Ensure your direct mail campaigns stand out

Jun 05, 2015

Terry Brokamp

DocuStar_06.04.15_DirectMail_Image_copy_1Last week, I shared tips on maximizing print budgets. In a similar vein, this week, I want to share tips on how direct mail campaigns can stand out in your target consumers’ mailboxes. I’ve been fortunate to work with companies for more than 20 years, helping shape and fulfill direct mail campaigns.

Our teams have worked on just about every shape and size direct mail – from campaigns that sent planters, magnets, car fresheners, to a company that sent a working toy helicopter to potential customers.  While you don’t need to send extravagant promotional items to stand out from competitors sharing consumers’ mailboxes, you can do simple things to make sure your pieces are opened and read.

Target the right consumers.
Every Door Direct Mail®, or EDDM®, is a very popular option in direct mail right now. It’s a service from the United States Postal Service that offers discounted rates on mail to every door within a specific zip code. Businesses can target an area directly around them, and share their message with every household on the street.

However, there are two big downsides to this: 1) Not everyone within that geographic area may be a good fit for your mailer, and 2) Mailers are not personalized with individuals’ names and addresses.

EDDM® can be a good fit for businesses like restaurants or banks that are looking to increase traffic from nearby homes. If your campaign is targeting a specific demographic – say a family at a specific income level with children within a certain age range, a targeted list is the way to go. A targeted list ensures that your message is being shared with the right group. Our team here can help you identify which option is best for you, and manage the set-up and distribution.

Make it relevant.
Similar to making sure you target the right group, you should always make sure the messaging and information is of interest. After all, the piece of mail you always open is something relevant to you. Be sure to effectively customize mailers with recipients names, co-brand with partner organizations and tap into local campaigns or trends to help push your message a little farther.

This is one of the capabilities that I am always most excited to share with our clients. Our marketing resource systems, paired with our print capabilities, offer the unique ability to group together direct mail runs that could feature thousands of different postcards – running different campaigns for one corporate office that target local consumers with different messaging, different colors, different logos and each one is addressed to an individual. It’s really something to watch a print run that’s churning out thousands of different post cards. Not only are these customized pieces much more relevant to consumers, it offers great cost savings to our clients, as I discussed in last week’s blog on print savings.

Get creative.
Today, there are so many easy, cost-effective ways to get creative and catch consumers’ attention. Scratch-offs is one growing trend we’ve been seeing here. Customized promotional items are always a crowd pleaser, and help turn your message into something that’s useful to consumers. Calculators, magnets and car fresheners are just a few recent promotional mailers we’ve sent through recently.

Another popular trend in direct mail is “dimensional” mailers. (Take a quick look at this Pinterest page highlighting creative dimensional mailers.) Dimensional mailers are unusual promotional items designed to attract attention and start conversation. But what I think is the important part is the packaging. Companies can get creative with packaging to help a more “standard” (and useful) piece stand out. Consider creating and printing a custom envelope or even packaging tape to add a little more “oomph” to your campaign. An unusual size or shape can also be attention grabbing.

Motivate action.
Finally, and probably most importantly, tie your mailer into the next step. Motivate recipients with a clear and strong call-to-action. Encourage them to bring physical pieces in for a specific discount, direct them to a unique URL or another clear-cut action. 

These are just a few of the tips we’ve seen have a real impact on direct mail campaigns. Please share some of your best tips with us on Twitter at @vya_systems. Have a question about our direct mail services or web-to-print? Feel free to give us a call anytime at 800-426-7921. We look forward to speaking with you!

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Vya is an independent provider of marketing services that is not associated, sponsored, or otherwise approved by the United States Postal Service to provide these serviers.

EDDM® and EVERY DOOR DIRECT MAIL® are trademarks of the United States Postal Service.

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Tags: direct mail marketing

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