Creating "Winning" Direct Mail
(Posted: Thursday, May 18, 2017)

You get direct mail ads every day. We all do. Some pieces go directly into the recycling or shred basket. Some catch your eye and get opened. According to one Huffington Post article, “79% of consumers act on direct mail immediately.” *  Those are the ones that generate enough sales/donations to pay for the entire mailing. But, isn’t direct mail supposed to be dead?

Direct mail is far from hospice care. Credit card companies are the presiding kings of direct response communication, but nonprofits must come in a close second. Letters are sent out monthly, yet, how many executives have stopped to examine the elements that make them successful? Let’s look at them now.  

Ways to create “winning” direct mail:
  • Creative. Was it attention-grabbing with an emotional connection? Did it use a number of the accepted techniques without being overwhelming? Was it fresh and original and did it treat its reader like an adult?
  • List. Was it delivered to the people most responsible for making the decision?
  • Premium/Offer. Was it enticing, representing an appropriate sized value compared to the purchase price or the lifetime value of a new customer?
  • Product or Service.  Is it something they want or value?
  • Call to Action. Was it clear, prominent, and simple? Is there an encouragement or reward for quick response?
  • Timing. Have you delivered the information within the decision-making window? Is your product/service a considered purchase or an impulse buy?
  • Repetition. How many times have they already heard about your product or organization? Is it familiar to them? Were they in a state of readiness to buy/give before your mailing arrived?
If a mailing “succeeds or fails”, it is always a matter of several factors — never just one.

Blake Conover, President
* http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-taylor/why-direct-mail-marketing_b_10627116.html

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