Are you running a digital agency and need direct mail tips to jumpstart or hone this highly lucrative marketing channel?
You’ve come to the right place. Let’s define a few things first before we get into the direct mail tips for your marketing agency.
Table of contents
- Digital agencies and automated direct mail
- The 9 direct mail tips for digital marketing agencies:
- 1. Design with mailing in mind
- 2. Pay close attention to the mailing list
- 3. Plan for multiple touches
- 4. Include direct mail tracking
- 5. Keep it simple
- 6. Direct Mail Marketing Testing
- 7. Make it relevant for your target audience
- 8. Personalize your direct mail
- 9. Track and filter your automated direct mail
- Direct mail marketing tips that will help you stand out among the competition
Digital agencies and automated direct mail
Digital marketing agencies attract imaginative and talented people with skills in areas like email, SEO, social media, and search engine marketing. These resources are important. Often missing from the staff, however, is someone with knowledge and experience with print marketing, particularly direct mail marketing.
Direct mail may seem difficult or expensive to marketing agencies with little experience in the channel, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Plenty of resources and partners are available, making it easy to add direct mail to your clients’ marketing strategies and stand out from all the other competition that focuses only on digital channels.
If you use a service like Postalytics, we take care of the details that cause agencies concern as they contemplate direct mail strategies for their clients. You won’t worry about postal regulations or mail preparation. Regardless of how you do direct mail, a little knowledge can smooth the process and reduce the chances of making mistakes.
Hesitation about using direct mail because of preconceived notions or inexperience can be a mistake for digital marketing agencies. Direct mail can be a new revenue stream, and you can thrill your clients with mail’s ability to get noticed and generate activity. Nothing beats direct mail as an engine that spurs new customer acquisition or win-back business.
Mail costs more to produce and distribute when compared to digital channels. However, you can easily manage those expenses by partnering with Postalytics. Unlike the traditional way of building a direct mail campaign, Postalytics has no minimum job sizes. This makes it perfect for start-up businesses or your clients that may have yet to build large postal mailing lists. We eliminated most of the time and overhead expenses associated with traditional direct mail. Now, a direct mail promotion is no more involved than setting up an email campaign.
The 9 direct mail tips for digital marketing agencies:
1. Design with mailing in mind
Mailpiece design is a little different from general design guidelines followed for other printed materials. Some design decisions will affect the cost of postage or incur unnecessary US Postal Service fees. Other design elements may influence deliverability or even the mailability of the pieces. Use a designer with direct mail experience or ensure your in-house designers have access to direct mail resources that can provide the information they need. Some resources, such as Mailpiece Design Analysts from the USPS, can even evaluate prototype mailpieces and suggest improvements that help lower costs or improve delivery.
Postalytics includes a mailpiece design editor that ensures you follow all the postal rules.
See this guide on direct mail templates for more information.
2. Pay close attention to the mailing list
Besides the offer, the mailing list is probably the factor that most affects the success of a direct mail campaign. Be sure you process the mailing list through postal preparation software to validate data and update the addresses for movers (Postalytics does this automatically for you). Also, remove or combine duplicates and filter the list to include only likely buyers. If you will market to different segments or personalize the mailpieces, be sure to review the data for completeness and accuracy.
3. Plan for multiple touches
Direct mail is highly effective, but as with any marketing strategy, repetition is an important factor. We recommend planning for multiple rounds of mailings, along with integrated digital elements to realize the best results.
4. Include direct mail tracking
Tracking customer actions initiated by direct mail is easy. Marketers have many choices that help them measure campaign effectiveness and attribute results to the direct mail channel (at least partially). Coupon codes, designated phone numbers, QR codes, and personal URLs can all be helpful in tracking customers as they interact with your clients through multiple channels.
Here’s an article that explains how Postalytics tracks your mail for you. See more at direct mail tracking.
5. Keep it simple
Customers must understand what action to take once they receive your direct mail piece. For postcards or self-mailers, get their attention immediately with colorful graphics and make sure the call to action is crystal clear. The phone number to call, website to visit, or location to go to should stand out as one of the most prominent features of the piece.
6. Direct Mail Marketing Testing
As a digital marketing agency, you appreciate the value of testing. Did you know you can do the same thing with direct mail? Use Postalytics’ A/B testing functionality to try variations of colors, offers, or designs to see which versions connect best with your targeted audience. With our digital printing workflow, testing costs nothing extra besides the minimal time spent designing the mailpiece versions.
Here’s a great article that’s all about direct mail testing best practices:
7. Make it relevant for your target audience
With direct mail, agencies can help their clients zero in on prospective customers who fit the ideal buyer profile. Because the reference point for mail is a physical address, you can refine the mailing list based on a huge number of factors, including age, gender, income, home ownership, family size, and more. This information has been developed and collected for decades in the direct mail industry and is readily available. Mail allows you to add value to a direct mail campaign (and add billable services) with data enhancements, suppression, segmentation, and personalization that allow you to create mailpieces that connect with each individual on the mailing list and generate better ROI statistics for your campaigns.
8. Personalize your direct mail
Many studies show that personalization of any kind increases the response rates of direct mail marketing campaigns. Customers notice when an offer is for them instead of directed at everyone living in a certain ZIP code. Digital printing technology allows you to vary the text, images, and offers. You can design every mailpiece for a specific individual.
Personalization has no impact on the production or postage expense associated with a direct mail campaign, so it pays to spend a little extra time to personalize your direct mail pieces.
We’re big on personalization here at Postalytics. See how you can use conditional logic to control many aspects of your direct mail pieces.
9. Track and filter your automated direct mail
Notice which mailpieces the USPS could not deliver (even with the best pre-mailing efforts, some mail always comes back). Drop these individuals from subsequent mailings. Also, track the responses. Once a prospect responds to an offer, and you have established contact through other channels, there’s no need to continue the direct mail acquisition you designed your campaign to accomplish. Postalytics includes a tracking dashboard that tells you exactly how your campaign performed, down to the individual mailpiece.
We track everything for you in Postalytics and show you how your mailing is performed via a convenient dashboard. Find out exactly how the direct mail dashboard works.
Direct mail marketing tips that will help you stand out among the competition
Digital agencies looking to boost the performance of marketing campaigns should look to direct mail to rise above digital clutter and make a difference for their clients.
With a direct mail component, you can add value in several areas such as data quality and enhancement, increased response rates, precise targeting, personalization, and tracking/evaluation. By partnering with Postalytics via our agency plan, you can easily add these billable capabilities without worrying about the complexities of postal mail.