6 Direct Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make

Direct Marketing Mistakes

Tips to Make Your Direct Mailer Successful

Great direct marketing is a mixture of utilizing time tested technique, adapting to new market trends and consistent creative excellence.

That’s no small order.

The fact is, the road to great direct marketing can be anything but direct, and while your team may experience the occasional misstep, here are 6 direct marketing mistakes you don’t have to make.

  1. Using Bad Outreach Data
    There’s no better way to shoot yourself in the foot than working with a bad list of corrupted data. In fact, the Harvard Business Review recently found that bad data costs US business around 3 trillion dollars each year. Most data needs some cleaning up upon acquisition, and basic data hygiene and maintenance is important, but there’s a difference between cleaning up good data and diverting excessive resources to salvage a bad list. Here are some indicators your team may be working with bad data.
  2. Failing to Consistently and Quickly Change
    Change is a good thing and the only constant in any thriving industry. Direct marketing—particularly direct mail marketing—has seen a lot of change over the years. As new mediums have come to rise (like specified social media direct marketing) and time-tested mediums have been adapted to better perform (like direct mail offerings in the form of dimensional mailers), many direct marketing campaigns have achieved success by adopting the latest in techniques. Keeping up with sites like MarketingWeek.com or TargetMarketingMag.com (here are their dominate direct marketing trends for 2018) can keep you in the loop when it comes to new trends taking over the direct marketing world and identifying those on the horizon (here’s a link to our own blog, consistently updated with more original content). Remember: new tech means increased efficiency, even for traditional methods of marketing many mistakenly believe tech will render obsolete. Here’s a great article by Forbes on how tech is changing traditional direct mail for the better.
  3. No Call to Action
    It’s shocking, but it’s something even otherwise great direct marketing pieces occasionally fail to include: a clearly defined call to action. A CTA that catches the eye and does its job of provoking an immediate response is one of the most powerful direct mail marketing tools you can employ, particularly when it comes to digital direct marketing and the ability to bring users from an outreach email to your website. Many campaigns use their CTA as a sort of mission statement or slogan. Here are seven of the best.  Make sure your campaign includes a clear CTA in each of your direct marketing efforts—it may be the key to turning your direct marketing efforts into responses and conversions.
  4. Bad Design Elements
    Good design can be the difference between direct marketing that is considered or direct marketing that is ignored. This is particularly true for direct mail campaigns—unlike digital direct marketing (where the opportunities to effortless link other related content are endless), direct mail has to stand on its own. First and foremost, your direct marketing has to be visually interesting and easy to read. When it comes to content, consider the size, color and fonts you choose very carefully. While the majority of your designers’ effort may go into a direct mail brochure or nailing the layout of your newsletter, the vehicle in which is arrives should be considered. For instance, oversized envelopes have the highest household response rates at 6.6%, per the 2017 Data and Marketing Association Response Report. Looking for a place to get started? Entrepreneur discusses some of the most popular ways to package and format your direct mail here.
  5. Forgoing personalization
    Some campaigns fail to invest in the means to personalize their direct marketing, even when sources like the Wharton School of Business report that 85% of marketers notice increased response through personalization. In the digital and direct mail world, personalization means using data to provide prospective customers with a truly individual direct marketing experience via data driven marketing. Personalization can mean different things for different direct marketing campaigns, but including efforts to personalize is considered good practice across the board. Even if it’s something as small as including a prospective customers name in the design of your marketing materials, it’s simply worth doing.
  6. Saving the Best for Last
    When your team is choosing how to best present the benefits of a product or service to prospective customers via direct marketing outreach, it may be tempting to bring it all home by saving the best benefits and ad copy for last. When pitching via direct marketing, your best writing on the best benefits should always be up front, capitalizing on the limited window in which your audience will decide whether or not your outreach is worth their time. Don’t save the best for last, we didn’t.

Planning a direct marketing campaign and don’t know where to start? From mailers to cutting edge digital solutions, see what Strata’s 25 years of print and marketing excellence can do for you.

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