No one wants to open their mailbox and find a stack of misleading advertisements. While direct mail does an excellent job of reaching and converting consumers, anything perceived as junk mail usually goes right into the recycling bin. It's essentially a physical form of spam, and people treat it as such.
Dissatisfaction with junk mail has grown recently as USPS looks for more ways to fund itself. This raises an important question: how can you make direct mail campaigns stand out from junk mail that people ignore?
Most of us can easily spot spammy emails, in fact, our inboxes are generally good at catching them before we ever see them. But, there's no junk mailbox to separate physical mail. By following these direct mail best practices you can separate your campaigns from junk mail and make consumers excited to get your mail.
You want your mailers to grab attention, but you don't want them to look unprofessional. Avoid crazy colors and color combinations that clash with each other. Also, don't use fonts and text sizes that will distract receivers from your message.
If you're unsure what counts as "crazy colors," you can get positive results by using Lob's direct mail templates for postcards, buckslips, custom envelopes, and other mailers. The templates also include fonts and text sizes that will keep your designs professional and easy to read.
Starting with a template helps you save time and ensures your direct mail campaigns attract the right kind of attention.
Junk mail often tries to cram as many messages as possible into a small space. The companies sending junk mail do this because they need to cast a wide net. They don't know who will receive the mailer, so they can't personalize it meaningfully.
Direct mail best practices recommend targeting specific customers and leading with messages that convince them to act. Personalize your mailers by including one clear CTA based on previous interactions with the customer.
For example, you might appeal to customers who haven't bought anything from your business within six months by including a CTA like, "Visit our website now to get a 15% discount on any item purchased within 30 days of [date]!"
Alternatively, you could encourage regular shoppers to buy more with a message like, "Thanks for your recent order! Visit our site and use this discount code to save 15% off your next purchase!"
Speaking of personalization, you need to keep in mind the WIIFM (What's In It For Me?) How can you personalize the piece of direct mail so the recipient immediately understand why they got it and why they should take action on it.
Junk mail's impersonal approach often means that companies try to cram too much text into small spaces. While that strategy potentially puts a lot of information in front of customers, it also creates a confusing experience.
Too much text in direct mail will make your items look like junk mail. Perhaps even worse, it will dissuade recipients from reading what you send. No one wants to read lines of text from a company. Keep it simple so people get the point at a glance.
Timing plays a critical role in convincing people to act. Don't add any extra text or images to address boxes. Avoiding this common mistake will help USPS deliver your direct mail quickly and prevent your items from getting flagged.
Direct mail automation will also help ensure your mailers reach the right customers at the right time. When a customer's action or inaction triggers your direct mail automation system, you can send them hyper-personalized mailers immediately. The process of making and delivering junk mail can take up to three months. With direct mail automation, customers can receive your mailers within a week.
Professional, personalized mailers should improve your ROI by getting more positive attention from customers. The benefits don't need to end there, though. With Lob's direct mail automation, you can get even better results by:
Direct mail is a marketing channel that has stood the test of time. But, it works best when it works in tandem with your digital or other offline channels. Learn how direct mail fits in the mix with other timeless tactics on episode 6 of our Lobcast Podcast:
Junk mail is a thing of the past.
It's time to send intelligent direct mail.
But, if you're unsure of where to start or how to build an intelligent direct mail campaign, we've got you covered. Visit our Best Direct Mail Campaigns collection page to get inspired to create your own amazing campaign by understanding what makes a direct mail campaign stand out from the rest.
Want to learn even more about intelligent mail? Find out how having intelligent mail in your marketing mix can deliver real results.