Direct Mail: What Not to Do

So we've covered that art quite extensively in this blog of what to do when it comes to direct mail, and from lots of different angles, but it occurred to me this week that sometimes learning what not to do can be just as informative as learning what's right.

There are lots of things you should not do with your Direct Mail campaigns. Some of them are simple, others more complicated, and some can have major legal and financial consequences if you mess up. So, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how not to do it.

1) Bury Your Hook
If you're going to engage the reader, you have less than 10 seconds (some say four) to grab their attention. This means you need to make the purpose of the mailer and what it offers immediately clear. If you don't focus on the key facts, it'll end up in the bin.

2) Too Much Copy
Effective DM needs to be simple and accessible. There is a school of thought, mainly in the US, that long, flowing copy can engage clients, but this isn't the place for it. Keep it short, snappy and to the point.

3) Segment Your Lists
The unit cost of Direct Mail is higher, so it needs to be targeted correctly in order to deliver ROI. Segmentation is your chance to ensure that the right content and offers go to the right people. Taking the time now will show in the results later.

4) Personalise, Personalise, Personalise!
The mailers least likely to be opened are those addressed to 'The Householder' or similar. It's not rocket science to know that people respond more positively when something is clearly aimed at them personally. The more personal you make something, the more engaged recipients will be.

5) Weight of Opportunity
It may sound really basic, but don't make the envelope too light. People like to get a sense of importance and the feel of a weight envelope is a very under-rated tool in achieving this. I'm not saying send a telephone directory, but make sure your mailers have the weight and feel to ensure appeal.

6) Keeping Track
A Direct Mail campaign is only as good as the systems put in place to keep track of engagement and uptake. Make sure you are all set to monitor the outcomes of your campaign from each recipient offer and demographic. Data is king and failure to gather it will massively dent your ROI.

So there you have it. A few basics to guide you through the Direct Mail journey. Find out how we can make Direct Mail work for your business by contacting the Secure Direct Mail team on 01624 698488 or email

Share this post


Your Interests: