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How to Manage a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign From Start to Finish
Direct Mail
July 25, 2023

How to Manage a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign From Start to Finish

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The 2023 State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights report shows that 64% of consumers say that direct mail has inspired them to take action such as visiting a website or physical location to making a purchase.

Direct mail is a valuable channel in an omnichannel marketing strategy. Especially with today’s technology that makes creating and sending a direct mail campaign as easy as sending an email.

In this blog post, we’re outlining the seven simple steps to managing a direct mail campaign from start to finish so you can start reaping the rewards that comes from this marketing channel!

7 steps to managing a direct mail marketing campaign

1. Planning

Like any marketing campaign, there needs to be a plan behind it so you can accurately measure its success.

You first need to determine your:

  • Campaign objectives or goals
  • Target audience
  • Key messages
  • Budget
  • Timeline

You’d do the exact same thing for email, but this time you get to add in a step for consideration on the format of your direct mail campaign. Will you send a postcard, self-mailer, letter, or catalog?

Also like planning an email campaign, you should think about any A/B tests you want to run on the campaign and building that test into your campaign’s strategy and its creative. Now that you know what you want to send, you have to pull your list of who you're sending your direct mail marketing campaign to.

Recommended listening: Lobcast Podcast: A/B Testing & Apricot Bellinis

2. List management

Next up is pulling together your list, whether you’re using your own customer data or purchasing a list to acquire new customers. If you’re using your own data, what segment of customers are you sending the mailers to? What do they have in common? What personalization variables do you need to account for to customize each mailpiece? Or, do you have any data you need to append to your list to further personalize the piece?

Take a minute to run your direct mail marketing list through Address Verification to ensure your mail is deliverable and will be delivered to the right person. One of the easiest ways to keep your direct mail marketing campaign’s budget on track is to only send mail to the right customers or prospects and not paying for mail that won’t be delivered.

Recommended reading: Mastering the Art of Building Targeted Audience Lists for Direct Mail

3. Design + copy

You have your campaign objectives, your messaging, and your target audience, now it's time to create a visually appealing campaign design. Your design will differ based on the direct mail format you chose, such as a postcard or letter, but no matter the format it has to be attention-grabbing, have a compelling CTA, and feature personalized messaging, images, or offers.

Recommended reading: Should I Use ChatGPT To Write Direct Mail Marketing Copy?

4. Tracking

Just like you set up UTMs in your URLs when adding links to your CTAs in your email marketing campaigns, you need to make sure you have the right tracking in place for your direct mail campaigns to evaluate the results. Luckily you can use a variety of tracking methods, such as pURLs, dynamic phone number insertion, 1:1 QR codes, unique promo codes, and so much more.

Make sure to test your links, QR codes, or phone numbers before sending your creative off to the printer.

Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer's Guide to Direct Mail Analytics & Testing

5. Printing and mailing

Now it's time to bring it all home and send your direct mail campaign to the printer. If working directly with a print vendor, understand what size batch you need to send to maximize your print budget, how postage factors in, and who handles getting your mail out for delivery.

At Lob, we make it easy on our customers to just press submit on their campaign and they're done. With our Print Delivery Network, our system automatically routes a job to the best printer - and all at a flat rate.

Recommended service: Lob's Print Delivery Network

6. Digital integration

With the right analytics, you can track your direct mail campaigns’ delivery state and trigger digital marketing efforts to run t the same time. You can set up email campaigns to hit as soon as your direct mail piece has been delivered, turn on retargeting ads to display to anyone who visited the landing page for your campaign, and launch any social media advertisements that should run in tandem with the direct mail piece.

Recommended reading: The Modern Marketer's Guide to Omnichannel Marketing

7. Analysis

Finally, it's time to measure how your direct mail marketing campaign performed. At a basic level, you'll want to measure response rate, conversions, and ROI. Be sure to give your campaign enough time to run. Our Direct Mail Expert in Residence, Summer Hahnlen, recommends 45-60 days after the campaign as the results analysis time for this marketing channel.

Recommended reading: The Ultimate Guide to Omnichannel Metrics

Create a great direct mail marketing campaign

Sending a direct mail campaign is as easy as sending an email marketing campaign these days. Learn more about quickly creating marketing campaigns in Lob or schedule a personalized demo to see our direct mail automation software in action.

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