clipboardDepending on your target audience and the nature of your business, direct mail continues to be direct marketers’ preferred communication channel. Electronic communications showed great promise due to its immediacy and perception that it is more cost effective than printed communications. Email providers and users, however, are increasingly more adept at filtering out unwanted marketing messages. Consider also that the fastest growing demographic – seniors – may use electronic communications less frequently and may not feel as comfortable buying online.

Here are some ideas to make your next direct mail campaign a success:

  1. Start with your house list: Selling to existing or past customers is often more effective than finding new ones. Many successful marketers view their house list, including not only names but past buying habits, to be their most valuable asset. RFM (Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value) is not just a concept that applies to large marketers. Showing your customers that you track their buying habits with you reinforces to them that you have a relationship and they will be more likely to respond to your offer.
  2. Add a rented list to your campaign: Work with a reputable list broker who can help you target the right attributes. Don’t buy a list based only on zip code and income. Think about your customer’s most valuable attributes and take the time to find more people like them. There are abundant lists available based on people’s lifestyles and interests.
  3. Offer something of value and tell them what to do: Offer a coupon, free consultation, or a free trial with a specific time period in which to act and a specific action you want them to take. Study what your competitors offer and see if you can extend a more valuable offer.
  4. Be personal: If you don’t track your customers’ buying habits with you, now is the time to start. Showing your customers that you notice when and what they most recently purchased from you is an effective way to personalize your communications to them.
  5. Track your results: The most successful marketers don’t give up too soon. They try new offers and measure their results.

Direct mail remains an effective tool of many direct marketing strategies. The key to success is staying focused and persistent.