A guide to creating engaging direct mailers

Monday November 5, 2018

Direct mail might be one of the older forms of marketing around, but just because newer kids on the block have emerged thanks to online technologies, there’s still a place for this type of mailing strategy.

Indeed, when correctly employed, direct mail campaigns can be highly successful. Yet, the key to ensuring direct mailings aren’t a waste of time and money is to understand a few critical aspects that work in their favour.

It’s important to bear in mind that there’s a fine line between direct mail being regarded as junk to be tossed in the bin, and grabbing attention that’s worthy of opening and acting upon. After all, it’s estimated that people receive around six items of direct mail marketing daily, so making sure your communication stands out from the crowd and is given the attention it deserves, is vital.

"So, just how do you take a database of interested enquiries and turn them into leads using direct mailing?"

Make it engaging

No matter what you’ve got to say, whether you’re mailing to businesses or customers, the key feature of a successful direct mail campaign is that it must be engaging. You need to grab attention in an instant and make your mailing compelling enough for recipients to open it, read it and then act upon it. There are a number of ways you can boost customer engagement through your direct mail campaigns.

Visual appeal

Images catch the eye much quicker and more effectively than words can, so make sure your direct mailers capture what you want to say, or the feelings, reactions or behaviours you want to evoke, using images. Keep text to a minimum and only provide the vital details, to cover who, what, why, where or when.

If you want to provide further details about a product, service, promotion or your company, you can always add your web address or a QR code to the mailer, to direct people to your site or a landing page. In fact, adding some sort of link also makes for a useful way to monitor how successful your direct mail campaigns are, in terms of click-through rates.

Make use of colours

Colours evoke certain feelings and emotions, so get to grips with colour psychology and use particular shades and tones in your direct mail campaign that fit in with the feelings or emotions you want to stimulate in your recipients. Red, for example, is thought to make people feel excited and energetic, whilst green and blue are calming and relaxing. Colour experts also claim that men prefer bolder shades and women favour softer tones, so if you’re targeting males or females, you can use this colour psychology to your advantage in your mailers.

Personalise campaigns

Whether you’re conducting an email marketing campaign or a direct mail strategy, the one element that engages and grabs attention, no matter what medium you use, is personalising your communications. Including the person’s name gives the impression you’re speaking directly to that individual, making it more likely to command their attention. Yet, if you can include other elements that make your communications personalised and targeted, such as relating to their interests or age group, this can make your mailing even more appealing. Even better, if you can encourage some element of personal interaction, such as asking for feedback in return for entry into a prize draw, this makes for an invaluable way to glean information about your prospects.

Make it relevant

If you want to engage with your audiences and turn enquiries into leads, you need to send out direct mail communications that are relevant to your recipients. Segment your mailing lists according to different groups, or based on specific criteria, and use this information to send out targeted mailings. After all, what would be the point of communicating details about an offer or promotion to someone who would have no interest in that product or service?

Think outside the box

What you’ve got to say in your direct mailing is just half the battle of securing that vital call to action. How you present the information is also paramount to ensure customer engagement. This is where you really need to think outside the box and come up with communications that are design-led, unique and inspiring.

Even if you’re limited by budget in terms of design considerations for your direct mailing, especially if you’re a small or fledgeling business, you can still create original ideas that won’t break the bank.

Think about the size of your direct mailer, for example. Instead of the standard size of envelope or mail, opt for a size either much smaller or bigger, so that it stands out from the sea of other mail.

Don’t just focus on visual aspects, but stimulate the other senses, too, such as by using paper or materials that have a different feel or texture from standard varieties, or add a scratch and sniff panel to focus on the sense of smell.

Who’s to say you have to stick to 2D styles of mailing, either? Many of the most creative forms of direct mailing use 3D styles, such as boxes, packets, CDs, toys or other shapes and objects to get their message across. Mail recipients also favour freebies, so you could include items such as a coaster, magnet or pen with your logo on it, for instance. Whatever you choose, always be certain that the mailing or its contents will be useful to your recipient, and are relevant to your brand or offering. Even if you opt for something quirky, make sure the message and call to action are crystal clear.

When it comes to creating engaging direct mailers, the only limit is your budget and your imagination, but to ensure you get the best return on investment for your campaigns, it makes sense to use professional marketing services, such as from Socially Grown. Socially Grown can help create engaging, personalised direct mail campaigns, including distribution services and monitoring of results.


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