The 5 W’s of Direct Mail Marketing Success

In the age of overflowing email in-boxes and constantly updated social media, true direct mail (we’re talking postal service) is getting scarcer. However, direct mail is an opportunity to connect with clients in a deeper and more memorable way. Remember these all-important “5 W’s” of successful direct mail marketing so you don’t waste your marketing budget and end up with nothing to show for it.

Who: Rather than blanketing an entire group with a general message, target your message clients so you can communicate with specific types of clients on a deeper, more personal level.

Start with your current business mailing list. Are most of the entries former clients who should be reminded that your business is still useful for them? Or are they prospective clients who need to be educated about exactly what your company does and why they should choose you over your competitors?

Targeting the right prospects with your direct mail marketing campaign is the most important component to success. If your message falls on uninterested eyes, then it’s as good as having done no marketing campaign at all.

What: Competition for attention in the mailbox is at an all-time high. Not only does today’s prospective client have to contend with bills and unwanted special offers, their attention is also split between the various forms of other digital marketing (like emails and social media). However, being creative with your business’ marketing design can go a long way to catch your clients’ attention.

Choose unconventional designs to stand out from your competitors. Some suggestions:

  • Opt for a totally unique die-cut mailer rather than a standard postcard
  • size.
  • Hire an employee with excellent penmanship to hand-address envelopes for a personalized touch.
  • Assemble mailers with unique-looking packaging or envelopes in
  • unconventional colors or shapes.

When: Every business has regular ups and downs that correspond with the seasons or with your prospects’ lifestyles. Instead of generic mailers throughout the year, brainstorm events, dates or milestones that might influence your clients’ purchasing decisions. Some examples include:

  • Buying and selling homes (and related services like insurance,
  • landscaping, house-painting, etc) correspond closely to the school year calendar.
  • Tax season (January through April) is the perfect time for accountants or
  • investment advisors to market their services to people who are already thinking about money.
  • Fitness clubs, personal training and exercise equipment purchases generally spike around the first of the year, as clients set new annual resolutions.
  • Beauty services correspond with vacations in winter or summer.

Where: If you have no clear client mailing list and instead opt to purchase a pre-sorted list from the postal service or another distributor, be sure to advertise to those who are close to your business.

Why: Why should your clients buy from you? Why do you provide better service or pricing than your competitors? In addition to expressing your business’ capabilities, always remember to focus on your customers’ needs and expectations first. By highlighting the key points that are going to be most important to your client, you can stand out from competitors who are merely shouting a self-absorbed message to a bored or uninterested audience.

If you’re unsure where to begin or how to develop an effective direct mail campaign for your target audience, Bop Designs is here to help your business stand out from the crowd. Browse our print design portfolio to see our work on brochures, direct mail, flyers, and more.


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