Direct mail has been around for decades, and this multibillion-dollar industry isn’t going anywhere.

In the United States, advertisers are experiencing exponential returns on the investments they’ve made in direct mail marketing.

While electronic communication methods continue to power the working world, direct mail still works—and it’s an essential part of a marketer’s toolkit.

If you go the direct mail route and want it to lead directly into your audience’s hands, it’s important to do things right. In this detailed guide, we’ll offer three dos and don’ts of direct mail marketing.

1. Do: Create a Quality Mailing List

To ensure the success of a direct mail marketing campaign, a business must first define their target audience.

Simply flooding a zip code or geographical area with a mailed offer isn’t a very efficient way to use your company’s resources.

Decide who to reach, and trust data and mailing experts to help you build a targeted list. Consider your customers’ shared characteristics.

If you can accurately profile the company’s buyers, it will be easier to target them. Users can check out to learn how to reach the right audience and craft a compelling marketing message.

If your company is in a medium or large metropolitan area, it’s a good idea to test a small market segment before starting the campaign.

Run a few tests using a focused mailing list to measure the campaign’s ROI and effectiveness and adjust the offer, audience, and ad design to find the right combination.

2. Do: Come Up With a Great Offer

Once you’ve put the work into choosing a targeted audience, it’s time to create an attractive offer.

Your ad campaign must offer readers something valuable, whether that value is real or perceived.

In the end, all companies have a single goal: to find new customers. To succeed, though, these transactions must benefit both sides.

3. Do: Choose the Right Ad Copy and Design

Now that you’ve found your target market and chosen an offer, think about what the campaign might look like.

What kind of design elements and marketing slogans will catch a recipient’s eye long enough for them to read all the way through?

Catchy copy and bold designs grab readers’ attention, deliver the message, and reinforce a company’s brand message.

Potential customers are drawn to effective branding, and you don’t have to be a writer or an artist to create a compelling ad.

With help from an in-house creative team, any seller can craft a well-written and visually appealing direct mail marketing campaign.

These three tips, when kept in mind, will go a long way in ensuring the success of your company’s next direct mailing.

However, it’s equally important to avoid common mistakes such as those listed below.

Bonus Tip: Include a Strong Call to Action

When sending out direct mailers, it’s best to include a specific call to action. Tell customers how you’d like them to proceed.

Do you want them to stop by, call to win, or enter now?

Don’t send out mailers with vague goals. Instead, try inviting recipients to your next sale. Encourage them to follow the company on its social media pages and consider including a discount code for use on their next purchase.

There are numerous possibilities, but it’s crucial not to keep the audience guessing what their next steps should be.

Having a specific and singular goal is how companies see measurable results from their direct mailing efforts.

1. Don’t: Leave Mistakes Behind

Before sending out a direct mailer, proofread it carefully—and then proofread it once more. Afterward, have someone else look it over.

Nothing gets mailers thrown away faster than formatting issues and glaring typos.

With various online resources, sellers can check for punctuation mistakes and grammatical errors while ensuring their ad copy flows well and makes sense.

2. Don’t: Pass Up the Chance for a Good Follow-Up

After all the work you’ve done to implement a direct mail marketing strategy, don’t forget to monitor new leads and follow up with them. It’s easy to track new customers with physical coupons, promotional codes, landing pages, sales number comparisons, and signups.

After you’ve gathered information on the target audience, how will you nurture those leads and create a community of loyal customers?

Building brand affinity can be as easy as sending a thank-you note, offering a newsletter subscription, or making a personal call. No matter how it’s done, building a relationship with customers is always a worthwhile effort.

3. Don’t: Forget About Online Traffic

All marketing efforts, whether they’re in print or online, should work together. Use your company’s print ad strategies to reinforce its digital efforts.

A business’s online footprint is its main line of defense. If your social media accounts and website aren’t quite up to par, a digital marketing team can help get things running smoothly and ranking higher.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Overload Readers With Information

Among the mistakes that companies make in their direct mail marketing campaigns, including too much information is one of the most common.

The experts typically suggest including no more than one headline, a few lines of text, and two images. If the message can be condensed into a set of bullet points, that’s even better.

Keep in mind that direct mail marketing is about sending actionable and easily digestible content to potential customers.

Put essential information at the top of the ad, and be sure to include some negative space in the design. It’s not a product description or a blog post, so it’s best to keep things simple.

Overly complex and wordy mailers typically aren’t read, and that means you’ve wasted time and money.

Build a More Effective Direct Mail Marketing Campaign

The world is going paperless, and many of today’s companies don’t see any value in direct mail advertising.

The idea of devoting part of a company’s marketing budget to print media may seem counterintuitive, especially to those who look everything up online.

However, the numbers speak for themselves, and direct mail ads are still the best dollar-for-dollar value.

While the consumer and business worlds are moving toward electronic communications, brands can still get their messages across in powerful ways with direct mail marketing.

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