Effective Direct Mail Tips and Techniques For Start-Up Businesses

If you are planning on starting your very own business, you may be interested in hearing that running an effective Direct Mail campaign is one of the best ways to attract new prospects. In fact 55% of successful small and medium size enterprises use mail to find customers.

Any small business can use Direct Mail to increase its sales, and the first step towards a successful campaign is to carefully identify your target market. This will be dependent on the gender of your target market, age, social class, etc.

Direct Mail offers a specific, measurable return on investment. In fact, the ROI of mail campaigns has been steadily rising and is, on average, equivalent to digital at around £3.22 per £1 spent. When Direct Mail is added to an online campaign, the ROI increases exponentially – paying back 62% more than when digital is used on its own.

Targeting your Direct Mail
A good Mailshot should include a clear message and a strong call to action. It’s best to offer recipients a variety of ways to respond, so ensure there’s a reply mechanism that suits everyone, including mail, telephone, email and web address. Pre-paid reply envelopes or cards can really boost responses.Incentives such as prizes, offers or discounts will also help to increase response levels and money-off vouchers and samples can be very attractive incentives.Once a database has been created or purchased and you are happy it meets your requirements. It is vital you consider within your data, which person you target and the message that you send them.You must target your message at those most likely to respond to avoid wastage and increase response rates. Your hottest prospects are your existing customers. To drum up business from new sources, you need to identify people who match a certain profile.

To further refine your Direct Mail campaign, you can segment your database and send highly targeted messages to people with specific buying habits or profiles. Once you have established who gives you the best customer response, you can create new mailing lists of prospects that match that profile.You need to decide on the best way to send out your Direct Mail Campaign. A specialist Mailing house will handle your data, cut down the cost of your postage and enclose each mail shot in the most efficient way.

Maximising response levels to your Mail shots
Once each Mailshot lands on a doormat, you can begin to measure and evaluate the response. This analysis will tell you two things: who is most likely to respond and which creative approach is most effective. Use this information to send more tightly focused mail shots in the future. Your response levels – and with it your ROI will rise.Direct Mail offers a cost-effective way to test creative approaches. You can send different mail shots to small groups and then roll out the mailing that got the highest response rate to a larger audience.Think about combining your Direct mail with other marketing actions too, conversion of prospects to customers is a multi-step process. Plan how you will follow up your mail shot. Direct Mail also builds loyalty and trust. Far more people will trust a physical mail piece than an email; consider this when thinking about directing people to a landing page or website.

Evaluating the response to your direct mailing
Evaluation is one of the most important aspects of a successful Direct Mail campaign. To track responses you may need to use codes or offers so you can connect the response to a specific mailing. That way you can compare different approaches and different target markets.It is important to analyse the costs of the campaign and quantify the rate of response. With this information you can produce a cost per response and find out if the mailing has been profitable.Direct Mail is a continuous learning process; this data collection and analysis can deepen your understanding of your customers. The findings will help you to refine your next campaign, making each mailing more effective than the last.However consider this in closing. 80% of UK consumers open all their Direct Mail. (GAP tracker 2012) and almost 22 million adults buy, order or find out more after seeing a piece of mail. Worth thinking about as you start your new business.

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