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October 26, 2021

Best Practices for Direct Mail Calls to Action

Best Practices for Direct Mail Calls to Action

Effective marketing campaigns are designed to increase customer acquisition, conversion, and retention so having powerful calls to action (CTA) is a must. Use the following best practices for direct mail CTAs to increase your response rate and optimize conversions.

Understand and segment your audience for stronger CTAs

Gather information about your customers when they interact with you. When segmenting customers, you can place them in cohorts according to factors such as:

  • Purchase type
  • Purchase frequency
  • Purchase value

When you use the data and insights you have about your audience to segment them into cohorts you can target your direct mail efforts toward the goals associated with each. Aligning your messaging (see our direct mail copywriting best practices article and your CTAs will create a powerful conversion machine that you'll be able to tap again and again.

Test direct mail CTAs for maximum impact

You’ve written different CTAs that you think will appeal to specific segments of your audience. Will your efforts make a difference? Data can answer that question and help you craft more effective CTAs over time.

Direct mail A/B testing makes it easy for you to determine which CTAs work well. Lob makes it easier than ever for you to learn from your direct mail A/B testing. With Lob’s direct mail tracking, you can optimize your CTAs by identifying key behaviors. Use QR codes, personalized URLs, trackable phone numbers, and other tools so you know precisely who has responded to your CTA and what actions they take.You might discover that CTA “A” gets more responses than CTA “B.” You might also learn that people who respond to CTA “B” tend to spend more money than those who respond to CTA “A.” Armed with this knowledge, you can use direct mail A/B testing and combine it with what you know about your audience segments.The important thing to remember is that you need objective data that shows you which CTA works well with which segment.

Increase CTA response with a sense of urgency

When possible, your CTAs shouldn’t ask your customers to do something. Your CTAs should tell them what action to take and when to take it. Time-sensitive CTAs do that well, especially when you pair them with exclusive opportunities available for a limited time. You know how this works because you’ve probably used the strategy before. Even if you haven’t, you see it on the internet daily. Just visit your Amazon account and you will see an “Epic Daily Deal” section. The underlying message is that if you wait too long, you miss the opportunity to take advantage of the deal.

Introduce FOMO to your direct mail CTAs

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) messaging can also prompt customers to act quickly. Use this option when you have a limited number of items for sale or you plan to give a rare opportunity to the first 100 (you choose the number, of course) people who sign up on your site. Adding FOMO messaging to your CTA works because it creates subtle anxiety in customers interested in your products and services. You can also think of this as a form of “scarcity marketing,” which has a similar effect on consumers. No one wants to be the only person who misses out on a great opportunity. When your CTA emphasizes scarcity, consumers are more likely to respond.

Personalize direct mail CTAs

It wasn’t that long ago that adding someone’s name to a CTA seemed like a good way to personalize messages. Today, you can take personalization much further by including information about previous interactions between customers and your brand. If a customer recently purchased a new mattress from your DTC mattress company, you may want to send them an offer for complementary products that you offer such as sheets, blankets, pillows, and other bedroom decor as a way of increasing their lifetime value and staying top of mind. Using a creative CTA for this offer that reads, "Continue your bedroom glow up and save 20% off" could be tested against a more traditional CTA like "Buy now."

Combine CTA best practices with Lob’s technology

The best practices for direct mail CTAs work even better when you reach the correct people and base decisions on data. Lob makes these tasks easy with automated, data-driven mailing services that show you how well your campaigns work. Sign up for Lob today to see how we can help you acquire, convert, and retain more customers with automated direct mail.

For more direct mail best practices, get our Direct Mail Secret Sauce Dos and Don'ts infographic.

This blog provides general information and discussion about direct mail marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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