What makes a successful direct mail campaign

  • Direct mail marketing
  • Resources
  • Training

A successful direct mail campaign involves more than sending flyers out and hoping for the best. It takes careful planning, creative skills and good data to reach the right people and make your message stick. When it’s run well, a direct mail campaign can offer an excellent return on investment and win you loyal customers.

We have years of experience in facilitating successful campaigns. In that time, we’ve repeatedly seen that a good direct mail campaign is the sum of many well-executed parts. Running one successfully takes a clear vision, a broad skillset and the means to produce high quality printed materials.

We’ve picked out some key lessons from our years in the industry to help keep you on the right track.


Tip 1: Make sure there’s a reason for the campaign

Before you start doing anything, ask why you want to run a direct mail marketing campaign at this point in time. If you can’t come up with a good reason coupled with sound business objectives, you should stop.

Direct mail marketing can be a powerful tool for driving revenue but only if a campaign is crafted with a purpose. There are many reasons to run a campaign, including:

  • You’re a new business (or new to an area) and want to gain customers.
  • You have an offer on that you want to draw attention to.
  • You want to draw attention to a new product or service.

All of those reasons can be accompanied by metrics that will measure your success, such as how many people use a certain voucher code, how many visitors come to your new location in the first week, or how many enquiries you get through a special web page.

It’s a good idea to tie a direct mail campaign in with a promotion. This will help your audience to feel like they’re getting real value from your printed materials and will often make it easy to track the success of the campaign. If you don’t have the capacity to offer a promotion a campaign could still work, but you’ll need to provide a different, equally compelling reason for people to interact with your business.


Tip 2: Design attention grabbing marketing materials

You can get every other aspect of a direct mail campaign right but if your printed materials don’t grab and hold attention it will fail. That’s why the design and creative aspect of a campaign should come right at the start. It’s an integral part of the planning process.

Your materials should reflect your brand and values, appeal to the tastes of your target audience and clearly communicate the message that you’re trying to get across. Your imagery, colours and text should all work together to achieve the desired outcome.

It’s essential that you bear in mind the practical requirements of a print campaign. Imagery will need to be designed to fit on flyers of a certain size and will have to be a high resolution to make sure it looks good.

Pepper’s design and creative team is highly talented and experienced in this area. Speak to us if you want some guidance in designing a successful campaign.

Tip 3: Send your materials to the right people

In this respect, direct mail marketing is the same as any other marketing channel. If you want it to be effective, it has to be seen by the right people.

You can be remarkably specific in a direct mail marketing campaign - even more specific than you can be through many online channels. If you have a list of addresses for a certain area, you’ll know exactly who your materials will be delivered to. By trimming your mailing list down to specific areas you can be very granular with your audience targeting.

In order to ensure that your return on investment is as high as possible it’s important to make sure that your lists are up to date with accurate information. This can be tricky to do without the right resources, but Pepper can help. Our data bureau is able to check your records and cleanse those that are no longer accurate. This will stop you wasting money on people that will never see the materials.


Tip 4: Tailor your message to your audience

What do you want your printed materials to communicate? The message is not just the basics of whatever offer or service you’re promoting. It includes the perception of your business that people get as well.

You could promote a fantastic offer but gain nothing because your recipients have been put off by a flyer that fails to inspire trust in your company. The challenge of direct mail marketing is how to win new customers with a relatively small amount of material.

Given the limitations, tailoring your message to your target audience is essential if you want to win customers. You need to convince them that you can meet their needs. That might involve:

  • Making it clear that you have a convenient location nearby.
  • Showing that you’re cheaper than other competitors.
  • Demonstrating a higher quality of products or service.
  • Offering products or services specific to that audience’s needs, e.g. a lawn care service for an area with a high percentage of large properties and gardens.

If you fit the message to your target audience you should see a much better response rate and larger return on your investment.


Tip 5: Give your audience a way to find out more

It’s unlikely that your marketing materials will contain everything your audience needs to become a customer or client. They should always include a call to action (CTA) that makes it clear what the recipient should do next. CTAs can fulfil a number of different purposes:

  • Tell customers to use a voucher in an online or in-person purchase.
  • Tell customers to get in touch with a phone call or email.
  • Tell customers to visit a physical location.
  • Tell customers to visit a certain web page.

Those goals should be communicated in clear, succinct language:

“Visit example.com/offer today for 50% off!”

They should be displayed prominently on your printed materials. If a recipient can’t find it easily, they’re likely to give up on your business there and then.

If you want to track the impact of your direct mail marketing campaign on your online performance through a tool like Google Analytics, setting up a unique campaign landing page for customers to visit is a good tactic. This will allow you to see visits to your site through that page alone, thereby allowing you to compare the direct mail campaign’s results to your online marketing channels.

Your CTA should encourage customers to complete whatever action is going to lead to the business achieving the goals you decided on before running the campaign. Keep your materials focused and clear to make sure that you see the best possible results.


If you need help at any stage of the campaign process, get in touch with Pepper. Our account managers will be happy to speak to you to discuss your requirements.

Get the latest updates

Most Popular

Direct mail marketing
Is digital really greener than print?
14-Feb 2020   |   3 Min Read
How to prepare a print ready Roll, Gate or Z-Fold document in InDesign
06-Aug 2015   |   6 Min Read
How to prepare a print ready multi-page document in InDesign
07-Aug 2015   |   6 Min Read

Contact us

Looking for solutions to your print needs? Contact us today

Get in Touch using the form below and we will be in touch!