Preparatory work for direct mail lowers costs

Direct mail is a highly effective marketing technique that delivers sales revenue in a short time frame.  

Some direct mail is poorly conceived and so does not achieve its potential.

[WARNING – this is not always true].

Printed direct mail promoting a printer

Printed direct mail promoting a printer

I received three mailers from a printing firm which serve as a great example of a campaign that could have been much more effective with some pre-planning working with an expert in direct mail campaign structure such as us.

Direct Mail campaign structure

Using a mailing list of marketing agencies, three print pieces of DM were posted out.

The copy promoted “digital by nature” and a new world of digital printing.

The positives

  • Each card had a number to show where it came in the sequence
  • Each one showed different paper colours front and back
  • Each card had the print specifications for the front and back detailed which was cute
  • All print was beautifully executed
  • The 3rd card showed how to set up artwork to work with digital White Toner
  • The 4th card showed how to set up artwork to work with digital Clear Toner

The negatives

  • I did not receive the first card so the campaign opener was lost
  • My agency does not buy print or do graphic design, we are not a good prospect for this service
  • No landing page for the campaign on the website
  • When I first visited there wasn’t a mention of the campaign on the homepage, there is now.
  • This goes to a landing page which has the wrong link in the contact us button.

    wrong link

    Wrong link – testing would have showed this up

How I would have improved the campaign

  1. Combined telephone canvassing with direct mail
    1. Checked the database by phone first asking one question “Do you design for print?”
    2. This would have reduced the downstream print and mailing costs, focused the campaign
  2. Published a landing page URL on the collateral
    1. Tested all the links so the contact us URL was correct (it currently references the same page it’s on)
    2. Included a “behind the scenes” video to show the inside track of the skill Valley Print used to create the mailers and the challenges they faced e.g. printing white on black for the envelope
  3. Used a courier delivery not NZ Post to improve delivery success
    1. This is particularly important for a posted print direct mail series
  4. Followed up by phone with
    1. an invitation to watch the video
    2. stay in touch
    3. subscribe to news updates
    4. further qualify for future work opportunities
  5. This would have built a mailing list, fully up to date and ready for in-house new business sales team to continue to work in the coming months
  6. Planned follow up campaigns including more of the excellent tutorials for designers

Ready to talk direct mail with us?

Give us your challenge and let the creative team loose!

2 replies
  1. Bridget Holland
    Bridget Holland says:

    Interesting post, which I’ve shared.
    To me, it seems that the printers involved are actually very good at the mechanics of direct mail as a stand-alone. Their pieces look good and I don’t see you having a lot of complaints except the lack of a link to a landing page. But they’re not so good at other elements – list selection and targeting, plus integrating with online.
    I wrote a post some time back about real estate marketing flyers which highlights some of the same issues – specifically I compared a nationwide campaign which had the digital integration with a locally produced one which missed out. And just like you I added my improvement suggestions at the end of the post! You and your readers might be interested: http://nobullmarketing.com.au/marketing-flyers-real-life-examples/

    Reply
    • Rebecca Caroe
      Rebecca Caroe says:

      Bridget – agree with all your points. The only thing I’d add is that clearly you are also an expert and the “groan factor” for me in this campaign is that it wasn’t as great as it could have been.
      Good to Great would be my suggested next goal for this brand.

      Working with experts improves marketing ROI.

      Reply

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