Building a direct-mail campaign has several main steps. The first step is to decide on your target market.

Develop a mailing list

It’s impossible to overstate how important the right mailing list is to the success of your campaign. Your own list of previous customers, clients or enquires is your starting point. If you need to buy a readymade mailing list, there are many different categories available, ranging in cost and appropriateness for your market.

Create your mailing

You need to create a direct-mail piece with a strong offer or important information that will spur the recipient to action. That call to action could be to post back a business reply card, Call a phone number (preferably a Freephone number) or visit a website landing page.

The consensus of opinion is that:

40 percent of a piece’s impact comes from sending it to the right list in the first place.
40 percent comes from the value of the information or offer.
20 percent comes from the design or writing of the piece.

Test the campaign.

Direct mail testing is a very important part of a direct mail campaign. Direct mail testing helps you learn about your marketing. Even a modest campaign of a few thousand pieces can run up the budget with mailing and duplication costs. So you should always test mail a portion of your list of contacts and check the results.

Handle customer responses

Remember to plan the fulfilment end of a direct-mail campaign. If you’re asking respondents to request additional information, what are you going to send them? How soon do you want to mail or email the information out? What else will you do with the responses? In other words, how will you make maximum use of the names you have spent so much money to acquire?

If you are mailing out product or samples, do you want that handled from your main office? Many mail order campaigns depend on fulfilment houses such as Sapphire. We offer a professional operation that will handle the logistics of sending out materials to large numbers of customers. You provide the products and information, we take care of the rest.

Analyse the results of the campaign

This is probably the most important, and least implemented aspect of any campaign. Did the final results match what you expected from the testing? Good analysis should highlight which parts of the mailing responded better than others. Identifying common attributes will allow you to fine tune who you target in future mailings. Every direct mail campaign you run should boost your sales figures as well as improve your customer database.

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