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Direct Mail School

Direct Mail School, Guides, Tips

The Ultimate Direct Mail Checklist

Direct mail works and we make it easy. We’ve put together a checklist to make it even easier for you! Did you know you can build entire campaigns through our online store? Direct mail is your opportunity to connect with customers like never before. Download and save this checklist for when you’re getting ready to send out your next direct mail campaign. Then head to our online store to get started!

 

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Direct Mail School, Tips

How QR Codes Are Transforming Direct Mail Into a Data Gold Mine

Article reposted with permission from Mapp.com.

Let’s face it… In today’s marketing landscape, offline marketing gets a bad rep. It’s often seen as an outdated option with limited data and reporting capabilities.

Direct mail is no exception to this rule. As one of the oldest forms of marketing, it’s often written off by marketers for this very reason. As a whole, direct mail truly has lagged behind the rest of the marketing industry in terms of targeting, personalization, and proof of ROI.

But direct mail’s lack of priority status in media plans is about to change. In fact, the true data-driven players are already using direct mail in new and innovative ways. The big driver of change? QR codes.

What is a QR code?

QR Code

It seems like QR codes are absolutely everywhere these days. Posters, billboards, restaurant tables, business cards…even in the sky! It’s no wonder they’re becoming more popular.

We’ve all seen them before. But what exactly is a QR code, and how does it work?

A QR code, short for quick response code, is basically a type of barcode that directs you to online content. In the past, you needed a special app on your phone to scan a QR barcode. But now, most people can conveniently use their smartphone camera to complete the scan process. This is what is making QR codes more relevant and accessible than ever before.

Each code contains information about an item that is linked or attached to the code. This information appears once someone scans the code. If the QR code is attached to a URL, you would need an internet connection in order to open the attachment.

QR codes are the ultimate way to link the offline and online worlds. Rapidly growing in popularity in the marketing landscape, their incorporation in direct mail is making a big splash.

How are QR codes being used in direct mail?

QR code data

For the direct mail industry, QR codes have been sorely needed for a long time. And while they were actually invented back in 1994, they weren’t widely used until recently. Especially in direct mail.

The most common way that QR codes are being used in direct mail is by incorporating them into calls-to-action. A mail piece only has so much space, so QR codes open up the opportunity to link to additional content.

Another benefit is convenience. We all know that customer experience is key, so why not make it easy on your audience with a quick and simple way to take the next step? Instead of having to manually type in a website, a QR code connects you instantaneously.

And it gets better! QR codes also provide the one thing that is like gold to all marketers: data. By using a QR code on direct mail, marketers create an entirely new layer of data (more on this later).

Even more exciting is the augmented reality QR code. While not widely used yet, this interactive option is a compelling way to further engage an audience.

What data is provided by QR codes? 

Let’s get to the important stuff, the reason you probably clicked on this blog post. What data points and tracking capabilities can QR codes add to direct mail? The short answer is…a lot.

Depending on which QR code provider you use, you’ll be able to access a ton of rich data that standalone direct mail can’t give you. Expect to receive total vs. unique scans, scans by operating system, scans by location (city and country), the operating system used to scan, and more.

Each of these data points is amplified even more when your QR code is attached to a PURL. In direct mail, a PURL一short for personalized URL一is made possible by variable printing. Leveraging PURLs enables marketers to create a unique QR code for each recipient that will take your strategy to the next level.

Instead of accessing aggregated campaign data, a QR code with a PURL will allow you to actually track behavior on an individual consumer basis. Now that’s a game changer.

To personalize your QR codes on a large scale, it’s best to select a QR code provider with an API. Also check to ensure that it links with Google Analytics.

What CTAs are being used for QR Codes on direct mail?

QR codes are versatile, which makes them even more valuable for marketing purposes. In addition to driving traffic to a simple URL, you can also attach QR codes to virtual business cards, PDFs, social media, payment platforms, videos, surveys, apps, and even songs. The possibilities are endless.

Apart from being interactive and convenient, QR codes don’t actually change direct mail’s calls-to-action all that much. Think of a generic marketing funnel for prospecting. You’ll move consumers further down the funnel using similar tactics, with the added benefit of better tracking.

Direct Mail QR Code

 

Recommendations for success

There’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news. Chances are, you’re not going to get it right the first time. QR codes are fairly new territory in marketing, so it’s going to take some experimentation to get it right.

The good news is that you can accelerate the learning process with some good old-fashioned A/B testing. In addition to experimenting with the types of content, targeting, design, and calls-to-action that you use, you can also switch up the actual look of the QR code.

QR examples

Chances are, you won’t get statistically significant results for smaller campaigns. But with larger quantities, you’ll really be able to tell who the true winner is.

Key takeaways

If you’ve never incorporated QR codes into a direct mail campaign, it’s worth giving it a shot. It truly adds another dimension to this old-school, offline marketing medium.

  • Experiment with different calls-to-action. The more personalized, the better.
  • Keep a traditional marketing prospecting funnel in mind. With QR codes, it’s enticing to branch out. But sometimes, the tried and true tactics just work best.
  • A/B test to accelerate learning. You won’t get it right the first time. Using variations will help you learn faster and get you the results you’re looking for. The data doesn’t lie.
  • Attach your QR codes to PURLs. PURLs will bring individual-level data to your campaigns. If you find a certain strategy is getting a lot of attention, invest in PURL technology to get even more data insights.

Remember that if the results aren’t there at first, try again! It takes some experimentation but when you are successfully able to connect the offline and online worlds, it’s marketing magic.

 

This guest blog was written by Brianne Baggetta at The Mailworks.

Direct Mail School, Uncategorized

The One Rule You Need To Adopt for Successful Direct Marketing

If you’ve ever sent a direct mail campaign, you know that there’s a lot that goes into it. And when you’re thinking about sending a campaign to your customers it’s probably because there is something you want to share with them. But where do you start? That’s where the 40/40/20 Rule of Direct Marketing comes in. 

The rule was created by marketing guru Ed Mayer and has proven to be successful by many marketers. The formula turns the focus onto your audience and offer, with a little less on the creative side, which is often where most marketers want to start. 

Let’s dive into why the 40/40/20 Rule needs to be on your radar for every direct marketing campaign you send.

Your audience is the group of people who will receive your message. It’s important that your audience is highly targeted and well defined. With a targeted mailing list, you’ll be able to reach the right people with quality data. By using a combination of location and demographic selects, you’ll reach your most profitable consumer groups and mail to those most likely to respond. Taking the time to find the right audience for your campaign is essential and you can easily order a mailing list while placing your order with The Mailworks. Enter your zip codes and choose from hundreds of unique selects to target the best recipients for your campaign.

 

Everyone loves a good offer, so why not incentivize your audience when they receive your campaign. Because you defined your target audience you can really narrow down on an offer you know they can’t refuse. What have they been asking for? Or what can you do to get them to make a purchase? The offer should come in the form of a discount, rebate, bonus, or freebie. A time limit on these offers will require your audience to act quickly, leading to more sales.

 

Now that you’ve determined your target audience and offer, it’s time to get creative. How are you going to present your offer and campaign to your audience? You’ll want to present your message so it grabs the attention of your audience. Think about their senses in terms of what they will be able to see and touch. Will your direct mail be oversized or have a foil finish? Great design can reinforce your message and be a persuasive power for your campaign. In this step you’ll also want to determine the price and postage of your printed mailing piece.

 

Whether you’ve sent 5 or 5,000 direct mail campaigns, The Mailworks is here to help you get started and guide you through the process. We offer targeted mailing lists, guidance on how to present your offer, graphic design services and more! Get ready to acquire more clients and a return on investment with direct mail marketing. Visit The Mailworks store to get started today!

Direct Mail School

27 Direct Mail Marketing Stats To Inspire Your Next Campaign

Data-backed statistics to help you formulate the perfect direct mail strategy


We are living in a world where almost everything has gone digital. You can livestream workout classes, order anything online, and even have a virtual happy hour with friends who live across the country.

So in a world where people are constantly online and inundated with ads, direct mail has the potential to really stand out. In fact, there are countless benefits to having a physical product that people can hold onto. Especially when compared to a fleeting impression of a digital ad, direct mail is much more memorable and likely to drive action.

Not convinced? These 27 direct mail marketing stats will help you understand the power of direct mail, while inspiring you with ways to improve your next campaign.


1. Customers respond to direct mail 16X more than other forms of marketing. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

This is an exponentially powerful statistic. It shows that while your marketing budget might buy more impressions on the internet, responsiveness is far more effective when leveraging the power of direct mail. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails. (Data & Marketing Association)

How many times have you received an email from a company and deleted it without even opening it? This stat shows that this is a common experience. It also shows that a direct mail piece is up to 3x more likely to be opened than an email.

Direct Mail Marketing Statistic | The Mailworks

3. 81% of recipients read or scan their mail daily. (USPS)

Do you check your mail daily? The USPS found that a whopping 81% of recipients do.

4. Direct mail marketing has been proven to be especially effective among baby boomers, with advertising cards, catalogs or flyers making 31% of this demographic purchase a service or product (Marketing Charts).

Differences in generational marketing are a very real thing. For businesses looking to target a baby boomer audience, you can’t go wrong with direct mail.

5. Direct mail marketing boasts a 9% house list response rate. This is compared to a 1% response rate among email, paid search and social media. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

Again, direct mail wins out for getting a response when mailing to a list of customers and proven prospects. This is especially powerful for campaigns that are offering some sort of special to recipients.

27 Direct Mail Marketing Stats To Inspire Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

6. The response rate for house lists has increased 173% since 2006. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

Response rates are getting better and better for house lists. This means that for your next marketing campaign, consider building a highly targeted mailing list to drive responses for your target audience.

7. The response rate for prospect lists has increased 194% since 2006. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

Again, more positive data for response rates for direct mail. This stat shows that in particular, prospect list response rates have nearly doubled since 2006.

27 Direct Mail Marketing Stats To Inspire Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

8. For longevity in impact, direct mail marketing also wins against online ads or email. 27% of UK consumers will still keep physical mail in their household after 28 days (2018 Direct Mail Facts and Figures).

Holding onto physical mail is one of direct mail’s highest yielding benefits. The countless impressions that a piece of mail on a countertop or mantel will receive during its duration in a home is priceless for building brand awareness.

9. The following stats apply to consumers having received addressed mail (2018 Direct Mail Facts and Figures):

  • 57% of consumers open it

  • 48.5% take a glance at it

  • 26.2% throw it away or recycle

  • 24% put it aside to check later

  • 1.6% put mail on display

10. Oversized envelopes have the highest response rate: 5%. (Data & Marketing Association)

Go big or go home. Make a splash with your next campaign by selecting an oversized direct mail piece.

27 Direct Mail Marketing Stats To Inspire Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

11. 79% of customers find reading mail more convenient than going online. (ICOM)

It’s the classic battle of paper version versus e-version. Which do you find more convenient?

12. 58% of households with incomes over $65K purchased from Direct Mail in 2009. (USPS)

This statistic speaks to the impact of direct mail on middle class and higher income homes.

13. Direct mail boosts ROI by 20% when part of an integrated campaign. (Royal Mail Group Ltd.)

Direct mail doesn’t have to be a standalone. In fact, when included as part of an integrated campaign, it has an impressive effect on ROI.

14. Direct mail helps improve the lift of local ads by 44% and online campaigns by 62%. (Royal Mail Group Ltd.)

Direct mail can even help boost your marketing performance in the online world. Is there anything it can’t do?

15. 41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking their mail each day. (Gallup)

Who doesn’t love checking their mailbox? It’s way more fun than checking an email inbox.

27 Direct Mail Marketing Stats To Inspire Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

16. For lead generation campaigns, a letter-sized envelope produces the best response rate, at 15.1%. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

Looking to generate new leads? Look no further than a letter-sized envelope campaign.

17. The average intended household response rate for First-Class mail is 13% and while Standard mail is 11%. (USPS)

When it comes to mail rates, first-class mail has a slight edge on standard mail with a 13% response rate.

18. Direct mail increases online donations 40% to non-profits. (Dunham + Company)

Direct mail for a cause? Yup, that works too.

19. The response rate for direct mail among people ages 18-21 years old is 12.4%. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

Worried that a direct mail campaign might not work on a younger audience? This statistic shows that it’s quite the opposite.

27 Direct Mail Marketing Stats To Inspire Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

20. 70% of Americans say snail mail is more personal than the Internet. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

In this digital era of hyper-personalization, marketers might think that a customized online campaign has the edge. But according to the Direct Marketing Association, snail mail has a way more personal effect.

21. 39% of customers try a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).

This is an especially powerful statistic for businesses that are looking to grow their customer base.

22. Up to 50% of US consumers prefer direct mail over email (Epsilon).

By looking at your target customer’s preferences, it can help you develop a more effective marketing strategy.

23. More than 60% of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit promoted website, with the greatest impact on first-time shoppers. (USPS)

If you’re looking to build awareness and drive website traffic among new customers, direct mail is a great way to do it.

24. 23% of direct mail recipients visited the sender’s store location. (USPS)

Brick and mortar stores occupy the physical world, so it makes sense that a physical marketing strategy such as direct mail can drive such an impact.

27 Direct Mail Marketing Stats To Inspire Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

25. Direct Mail recipients purchase and spend 28% more on items than non-direct mail recipients. (USPS)

This statistic speaks to the purchasing power of direct mail recipients. With spend averaging 28% more as compared to non-direct mail recipients, it’s clear that direct mail drives results.

26. 56% of consumers think print marketing is the most trustworthy of all marketing channels. (DMA)

Trustworthiness counts when it comes to marketing. With a plethora of information available on the internet, many consumers have become skeptical of it. Print marketing, on the other hand, is viewed by the majority of consumers as the most trustworthy of marketing channels.

Direct Mail Marketing Statistic | The Mailworks

27. 98% of consumers bring their mail in the day it is delivered; 77% of them sort through it immediately. (USPS)

Let’s cap off this list of 27 direct mail marketing stats with a stat that speaks to the immediacy of direct mail. With the vast majority of consumers bringing their mail in the day that it gets delivered, your message will be received…and fast.


Final Thoughts

For those speculating on the demise of direct mail, these stats prove they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, in a world where most everything is available online, marketing in the physical world is more powerful than ever.

Your next direct mail campaign awaits. And make sure you go with a direct mail provider (like us!) where you can handle every step of the direct mail ordering process–from choosing your direct mail piece and uploading your artwork, to building your mailing list and placing your order–completely online.

Long live direct mail.

Looking for expert guidance for your next direct mail campaign? Schedule your complimentary consultation with a client advisor today.

Direct Mail School

Marketing with Direct Mail: How To Start For Beginners

Your One-Stop-Shop For All Things Direct Mail


The role of technology in our modern lives can’t be understated. That’s why for so many people, the idea of marketing is considered a digital concept. 

But thinking about marketing as solely an online activity can be misleading. In fact, many of the most effective forms of marketing take place in the offline world. 

Marketing with direct mail, or direct mail marketing, is a great example of offline marketing that can yield excellent results for businesses. In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly how beginners can start marketing with direct mail to drive great results.

Let’s get to it.

What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

Marketing with Direct Mail: How To Start For Beginners

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of direct mail marketing, let’s start with the basics. Namely, what exactly is direct mail marketing?

Direct mail marketing is a marketing effort that includes creating and sending a physical printed material to a target audience. Examples of direct mail marketing include postcards, flyers, mailers, catalogs, brochures, menus, and more.

The act of sending a physical printed material to an audience may sound simple, but the most successful direct mail marketing campaigns are more nuanced than that. For starters, they include a clearly defined target audience, persuasive copywriting, a colorful and professional design scheme, and a creative call-to-action.

Does Direct Mail Marketing Work?

With so many types of marketing to choose from, you may find yourself wondering: why direct mail marketing?

Let’s break down some of the stats on how successful direct mail marketing has been for so many businesses. 

  • Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails. (Data & Marketing Association)
  • Direct mail marketing boasts a 9% house list response rate. This is compared to a 1% response rate among email, paid search and social media. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).
  • Direct mail marketing has been proven to be especially effective among baby boomers, with advertising cards, catalogs or flyers making 31% of this demographic purchase a service or product (Marketing Charts).
  • For longevity in impact, direct mail marketing also wins against online ads or email. 27% of UK consumers will still keep physical mail in their household after 28 days (2018 Direct Mail Facts and Figures).
  • The following stats apply to consumers having received addressed mail (2018 Direct Mail Facts and Figures):
    • 57% of consumers open it
    • 48.5% take a glance at it
    • 26.2% throw it away or recycle
    • 24% put it aside to check later
    • 1.6% put mail on display 

Clearly, direct mail marketing works. So how exactly do you get started?

How To Start Direct Mail Marketing 

Marketing with Direct Mail: How To Start For Beginners

For beginners, the task of creating a successful direct mail marketing campaign from scratch can be daunting. There are a lot of moving parts when planning a marketing campaign with direct mail. Figuring out how to start is often the hardest part. 

To get you going, we’re going to break down a successful direct mail marketing campaign into easy to follow steps. While certain specific details may vary from industry to industry, the overall process should follow the same basic steps.

1. Compile a targeted mailing list.

Compiling your targeted mailing list is the first step for a reason–it’s very important. The success of your campaign depends on your ability to accurately define your target audience.

Your mailing list can come from a number of places. Some companies are lucky enough to have a list of past, current and prospective customers that includes addresses. This allows you to target an existing database of people who have already interacted with your company.

While this is clearly an optimal place to start, don’t worry if your company doesn’t have this resource. In fact, most companies don’t. Instead, you can leverage the help of a list supplier.

When using a list supplier, you want to have a rough idea of your target audience already outlined. Two of the biggest factors to consider include location and demographics (age, gender, education, religion, ethnicity, etc.).

Once you have your mailing list, it’s important to really conceptualize who your audience is. You might consider creating a detailed customer persona to help flesh out some of your ideas. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What is my customer’s age, gender and marital status?
  • What does my customer do for a living? 
  • Does my customer own their own home, or do they rent?
  • What are some of the challenges that my customer faces? 
  • How can my company help this customer solve this challenge? What are some of the objections they might have?

In short, you’ll need to brainstorm who your customer is from every angle. This will become important in the next step.

2. Design and develop a direct mail piece.

This next step is a fun one, because it allows you to get a little creative. You’ll need to design and develop a direct mail piece that is creative and engaging enough to spur your audience to action.

There are two crucial pieces to creating an effective direct mail piece: design and copywriting. 

Let’s start with design. For beginners, it can be tempting to use an online direct mail template. While this is definitely a great cost-effective option, your audience has likely seen some variation of this multiple times before. 

You want something that looks new and fresh in order to grab your audience’s attention. The best way to do this is by getting the help of a graphic designer. They are the professionals, and they know exactly how to create eye-catching graphics that your audience will love. 

For the copywriting aspect of your direct mail piece, it’s important to use clear and concise language. You’ll want your mailer to be easy to read with short sentences. Simplicity is key.

Don’t forget the most important part of any well-written direct mail piece: a clear call-to-action.  This is the most effective way to get the most value out of your direct mail campaign. Ask yourself: What do I want the recipient to do? Visit a website? Purchase something online? Pick up the phone?

When crafting your call-to-action, consider some sort of a special offer. Most direct mail campaigns perform best when there is some sort of an offer with urgency. For example, “Call now for 20% off your first order.”

3. Code the mailer for optimal tracking.

In order to track the success of your direct mail campaign, you’ll want to code your mailers with an identifier. This will help you determine the return on investment for your campaign.

If you are using multiple mailing lists, each segment should have an individual code. This will allow you to track the response rate for various list segments.

For example, imagine you are a realtor with a new listing and you want to hold an open house. To increase attendance, you decide to create a direct mail marketing campaign.  

You send a beautifully designed mailer with an RSVP call-to-action advertising the open house to a number of relevant audiences.

With coded mailers, you would be able to track exactly which audiences RSVP and which don’t. This information can be extremely valuable for successful open houses with future listings.

4. Conduct a test campaign and formulate goals.

This step is optional, but if you are running a larger campaign it is a best practice that we recommend. To conduct a test campaign, select a small subset of your mailing list and send them your direct mail piece.

Based on their response rate and/or reactions, you can then opt to make last minute tweaks and changes to your campaign.

During your test campaign, it is also a good time to create goals for your campaign. This way, you can measure actual campaign performance against your goals and expectations.

5. Execute the campaign.

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…it’s time to execute your campaign! If you’ve done the previous steps correctly, this step shouldn’t be too difficult. It also helps if you’re working with an experienced direct mail partner.

While executing your campaign, you’ll want to ensure that your direct mail piece is delivered to your customer on time and on budget. The best way to do this is by using targeted delivery. This ensures that your campaign is delivered within a specific time frame.

6. Track and analyze campaign performance.

This last step is all about proving the value of your campaign. To do this, it’s important to analyze what went right and what went wrong so that you can learn and improve. 

Here are a few questions you might consider asking yourself:

  • How did my direct mail marketing campaign perform compared to my expectations?
  • What are some of the most successful aspects of the campaign?
  • What are some areas for improvement?

Accurately answering these questions can help you determine the ROI of your campaign. By proving the value of your campaign, you can determine whether it makes sense to increase your budget for future campaigns. 

However, marketers should remember that a direct mail campaign often has many benefits that can’t be tracked. Since direct mail has a long shelf life as recipients often leave it in their homes for extended periods of time, the branding opportunity is invaluable.

Final Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

The Mailworks Direct Mail Invitation Mailer

Before we let you get to it, we’ve got a few last tips and tricks to make sure your direct mail marketing campaign is as successful as possible. 

  • Never underestimate the importance of a call-to-action. A clear call-to-action in your direct mail campaign is the difference between success and failure. If it isn’t clear to the recipient what to do next, the effectiveness of your campaign drops significantly.
  • Keep it simple. The more complex your copy and design, the more likely you are to lose readers to sensory overload. You want the progression of opening and reading your direct mail piece to come naturally.
  • Include an offer. A clear offer to drive action is critical for the success of your direct mail campaign. Be straightforward about exactly what you are offering and what the reader should do.
  • Create a sense of urgency. The longer a customer waits, the less likely they are to actually take action. By creating a sense of urgency in your messaging, you increase the likelihood of your desired outcome.
  • Experiment with different formats. There are a plethora of different types of direct mail. If a certain format isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs, sizes, and styles. 

More questions? Click here to set up a complimentary consultation with our experienced team.