Direct mail requires two important “pieces” to work together in order to get the best possible results. The better those two pieces are the better your results will be.
The mailing list is critical to success but so is the creative or mailing piece that is being used. The mail piece is what lands in the hands of your prospects or existing customers.
When the mailing list is on point and targeted properly and the mailing piece evokes the correct emotional response with your prospect, then the magic happens and you have a new customer. Direct mail can also be used for reaching existing customers to make a new purchase or to elicit a response, this is retention marketing.
The mailing list component of direct mail provides the accurate targeting of an audience whether it’s for a saturation residential campaign or a highly targeted small group of qualified individuals or even if it’s a segment of your existing customer list (house file).
The mail piece or creative can come in many shapes and sizes, it can have many components or tons of pages or it can be as simple as a postcard.
What goes into the mail piece creation will largely depend on what you are asking an individual to do. That is the beginning point in determining what the mail piece should look like and what the mail piece needs to say. Mail piece creative is the combination of copywriting and design.
These two things, the mailing list and the mailing piece share equally in providing your desired results.
Both have to be on point and developed wisely to optimize the campaigns results.
Many marketers have tried direct mail and failed because one of those two variables or both variables were executed poorly.
There’s no substitute for experience.
Direct Mail is a very expensive media and because of the incredible amount of variables within list selections and mail piece creation there is also a lot of room for error.
Many companies have tried and failed at direct mail because it is also an expensive media, but doing it properly has its rewards.
If you’re old enough to remember AOL it was actually built (customer base) on a successful direct mail acquisition strategy or campaign.
Most companies today use direct mail as part of their acquisition and retention strategy including the biggest online companies in the World like Google and Facebook.
Seasoned marketers know that customers derived from targeted direct mail provide the best lifetime value and return on investment when compared to the other media channels.
Just make sure you do it right and your likelihood of success increases substantially.