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5 Direct Mail Marketing Blunders

“I tried direct mail marketing once, it didn’t work!”

If you hear someone say this about direct mail marketing, you can bet they did it wrong. As long as you avoid a few basic errors, direct mail will always work. Here are the five most common mistakes people make with direct mail.

Blunder #1: Mailing to “Everyone”

If everyone is your target customer, you can expect low conversions. Monster corporations with multi-million dollar marketing budgets and established reputations can afford to send out mass mailers. People already know who the company is. They’ve probably bought their products before. If not, they know someone who has.

But if you market like the big boys, your marketing budget will be reduced to pocket lint. Start with a small and narrow demographic…people who are most likely to buy your products or services. This might reduce your list to half or even 20% of what it would have been, but you’ll get much better responses.

Blunder #2: No Strategy

Lack of strategy is the #1 blunder in any marketing campaign, and direct mail is no exception. Companies that mail one letter or mail the same letter three or four times aren’t following a strategy. They’re just shotgunning the water and hoping something floats to the top.

Create a series of three or four letters and build your campaign around a limited time offer. Assuming your offer lasts for 30 days, here’s what your direct mail strategy might look like:

Day 1: Mail out initial letter and introduce the offer. Let your customers know they have 30 days to respond if they want the discount, the free bonus or whatever “sweetener” you’ve added to the deal.

Day 7:  Mail a reminder letter to the customers who didn’t buy the first time around and remind them that they have less than 15 days to respond. Consider adding another sweetener to the deal to push them over the edge.

Day 14: Mail out a final notice to the customers who didn’t buy the first time around. Remind them that this is their final chance to respond to your offer.

Day 30: Mail a thank you letter to everyone who bought. Follow this up with a phone call to check their satisfaction level but make sure you follow local and federal laws when calling new leads. Have the person doing your follow up calls solicit reviews from customers who are really satisfied and seem ready to talk. Get the customer to post their review on an authority review site like Yelp or Google. 

Blunder #3: Amateur Copywriting

An attractive design is great for getting your reader’s attention. But it doesn’t help you hold their attention. It also doesn’t compel them to respond right away. It takes a well-written message to get that done. So if you’re using direct mail, hire a professional copywriter. Choose one who has experience with your niche and a successful sales track record.

This may leave you with less money to invest in design but great copywriting will give you a better return than having a fancy design.  

Blunder #4: Design that Screams “Junk Mail!”

It’s better to mail first class and pay the extra money than to send what looks like bulk mail. Mail that looks like junk mail has a lower delivery rate and a lower open rate than customized mail. This makes it hard to get a good return from your mailing if you cut corners on your delivery method. Low budget mail can also give you a reputation as a serial junk mailer.

So give your message a chance to actually arrive in your customer’s mailbox and get opened. Otherwise, your offer will never have the chance to do its work. 

Blunder #5: Rolling the Dice

Even gamblers in Las Vegas know you usually have to roll the dice more than once to win. Likewise, you need to mail more than once if you want to profit from direct mail marketing. You’ll rarely get enough responses on the first mailing to make the campaign profitable. But if you mail two or three more times and follow a direct mail marketing strategy, you’ll almost always have a successful campaign.

If you’re ready to discuss your first direct mail campaign, why not call MSI at the number on this site? We’ll handle everything from design, conception, copywriting and printing and we’ll make sure your direct mail campaign is a success. Remember, direct mail marketing always works when you do it right and we’ll make sure that happens.

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