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Before your next hitrust direct mail campaign, remember these tips and common pitfalls!


Direct mail is alive and well. In fact, direct mail marketing has experienced a rebirth of sorts in popularity since around 2018. Despite the prevalence and popularity of digital marketing efforts and electronic communication, direct mail efforts remain a force to consider in any marketing arsenal.

Most marketing and communications professionals would likely agree that a combined approach is most effective in today’s marketplace. When considering the idea of direct mail in absence of other tactical efforts, research suggests that direct mail is more effective than electronic marketing, for a number of reasons. According to the Data & Marketing Association, up to 90 percent of direct mail is opened and/or read, compared to only 20-to-30 percent of email marketing messages. The magic happens when each method works in tandem to engage the consumer and draw them towards the sales funnel.

For any marketer seeking connection with current and prospective customers (particularly in the direct-to-consumer space), direct mail efforts can play a powerful role in a larger marketing and advertising strategy. In fact, according to the United States Postal Service, direct mail recipients purchased 28 percent more items and spent 28 percent more money than individuals who did not receive the same direct mail piece. Most would agree this is an impressive conversion rate.

When initiating a plan for a direct mail campaign, success usually is not supported by a “throw something at the wall and see if it sticks” approach. First and foremost, it’s important to create a solid strategy for incentivizing the consumer to take action at some point in the engagement process.

United Mail wants to share a few important tips, and some common pitfalls, to keep in mind when planning your organization’s next direct mail campaign:


  1. Boost consumer engagement through personalized messaging

Personalizing consumer messages is one of the best ways to increase the likelihood of interest and ultimately, conversion. In today’s marketplace, consumers expect a highly-targeted and personalized message. It’s more or less a must-do in today’s world of consumer marketing. There’s almost no excuse not to do it when the prevalence of consumer data makes this more turnkey than ever. Providing personalized links and access codes (PURLs) can be a powerful way both personalize the approach and but enhance direct mail trackability. Also consider using variable map printing (VMP) services for the next level of consumer customization. This kind of tool is an amazing way of directing consumers’ attention to a specific storefront location and display exactly where the store is in relation to their home address. Other engaging examples of VMP include “welcome to the neighborhood” messaging, like department stores using map graphics on mail targeting new homeowners in a specific ZIP code or demographic.


  1. Provide easy and personalized ways to be in touch with your company

The overall goal of direct mail is motivating potential customers to continue their journey with you and potentially enter the purchasing funnel. It’s important for every marketer to provide a specific call-to-action (CTA), and preferably a personalized one at that. If a potential customer has an easily accessible and clear way to continue the interaction with your organization, the effort is more likely to be a successful one.


  1. Be strategic in your approach and timing

As you consider a direct mail marketing effort, it’s important to consider the strategy behind it. If your only motivation is to increase general awareness around your product or service, you may not experience the success you’re hoping for. That’s because consumers require a lot of incentive to use their time and mental energy to consider any marketer’s message, much less take action on it. When a direct mail piece is too general or poorly targeted (i.e., sending to a wide blanket of households void of any detailed targeting), and there’s not a compelling or personalized CTA, your piece is more likely to go straight to the recycle bin.


  1. Watch out for poor design and copywriting

A direct mail piece of any size has a finite amount of space. With that in mind, make the most of it! Too many marketers fail to utilize both the back and front of a postcard, for example, when creating their design and messaging. On the flip side, it’s also important not to fill up every inch of white space with words or graphics. An overly “cluttered” appearance may end up distracting the recipient from the most important parts of the piece.


  1. Choose a proven direct mail partner that’s ready to help you succeed!

When you’re ready to get started creating a powerful direct mail strategy, reach out to the experts at United Mail. Our team of experts know how to help any client from any industry create a direct mail campaign that just makes sense! And if your marketing team is always working on the next great direct mail campaign piece in-house, United Mail’s Digital Storefront is the tool for you. A centralized hub for all your marketing communications projects, Digital Storefront provides everything your team needs to create customized direct mail any time they need. When it comes to maximizing the power of your customer data, United Mail is ready to help you make a successful direct mail marketing campaign happen!