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A recent report from the Direct Marketing Association predicts that business spending on direct mail spending is going to increase by one billion dollars in 2010. This may come as a surprise to those who thought that email was the advertising media of the future. Because many customers have no problem deleting anything in their inbox that comes from an unrecognized source, direct mail remains one of the best ways to actually get your message into your customers’ hands… if you follow a few simple rules. Here are five tips for getting the most out of every single mailing.

Direct mail should be branded. Everything that leaves your office should be part of your brand, from the color scheme to the presence of your unique logo design. Any deviation from this will confuse your customers and weaken your company immensely. If you don’t have a brand and a logo design, invest in that area before even considering direct mail as a marketing option.

Direct mail should be targeted. That is, only send mail to relevant customers, such as people in your geographical area or people who earn incomes in your target range. While many business owners have a marketing policy that more is better, sending direct mail to people who cannot afford your product or reach one of your locations in a short drive is both expensive and annoying. It only gives your logo design and brand negative connotations in the public eye. Spending time to thin out your direct mail list is not only a cheaper choice, but a more eco-friendly one as well.

Direct mail should have quality content. Modern customers are more sensitive than ever to advertising, but not in the way that advertisers would like. In a world filled with marketing, Americans are becoming more and more likely to disregard blatant advertising. This means that offering good content is the key to keeping your direct mail out of the recycling bin. Offer a few tips that are relevant to your product allows you to position your brand in a very different way.

Direct mail should be visually attractive. This doesn’t necessarily entail having a splashy, expensive, full color mailing. Make sure your mailing is well balanced, with key messages highlighted and easy to read. A few images can help, but the most important image to include is that of your professional logo design.

Direct mail should be trackable. The post office now offers an ‘Intelligent Mail’ barcode that allows bulk mailers to get information on when their mail is delivered and how customers respond. If this is not available in your area, include a coupon or another special offer on the mailing. This will allow you to see what areas and which types of customers are best responding to your direct mail, which will allow you to further refine any future marketing. It will also give you a heads-up on changes in your target audience and the relevance of your current marketing.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.