any response is better than no response, even if you don’t make a sale. If you collect their contact data or connect with them through a social media channel, you’ve earned a lead and you can use your online marketing, email marketing or mobile marketing to nurture that lead and turn them into a customer. So don’t just go for a sale on your direct mailer, give them a way to get connected to your company.

You can include a QR code on your direct mailer where your customer can like your Facebook page or go to your site to subscribe to your mailing list. You can include a text code that they put into their mobile phone and sign up to get texts from you. There are plenty of other options, but the secret is to make a connection even if the customer doesn’t buy from you right away.

Bonus Tip: Mail More Than Once

Many of your customers who don’t respond to your first mailing will respond to a second or third, so don’t waste your first mailing by making it your only mailing. Send two, three or four times to convert the customers who don’t buy right away and make each of your mailings slightly different. Again, you’ll be investing more money but you’ll dramatically increase your odds of getting a response.

Think of these four tips as an insurance policy on your direct mail campaign. If the goal is to hit ROI, these direct mail marketing strategies will insure that you get what you’re aiming for. 

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