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Direct Mail Newbies: Common Mistakes

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Every year sees a new wave of freshman small business owners and entrepreneurs who launch double lives as direct mail marketers. For these newcomers to the field it’s often a trans-formative experience as they realize that there’s a great big physical world outside of the Internet and the social media platforms. In short, they’re often excited and amazed to find out you can actually mail a physical piece of marketing to your customers and potential customers.

Unfortunately, that excitement often gets quickly tempered by poor results because of common, easy-to-make mistakes they make regarding their direct mail marketing campaigns. If you’re planning your first direct mail campaign, here are some easy mistakes to make – and easy mistake to avoid.

All Yesterday’s Lists

It doesn’t matter how amazing your design is, or how persuasive your marketing text is, if you’re mailing your pieces to a list that’s old and stale, you’re not going to get any sort of positive response. Do your research and make sure the list you’re using is current and targeted.

Dumb Mistakes

Have you gone from idea to mailing in record time? Then the chances are high you’ve made mistakes, ranging from typos to dull design. Mistakes are expensive to fix, but it’s even worse to send out a piece of sub par marketing to your list. Slow down and take the time to proofread, review, and ensure it’s perfect before you get it printed.

Forgetting the Next Step

So, you’ve got a list so fresh it’s practically from the future. You’ve pored over your design and ensured that the print job is first class. It’s great stuff. What have we forgotten?

Did you include a next step for interested customers?

Look at it from their point of view: You’ve piqued their interest with a great marketing piece. Their targeted, interested, and ready to buy. But there’s no easy way to do so – you didn’t give them a phone number or website or email. They’re stuck going to a search engine, and right there 50% of your potentials will simply toss your mailing aside – and the rate just gets worse with every extra step.

The lesson: Make it as easy as possible for interested people to respond and convert.

Repeating Failures

You’ve heard that old saw about the definition of insanity being repeating the same actions and expecting different results, right? If you’ve done one or two campaigns before and gotten no results from them, why are you doing the same type of campaign again?

This is probably one of the hardest lessons for newbies to learn, because it’s easy to love your ideas and see how they should work, and it’s difficult to line up real-life results. It’s also easy to come up with excuses for failure. Stop. If your last campaign failed, be objective and find a new approach.

You won’t be a direct mail newbie forever – but learning these lessons fast can save you a lot of time, money, and failure.

02 Mar, 15

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