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The Best Guide For Successful Direct Mail Advertising

Do you have a business, product, or service you wish to grow by gaining new customers? Try out direct mail advertising! According to Epsilon’s statistics, 73% of consumers prefer brands to communicate through direct mail, because it allows them to read it at their convenience. An additional 59% agreed with the statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”

While you may still be tempted to adopt a marketing strategy like email or social media, as of 2018, The Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate from direct mail is 4.4%, while email is 0.12%. We already knew direct mail was successful, but this stat blew our minds, too.

How to Create a Direct Mail Advertisement (The 40/40/20 Rule)

To create a successful direct mail advertisement for your business, the 40/40/20 rule will be your new best friend.

40% of a successful direct mail advertisement will come from your mailing list effectiveness. It is vital to refine your mailing list if you desire to reach new clients or customers. Make sure to constantly update and proofread your mailing list, utilizing the National Change of Address database to check for address changes.

There are two main types of direct mailing lists: target and saturation. Target mailing utilizes a mailing list that has been “boiled down” to the correct audience for your business through parameters such as proximity, age, and income. Saturation mailing sends your information to every door within a particular carrier route and/or zip code. Either type is a wonderful option depending on your strategy and Southwest Solutions offers both!

40% will depend on how captivating your offer or call to action is. You want to engage your potential new clients or customers with a unique and customized offer or call to action. Make sure these are clear and concise to move your customer in the direction you want.

For example, you can offer a percentage off of your services, allow people with the card to receive preferential treatment (like skipping lines at a job fair), or even offer additional services for those who sign up for a long-term plan.

An awesome way to get creative with this is to also include add-ins in your direct mail advertisement as well. This may include a gift card, product sample, or a QR code to play online games and win prizes. These kinds of calls to action encourage potential customers to take immediate action, moving them from potential to actual customers. At SWS, we love to have fun with the add-ins; we even did a mailing recently including a dollar bill in the mailing with a message “call us and we’ll give you another $2999 off your tuition”!

20% will come from everything else, such as text, design, and mailing methods. Make sure to take adequate time to design and proof your mailout before sending it out. If your mail has any punctuation, grammar errors, or typos, it will either get sent back to you or end up in the recycle bin. 

Additional Expert Tips

Test Your Market. Testing will depend on the size of your targeted market. You will need to begin by measuring your Return On Investment (ROI) and the effectiveness of mail by running sample test batches. Send out multiple types of direct mail advertisements by changing only one variable each time. This will allow you to find the optimal combination for a successful direct mail advertising that not only engages new customers but is also an appropriate use of your time and money.

Follow Up With Customers. Don’t just leave them hanging in limbo, but make sure to send them additional follow-up information. This is crucial to create a great first impression with new customers by being proactive to move them further through the conversion funnel. Check out our follow-up blog post for a more in-depth guide.

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Utilize Southwest Solutions for Your Direct Mail Advertisement

Have some cool ideas brewing? Our in-house graphic design team at Southwest Solutions will make anything you think of come to life! There is no need to worry about hiring outside designers, spending time trying to design mail yourself, or settling for cheap, stock images. Our team of experts will help you create a customized mailing, tailored to your business, that is sure to engage new possible customers.

Southwest Solutions vows to aid you in every step of the mailing process so you don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty. As a direct mailing house with the United States Postal Service, our experts will do all of the heavy lifting, so you can sit back, relax, and watch all of your new customers roll in! To start your direct mail marketing campaign or if you have any questions at all, please give us a call at (520) 207-1900. Let’s get creative.


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Vera Minot

Vera is a creative-minded, heart-first promotional products (and print/apparel/direct mail/signage/etc.) professional who approaches all aspects of life with intention and enthusiasm. Vera is passionate about vocabulary, self-care, and authenticity (even in business!), and in her free time you’ll probably find her rock climbing or mountain biking, growing things, cooking, reading, and generally finding ways to get up to no good with her wife, Christa.
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