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How to best use creative in Direct Mail campaigns

How to best use creative in Direct Mail campaigns

Pitney Bowes brings you some hints and tips to deliver maximum returns from your direct mail.

As a small business you want to stand out from the crowd. Did you know that today’s consumer is exposed to up to three thousand marketing messages each day?

Clearly, in such a crowded marketplace, the pressure is on to make every communication count. Direct mail is one of the most effective channels for engaging with customers.

It can help you to:
- Promote your brand
- Make an impact with your target audience: sending something through the post means that the recipient will actually touch and see the correspondence, keep it on their desk perhaps, or file it for later. Either way, you’ve got some ‘air time’.
- Warm prospects up: by sending a direct mail piece through the post, you’ve introduced your product or service in preparation to a follow-up email or call
- Drive traffic to your website: how will people know where to find you on the web if you don’t tell them?

Joanna Reynolds, a Direct Marketing consultant with 30 years experience and former chair of the Direct Marketing Association, says, “Out of all the direct marketing techniques around, research has shown consumers are most positive about receiving direct mail.

“With businesses clamouring to make the most of the latest new media techniques, the more traditional forms of communications like direct mail can get forgotten in the hype. For the smaller business embracing direct mail, it means there is less door-mat competition and an opportunity to stand out.”

Make your mark creatively

Make the most out of your direct mail by following these simple steps:
1. Clear company branding o Use colour where possible
2. Simple messages can be the most effective
3. Engage the readers with fun copy o Include a call to action – drive response by including an offer, trial or ‘limited period’

Joanna’s expert advice is, “Just remember AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

“This is what the mail piece needs to achieve through the creative. You can do this by involving the human senses and direct mail is certainly a sensory medium.

“Whilst it is naturally 3-dimensional, it can also engage all five senses - including taste, touch and smell!”

Here are a few practical tips to help your creativity flow:
1. Add your logo to the envelope exterior using a digital meter – ensure your brand catches the eye before the envelope is even opened.
2. Include good photography or illustration – show the buyer what you’re offering.
3. Use colour to make the direct mail piece more readable.
4. Insert a brochure or leaflet for the recipient to retain, increasing the shelf-life of your message

Did you know … More consumers respond positively to direct mail received on Saturday? According to figures from the Royal Mail Consumer Panel (2008), mail that reaches consumers on the weekend is more likely to generate a response, whereas Monday affords the least response.

Timing is important. You can maximise the impact of your communications by planning for them to coincide with offers via the web or after a sales visit.

If you get the timing right, then you are increasing the chances of your well presented mail piece hitting home. Three words to remember – data, data, data

You need to make sure your direct mail piece reaches the right audience.

By ignoring data quality, you could jeopardise your business’ brand image, waste a valuable communication opportunity and ultimately squander all the creative energy, time and money that went into producing the mail piece. Good data quality tools can be acquired for organisations of all sizes.

You need to look for a solution that will allow you to:
1. Check postcodes for accuracy
2. Check for duplicate entries
3. Define and choose your target audience
4. Access available mail discounts

Make your direct mail deliver Sending the right message at the right time to the right person can ensure that your business is heard above the clamour of competition.

So what are you waiting for? Get creative with your direct mail and see for yourself the impact it can make to your bottom line.

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