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5 Direct Mail Resolutions for the New Year

Jan 12, 2010

Making New Year’s resolutions seems to be as old a tradition as the champagne toast at midnight.  Yet coming off the heels of the most difficult economic recession in several generations, it seems a particularly appropriate time to make some resolutions for better business in 2010.  Start with these 5 direct mail resolutions that will help you maximize the value of your direct mail campaigns and build stronger relationships with your customers and prospects.

Resolution #1: Make a plan and stick to it.  Statistics show that to be successful with direct mail, you have to mail consistently (three times to the same recipient, at least).  So doing direct mail ad hoc, without a plan, is not the most effective way.  Instead, sit down this New Year and think about the goals you want to achieve, and how direct mail can help. 

If you want to bring in 15 new regular customers, you’ll probably have to send at least three rounds of mail to at least 500 prospects (assuming your list is highly targeted).  Once you’ve stated your goals and broadly outlined your plan, make a list of the specifics – what you will send, when, and to whom.  Then when you set the ball rolling, stick to your plan for at least three mailings – and measure results along the way.  (For more detailed information on making your direct mail plan, check out 12 Steps to a Successful Direct Mail Campaign ¬– Step 1: Make a Plan.)

Resolution #2: Pay attention to your list.  You could have the most brilliantly designed and written direct mail piece in the world, but if you’re not sending it to a targeted list of your most likely prospects, your brilliance will be wasted.  So this New Year, resolve to build and maintain a highly targeted, responsive mailing list.

You do that first by utilizing one of your most valuable assets – your list of current customers and your prospects (people who have contacted you in the past but not become customers).  That list is your goldmine – these are people who have expressed interest in your products or services and who are just waiting to be brought into your fold (or upsold, if they’re already customers).

Most businesses also look to external lists – purchased or rented – to compliment their in-house mailing lists.  Click2Mail is happy to help you find a list that is right for you; visit our Mailing List Center to find out more.  (And for more detailed information on paying attention to your direct mail list, check out 12 Steps to a Successful Direct Mail Campaign – Step 3: Build (and Maintain) a Good List.)

Resolution #3: Personalize.  A targeted mailing list only works if you use it to target your direct mail message to your recipients.  Just as a brilliant mail piece will fall flat without a targeted list, so will a targeted list be ineffective without a targeted, personalized mail piece. 

Begin by understanding the information in your list – what does it tell you about your mail recipients?  Use that information to design a mailer that speaks directly, personally, to the recipient.  With Click2Mail, you can easily include personalized information – from the recipient’s name or the product she last purchased from you to a targeted message based on the demographic data in your list.

Resolution #4: Emphasize the benefits of your product or service.  People don’t care about the features of your product or service; they care about how your products or services will benefit them.  This New Year, resolve to focus on those benefits in your direct mail.  If you’re both personalizing your mail pieces and emphasizing how your products or services will benefit each specific recipient, you’ll find dramatically higher response rates in your 2010 mail campaigns.

Resolution #5: Call to action.  Even if the purpose of your direct mail piece is more to build awareness of your brand than to generate a specific response, you should still include some call to action.  Why?  A call to action doesn’t take anything away from the brand-building effect of a direct mail piece, and to not include it is to waste a valuable opportunity you have to engage your customer or prospect.

Sometimes, a call to action is the centerpiece of a mailer – maybe the mailer is itself a coupon for an in-store discount.  But even if it’s not the centerpiece, you should at least include a call to visit your website to learn more about the benefits of your product or service.  Keeping your customers or prospects engaged is the key to developing a more valuable relationship with them.

Click2Mail makes it easy to keep your New Year’s direct mail resolutions.  Get started Mailing Online today.