Lob's website experience is not optimized for Internet Explorer.
Please choose another browser.

Arrow Up to go to top of page
The 6 Big Mistakes to Avoid in Your Direct Mail Marketing
Direct Mail
May 16, 2023

The 6 Big Mistakes to Avoid in Your Direct Mail Marketing

Author Avatar
Guest Author

Digital noise has been bombarding consumers for years, and many people are tuning it out. Direct mail, however, is the perfect way to cut right through that noise and reach your ideal customer. In fact, 74% of marketers indicated that direct mail has the highest ROI out of all the marketing channels they use.

What’s your current direct mail ROI? Use this ROI calculator to find out.

If you're not getting results like these marketers, you could be making the same fatal mistakes with your direct mail marketing — over and over. That’s why we’ve put together this list of six things NOT to do with your direct mail, so keep reading.

1. Using outdated manual processes instead of automation

One of the biggest direct mail marketing mistakes you could make is not using automation. Manual direct mail is an outdated approach that involves a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and inefficient process. Technology now allows you to automate those repetitive tasks, so your process is streamlined. Automating your processes saves you time and money, and it can also boost your ROI. You no longer have to wait months to kick off a direct mail campaign.

2. Failing to validate mailing list address data before sending direct mail

Many businesses think the cost of direct mail is too much with all that goes into printing and mailing, let alone strategy and design. The biggest money-waster, however, is mail that's undeliverable, returned, or fails to reach the intended recipient. This most commonly happens when you haven’t validated the address data for your mailing list. Using real-time address validation means you can be sure your beautiful direct mail piece gets to where you want it to go each and every time.

3. Sending generic instead of personalized direct mail

This can’t be stressed enough: personalize, personalize, personalize! Why? Because businesses that use personalization generate 40% more revenue than their competitors. Not only that, but most customers (76%) get frustrated at brands that don’t personalize their interactions.

It’s pretty easy to customize your direct mail, especially if you use automation. All it takes is manipulating any of the following elements in your direct mail piece to add personalization: images, text, QR codes, personalized URLs, and referral or promo codes. For example, you can place unique QR codes that direct the recipient to a landing page customized with their name, product suggestions, and offers tailored to their needs.

For more tips, download The Marketer's Guide to Direct Mail Personalization.

4. Making design faux pas rather than following best practices

Not everyone is gifted with artistic talent or design skills. However, designing a direct mail piece is as much a science as an art. Once you know the basic direct mail design best practices, you’ll understand the difference between a junky design versus a jazzy design. Still, executing professional-looking design isn’t easy. That’s where direct mail templates come in. Whether you need to send a holiday brochure, a thank you postcard, or a billing reminder, it’s essential that all your direct mail pieces reflect your brand and appeal to your target audience.

5. Offering multiple CTAs that overwhelm recipients

As if your customers aren’t already bombarded with a lot of noise, you might be throwing multiple calls to action (CTAs) at them. We get it. You want to give the recipient plenty of options to make sure you provide an offer that's perfect for each potential customer. Unfortunately, you’re more likely to overwhelm them by leaving them with too many choices. Instead, stick to a single CTA and consider providing a URL to a customized landing page with another strategically crafted CTA.

6. Focusing on the cost of direct mail instead of the ROI

We touched on this early on. Cost is often a barrier that prevents businesses from capitalizing on direct mail. But the truth is, the benefits of direct mail marketing far outweigh the costs. Plus, technology and automation help keep costs to a minimum. Rather than focusing on costs, consider the potential ROI. Direct mail can help you increase reach, boost engagement, build relationships, create better customer experiences, and reach specific customers.

Recommended listening: The Lobcast Podcast: Budgets & Beermosas

Lob can help you avoid these direct mail marketing mistakes

Do any of these "don'ts" sound like what you’ve been doing in your business? Granted, it can be tricky knowing what direct mail marketing things to avoid. Steer clear of these six direct mail marketing mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way to reaping the ROI you deserve. If you still need assistance, let us show you how to level up your direct mail marketing. Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo.

Go from mistake correction to direct mail optimization

Learn how to automate and streamline your direct mail workflows to drive actionable results and ROI during our Optimizing Direct Mail for Maximum Results webinar.

Optimizing direct mail for maximum results webinar image

Continue Reading