When Direct Mail Goes Wrong

By joanne | 17th May | Marketing Ideas, Marketing Skills

Direct mail typically generates between 0 and 5% return on investment – so it really is a numbers game.  You need to get your mailing absolutely spot on to maximise your results and ensure it pays for itself.

We received a mailing on Saturday that pretty much broke all of the rules.  So what top tips can we share from it:

1. Get permission to send the mailing in the first place. Just having a business card from someone does not give you permission to send them your marketing materials – and can do you more harm than good.  It also contravenes the Data Protection Act and you should be a member of the Data Protection Registrar if you’re sending any direct mail.

2. Check your list against the mailing preference service. It is against the law to send mail to people – including businesses – listed on here (which we are).

3. Put the right postage on. In this instance, the mailing had been sent with a second-class stamp instead of the large letter stamp.  So it cost us £1.19 to pick up our ‘junk mail’ and we had to go to the Sorting Office to collect it; leaving us less than impressed.

4. Personalise the mailing. Inside this particular mailing was simply a flyer, with no personalised letter or details of how the service could help our business.

5. Follow-up, as this will increase your conversion rates. I’ve yet to find out whether a follow-up call will be made, but if everyone’s paid for their postage, this business could have some interesting follow-up calls!

Direct mail can be quite an expensive method of marketing your business, so it’s crucial you give yourself the best chance at success.  If you don’t know what to do, get some help!  The company I’ve mentioned is a brand new start-up and could have permanently damaged their reputation from a few simple errors – and they say consultancy is expensive!

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