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The 7 Steps to Creating a Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail has exploded in popularity amongst marketers over the past few years—even more so thanks to the pandemic, which caused everyone to stay at home. As the holiday season approaches, many Alexandria and Arlington VA. businesses are looking for ways to grab their share of the holiday spending spree.

If you’re considering a direct mail campaign, we want to share with you the seven basic steps that you’ll need to take in order to improve your response rate—and for the best chances of making that coveted sale.

Step 1: Choose an Audience

While it’s technically possible to send out a direct mail blast to any old marketing list, the odds of it being successful aren’t that great. This is due to the fact that if your offer doesn’t match the demographic, “into the trashcan, it goes!”

For example, suppose you’re a realtor, and you want to create a direct mail campaign that promotes houses for sale in a very affluent neighborhood. You should first ensure that the people on your mailing list can financially afford to buy one. Otherwise, you’ll get a very poor response rate, if any at all.

If you don’t have a list or are struggling to create one, you can always opt for lead generation and list acquisition services. This will provide you with the ideal mailing list that targets your ideal demographic.

Tip: If you’re not familiar with it, the 40/40/20 Rule of direct mail can help you dial in your campaign. It basically states that 40% of your efforts should go into the list (audience), another 40% into the offer, and the final 20% into the design of the mailer.

Step 3: Create an Offer

Direct mail campaigns that have some sort of offer get a much higher response rate than those without. Your offer can be anything from a percentage off to promoting a flash sale on a specific date.

Pay careful attention to how you word your offer. For example, “10% off Annual Membership” isn’t as effective as “Get a Free One Month Membership.” There are multiple ways of saying things—choose the best one that will capture your audience’s attention.

Step 4: The Copy

Copywriting is key to a successful direct mail campaign. However, even with good copy, you still need to test alternate versions. Create two versions of your direct mailer and then test to see which piece gets a stronger response rate. This will allow you to dial in your campaign and reach high levels of success with each subsequent mailing.

Step 5: The Mailer/Card Design

Mailers and cards with a unique look or tactile feel tend to stand out in a stack of mail. You can either do it yourself or hire an experienced and professional direct mail designer for this aspect of the campaign.

At AlphaGraphics of Alexandria and Arlington, we have a wide range of standard and customized card stocks to choose from. Thanks to our state-of-the-art printers, variable data printing will allow you to reach multiple audience segments while generating more business.

Step 6: Tracking

Once you’ve sent out your mailers, it’s now time to track your campaign. In addition to counting the number of direct mailers that customers bring into your store, you can also add a pURL or QR Code that will send your visitors to an online website or landing page of your choosing. While there, you can present your offer or have a form that will capture even more information that you can use for marketing purposes.

Step 7: Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Take advantage of the lessons you learned via the tracking and copy steps for your next direct mail campaign. Choose the copy, offer, and design that worked the best and send another direct mail campaign blast.

As time goes by, continue to grow (and purge) your mailing list to help ensure that future direct mail campaigns will reach a receptive audience. Depending on your niche, you could also consider an Every Door Direct Mail campaign which will allow you to blanket an entire pre-selected geographical area with your mailer.

Direct Mail Strategy, Planning, and Execution Help Alexandria and Arlington

When performed correctly, direct mail is a highly powerful marketing channel that’s too good to ignore. At AlphaGraphics of Alexandria and Arlington, we can help you design and create the perfect direct mail campaign that will help drive new sales and leads through your front door.

We’ve helped countless local organizations with their direct mail and marketing needs over the years. If you’d like to speak to an expert about your business, give us a call at (703) 549-2432 or contact us on our website.

AlphaGraphics Alexandria

Posted by AlphaGraphics Alexandria

Print and digital marketing solution located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. From small-scale projects to large-run orders, we’re experts at helping you Get Noticed. Get Business. Our clients include the whole spectrum of businesses and organizations. Just to name a few – associations, nonprofits, government organizations, financial institutions, educators, legal advisors, realtors, retail and b2b retailers, creatives.