Tips for Improving ROI on Direct Mail

In an age where digital mediums reign, direct mail can seem like an antiquated mode of marketing to past, current, and prospective customers. But the sheer accessibility of digital marketing and low cost of initial investment can often be overwhelming to the target audience marketers are trying to reach – sometimes to the extent that many brands struggle to stand out among the competition vying for consumer attention on social media, online advertising, and email marketing. Direct mail is an opportunity to stand out and make a personalized offering to your audience and invite them to tangibly engage with your brand. But it’s not as simple as throwing an envelope in the mail and waiting for the customers to show up at your doorstep or buzz your phone line, ready to pay. Here are some tips to do direct mail like a pro.

Personalization is Key

Sending bland postcards addressed to “Sir or Madam” is a guaranteed way to get your direct mail effort thrown in the recycling bin without a second glance. Renting mailing lists is way more affordable than you might think, and it’s well worth the investment to increase the response rate. If you don’t know your recipients’ name, how do you know they’re likely to buy? That’s rhetorical. You don’t.

Propensity to Spend

Renting lists also gives you the opportunity to pinpoint people who are likely to buy from you. For example, if you’re trying to sell enthusiast memberships for your association and your association is all about beer, acquiring lists of craft beer publications, buyers of home brewing equipment in the past 60 days,, etc., will ensure you’re targeting people who have already shown an interest and propensity to spend money on craft beer related products and experiences. You’re no longer shooting in the dark; you’re putting your call to action into the hands of people most likely to appreciate your message and respond.

Don’t Send Junk Mail

Oh, we know. So many people equate direct mail with junk mail – pointless, uncreative efforts to get consumers to sign up for credit cards, get 100 more channels, improve their home Internet speeds by 1.8 million gigawatts – we get it. We do not suggest sending junk mail. The response rates are miniscule – often not even coming close to covering the costs of investment. If you’re going to do direct mail, the piece needs to be creative. It needs to be bright and colorful, or sleek and modern; it just can’t be a plain envelope and a business letter.

Make Recipients Do Something

If you’re mailing something to them, you obviously want to make the most of the fleeting engagement. Make them return a response in a supplied BRE, go to your website with a special code to claim a discount on your product, or register for your event. Tracking response is key. Having a mechanism in place to track who responds, who actually signs up or buys, and who to make a marketing effort to again due to no response is crucial to measuring ROI.

Hopefully, these tips give you a better idea on how to execute a direct mail campaign that comes up with sparkling ROI for your business. If you’d like some more ideas, or would like an example of what we use in our direct mail campaigns, then get in touch. Get creative, track responses, and you’ll have one heck of a campaign!

VP Demand Creation Services is a marketing execution company based in Traverse City, Michigan, with clients across the United States and Canada. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more marketing tips and industry news.

Article written by:

Wes Sovis

Business Development Manager