Direct Mail, Simplified: Part 2 – The Mail Piece

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Do you dream of harnessing the power of direct mail for your business, but have concerns about costs, environmental impact, and most importantly, whether anyone will actually pay attention to your direct mail offer? Don’t let those hurdles get in your way – read on to discover solutions to all those concerns and more. If you missed the first part of this series, Part 1 – Compiling Your List, you can check it out here.

Part Two: The Mail Piece

Practical Tips

  • Save Money: Generally speaking, the simpler your campaign is, the less it will cost. For example, 1,000 postcards will be less expensive than 1,000 elaborate flipbooks.
  • Save the Environment: You could send out a tiny 3.5″x5″ postcard (the minimum size allowed by the US Postal Service) to save a few trees, or you can opt for recycled paper. My favorite paper mill – Neenah Paper – has lots of 100% recycled and environmentally-friendly papers to choose from.

Command Your Recipients’ Attention (How to get them to open it!)

  • Make it appropriate for the people you’re targeting. For example, if your ideal customers are middle-class suburban families, don’t send them a mail piece that looks like it was intended for bar-hopping single people.
  • Make it enticing, so they have an incentive to open and look at it. They’ll have to take a moment out of their busy day to understand your message, so give them a compelling reason to do so.
  • Make it simple. Regardless of what you’re selling, the more hoops you make them jump through, the less likely they will be to take action on your offer.
  • Make an offer they can’t refuse. There is a reason that coupon sites like Groupon are successful: it’s hard to pass up 50%-75% off, even if the business making the offer is completely unfamiliar to you. I’m not suggesting that your discount needs to be that deep, but don’t give recipients a measly 5% off and expect to get a huge response.

Strike a balance between your business goals, your budget, and environmental concerns, to arrive at a direct mail piece that will work for you. Above all, consider what your recipients’ will best respond to, and build your campaign with them in mind.

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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