Making the Most of Direct Mail's Popularity – Part 9

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

We're getting close to the conclusion of our blog on the hidden buzzwords that make Direct Mail work, but the most important thing is yet to come. All DM campaigns require some sort of action on the part of the recipient and the job of the mailer is to inspire the action. Without action, there is no success, so this is probably the most important blog in the series.

The first stage in inspiring action is to decide what the action might be, but the most important element from a campaign point of view is to define how to persuade the recipient to act. To do this you need to know your market and your customers. When your mailer lands on the doormat it's going to be competing with a lot of people for attention, so the first action you need the customer to take is to open and read it.

Stage two is effective engagement, which means persuading the recipient to act on the content of the mailer. This is where all our previous blogs come together, as the central focus must be on inspiring action. The secret here is two-fold, requiring both effective engagement and, once the connection has been made, a simple and intuitive way to respond. In effect, you are convincing the recipient to act twice so avoid an overly complex response mechanism as this could put someone off who had intended to engage.

So what is the secret to effective engagement that incites activity? Firstly, the recipient needs to understand exactly what you are asking them to do and why. Presuming that the reason you wrote to them and the proposition you're making have already been conveyed, this should take the form of clear, concise instructions integrated within the copy and/or imagery of the mailer.

Finally, we come to the importance of ensuring that the action is carried through. This means maintaining focus on what the recipient must do, and thereby maintaining their attention, right up to the conclusion of the activity. With most modern DM taking the customer online, this process is all about ensuring a seamless transition, instructing as you go and hopefully ending up at the intended conclusion, which is presumably a sale or a sign-up.

Action may seem like an intangible factor in the development of your DM campaign, but it's actually something that should be interwoven within the creative, planning and design processes. After all, if you can't inspire the recipient to act, we might as well not bother.
To find out how we to make your DM campaign super-active, contact the Secure Direct Mail team on 01624 698488 or at

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