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Putting on a Direct-Mail Campaign

You have your calendar set for your Direct Mail Campaign.You have figured out your target market and now you are ready to get started on the bricks and mortar of your campaign. There are certain elements of a Direct Mail Campaign that always stay the same. Following these steps will assure a success.

Once you know who your target market is, you can then develop a mailing list. You will want to base your lists on zip codes in a general area along with the types of prospects you’d like to target. Neighborhoods or parts of town normally have “like minded” people living within the boundaries. If you wish to mail golfers with higher incomes and a country club social life then that is the area that you should target for your mailing

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Next you have to decide what kind of mailing piece that you want to send. In Direct Mail, you want to capture the attention of the recipient immediately. You need to create a direct-mail piece with a strong offer that will spur the recipient to action. All direct mail leads to the "call to action": A mail reply card, a call 1-800 postcard or a form to fill out and mail back are all pieces that could be in your mailers.You need to be a bit pushy, creative, colorful and whimsical to make the first flash connection in the mail. You want your recipient to jump right to it and respond! Get creative with your graphics. Add a colorful and funny picture. Don’t clutter with too much information. You want them to have a moment and smile and respond.

It is a good idea to name each particular mailing campaign you do and then mark all of the mail back pieces that you receive with that name. That way, you can record who responded to what type of mail back and from what batch of mailings. It makes individual responses much more valuable, since you can easily tabulate the different codes to see what's working the best for you.

A small campaign of a few thousand pieces can run up the budget with costs. Always test mail a portion of your mailing list and check the results. No one can predict the response rate you'll get; there are just too many variables. A test would be to send out 10 percent of the list and see how many responses you get back. This will give you a base as to what to expect when you mail the whole campaign. You should decide what response rate will support your going ahead with the planned major mailing. This will depend on your budget. Experienced mailers suggests that if your rate is less than 2 percent, something is wrong. Either your list is wrong, or your offer is too weak. If you get a response rate above 7 percent for a mass mailing you have done very well.

If you are worried about too big of a response to your mailing, then keep your mailing pace in line with your ability to handle the potential responses. Your test mailing will give you some sense of the rate of customer response. Use that as a gauge for how many pieces you should mail in a given week. Mail only those pieces you can support with your sales effort.