direct mail mistakes


We’re the first to admit that direct mail marketing can provide less-than-stellar results if you fall prey to some of the most common mistakes. Fortunately, we also have years of experience helping brands avoid these mistakes so that direct mail marketing can be a powerful and important part of your overall marketing strategy.

The final problem to overcome is this: Sometimes companies don’t even know they’re making mistakes. Are you wondering if you’ve been sending out direct mail the wrong way? Let’s take a look.

Skip Audience Targeting

Direct mail marketing is one of the most involved and complicated types of marketing. You can’t enter into it lightly. The plan to simply “send a postcard” could backfire if you’re not ready. First, you must identify your audience. You should have a good idea of your buyer personas by now—the type of person most likely to purchase your products or services. By understanding your audience, you can segment your contact lists and mailing lists to reach the right person every time.

Ineffective Copy

The words you use to reach your audience are important. Your intention is to convert those recipients into leads, and then those leads into buyers. Before you write the copy for your next direct mail piece, take some time to research what really reaches your buyers. There are several case studies that outline the most powerful words you can use in your writing. Evaluate your audience, and then choose the words most likely to reach them. And remember, in all of this, you must also stay true to your brand voice and message. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, isn’t it?

Poor Design

Great design can also be a big part of convincing recipients to convert. The colors you choose and the placement of text play a huge role in drawing the buyer’s eye and holding their attention. Using your brand colors is important for recognition and inspiring trust. However, you should also consider contrasting colors for information and instructions. You don’t want the important pieces of your marketing mail to blend into the background.

Lack of Planning

If you think you can just toss the cards in the mail after that, then you’ve probably never experienced success from your direct mail campaigns. Next, you must determine who will receive the cards and when. By planning the mailings, you can schedule drops so that everyone receives the mail exactly when they’re supposed to. If you can plan from beginning to end with all of these things (and more) in mind, then you’ll never again send out a sale or discount flier that reaches buyers two days after the big event is over.

Skipping the Call to Action

This is the second-biggest mistake you can make with your direct mail marketing. Sure, you probably expect consumers to know that you want them to buy your products, but the truth is they need to be told. Without a call to action, you won’t achieve your desired result.

For instance, if your plan with your direct mail piece was to get buyers to visit your website through a personalized URL, but you don’t actually say “Visit our website” in big, bold, colorful letters, then you probably won’t get a lot of traffic. If you want people to follow you on social media, but you don’t specifically ask them to, you won’t see your follow count rising. And lastly, if you want them to stop by your store or make a purchase online, they’re probably not going to take that step if you haven’t expressly asked them to.

A call to action is absolutely vital to your direct mail efforts, and it requires as much planning, copy, and design as the rest of the mail piece combined. If you’d like to start seeing real results from your direct mail marketing campaigns, let us help you fix these mistakes. You’ll be back on track in no time.