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Four Direct Mail Best Practices: Getting Back to Basics

Mike Dietz

As marketers, we’re always on the lookout for the next big idea. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the latest trends that we forget about fundamentals. Now and then it’s good to get back to basics. So whether you’re new to paper-based marketing or you haven’t been satisfied with previous campaigns, consider these four direct mail best practices to boost results:

1. Don’t Forget the P.S. Siegfried Vogele’s well-known Handbook of Direct Mail suggests 90% of recipients read the P.S. first, and sometimes that’s all they’ll read. Our experience supports this long-standing view, which is why it’s number one on our list. Think of it as a summary – reinforce your call to action and tell your readers why they should follow through. A thoughtful P.S. always lifts response rates. Always.

2. Optimize the Call to Action. It’s important to make sure your offer stands out. It should be clear, simple and easy-to-use. Consider providing multichannel response options, but only if you’re set up for fulfillment. For example, don’t drive readers to a call center if your staffing model is still evolving.

3. Simplify the Design. Clean design concepts that feature clear, well-defined areas for the offer headline and call to action are basics to solid direct mail. Chaotic or disruptive designs can be attention-grabbing, but they kill response rates. If your prospects don’t know where to look first, odds are it won’t be where you want them to.

4. Bullet-Proof the Copy. Defend against readers’ tendency to scan. Incorporate bullets to highlight the key benefits of your offer – they’re great for capturing your prospects’ attention before it’s too late. Remember, it’s all about readability.

We have more tips to share in upcoming articles, but these are a great place to start.

-Mike Dietz
Director of Creative Services

P.S. Instead of our regular signoff, I thought I’d see whose eyes wandered down here first. Leave a comment and let us know what other direct mail best practices you recommend!

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2012/06/06/four-direct-mail-best-practices-getting-back-to-basics/
Mike Dietz

Author

Mike Dietz

Executive Creative Director, graduate of St. Cloud State University and IWCO Direct team member for more than 18 years. Personal business philosophy: “Beautiful design is fantastic, but if it doesn’t work it doesn’t matter.” Proud father who enjoys spending time with family, golfing and is a life-long Minnesota Vikings fan.

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