Top Direct Mail Timing Tips

to Maximize Results

Creating an effective, ROI-producing direct mail marketing campaign takes a lot of data, brainstorming, predicting, strategizing, and moving parts. This includes the timing of when to (or not to) send out your campaign. Timing is one of those things that can truly make or break success, so it’s important to put effort and thought into it. Unsure where to start when it comes to deciding on timing? Don’t worry –  we’ve compiled some of the best tips and tricks to deciding direct mail campaign timing, so that you can limit your research time and efforts – and focus more on the success of your campaigns.

Anticipate Your Busy Season

Anticipating your busy season is key to launching a successful mail campaign, but when exactly is your busy season? Well, that’s up to you to interpret – since you know your business best! No matter what time of year you determine is your busy season, it’s beneficial to send your direct mailers before it starts. This allows time for people to receive the mail, in case of any delay, and check out your business ahead of time. By sending your mailers before your busy season, you can also highlight seasonal deals you will be offering, such as those around Back-to-School, Christmas, Black Friday – you get the picture.

For example, say you want to promote a deal going on in November. Aim to get mail in front of people by mid-October (at the latest). On the flip side, if you’re trying to sell more generic summertime items, you’ll want to send the mailer during the winter to get people thinking about buying in advance, before the warmer months. By doing this, you can appeal to new customers and re-invite the existing ones to continue to come back, all before your competitors are able to reach your target audience. With an early send-out, you can focus on gaining and retaining customers without the hassle of last-minute marketing.

Stop and Think is My Mailer Time-Sensitive?

If your business has strict deadlines (such as promotion timing or year-end sales goals), remember that you need to leave time for your mailer to be designed, printed, mailed out, and received by customers. The faster you can accomplish (most of) these tasks, with the exception of design (which should be well thought-out and action-oriented), the better the outcome of your campaign. It’s best to get your mailers out as soon as possible, think 6-8 weeks prior to the end date of your campaign. As we said above, this not only allows customers time to receive your mailer, but also to consider your offer and act on it. If you’re working with a direct mail marketing company, make sure to check and see if they can get it done in a timely manner. This will ensure you have the best success rate possible.

You may be asking yourself: what would be considered time-sensitive? Typically, things like coupons and general promotions that have a hard-set end-date and need to be planned and carried out carefully are “time-sensitive”. The goal is for people to receive your promotions and use them – so, you must give them enough time to get to your store and take advantage of your offer. If you’re having issues executing a mail campaign according to your set timeline, another option is to get rid of the hard end-date and replace it with “for a limited time only” or “within two weeks of receipt”. This gives you a more flexible timeline while still creating a sense of urgency for your customers.

Deliver Mail on the Most Popular Days

Did you know that the actual day your customers receive your mail has a lot to do with the success of your campaign? There are certain days of the week that customers are more receptive and willing to engage with your mailer. While it can depend on the industry, the main days customers should receive your mail are Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday. During these three days, customers are well into the workweek, and the idea of their past weekend activities has fizzled out. They’re focused on their week ahead. While Monday would be the next best option, people are either often still away due to a long weekend, or not in the right headspace to look over and consider your promotional mail. Avoid Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, if possible. During these days, people are in full weekend-mode and are not looking to go through their mail. These pieces usually get thrown out, put to the bottom of the pile, or forgotten about completely, making customers miss your sale or the deadline of your promotion.

Check in with Your Vendor

Creating copy, designing, producing, and mailing your piece can be overwhelming. To alleviate some of that stress, consider working with a marketing agency. If you decide to go that route, it’s vital that you keep track of how the campaign is coming along throughout the strategizing, creation, and execution process. If you don’t communicate (and they don’t either), the mailer may not be to your liking or may not be customer-oriented, among a plethora of other issues. This then could result in a ton of edits that have to be made, or worse – you may have to go back to the drawing board, pushing back deadlines and affecting your success rate. This is something you don’t want to do – especially with time-sensitive material – as every moment is crucial to the development of your mailer.

Make sure to choose your provider carefully. While picking the cheapest one may seem great up front, you may run into issues along the way, causing more stress than anticipated. Be sure to pick a company or platform with quality machines and the proper tools to execute the idea you have for your campaign.  By setting up a timeline for yourself and your provider, everyone can keep track of deadlines and know what to expect of you and your vendor.

 To get this timeline started, be sure to ask questions in relation to:

  • If they can send your mailer out on the day you specified.
  • How soon they can start, depending on the sensitivity of your piece.
  • How long it will take to complete the campaign from start to finish.

Whether you work with a vendor or not, remember that communication is key so that changes can be made quickly and effectively and give your company the best chance at success.

What’s Next

These are the main tips and tricks to direct mail timing, but you will find that there are always nuances and hiccups along the way. We’re here to help. With 30 years of practice and knowledge, we ensure your marketing campaign process goes smoothly and ensure it’s timely and successful. If you’re ready to start your next timely and effective direct mail campaign, contact us today.

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