Direct mail marketing is a great way to advertise and generate measurable sales results for your business. According to research by CMO Council, when direct mail is done correctly, it results in high ROI. However, there are many bad direct mail practices that need to be avoided in order to run a successful campaign. Use these 6 points as a checklist to help you develop and implement the most effective campaign, while avoiding deadly errors that can hurt your business.

1.   Missing or Hard-to-Find CTA

Remember to give your reader an incentive to reach out to you. Your mailing piece doesn’t have to make a direct sale right at that moment. Your campaign just needs to entice the audience enough to interest them in reaching out to you. However, in order for this to happen, you need to tell them how to act. How can they accept your offer? What do they need to do to use your coupon? Include a phone number for them to call or a link to a website they can visit. Be sure to make the CTA visible and easy to find.

2.   Sloppy Copywriting

Typos and rushed writing reflect poorly on your business. It is important to take your time and edit your copy a couple of times after writing it. Have someone else proofread it for you and check it for mistakes. You can also hire a professional copywriter if you have the budget for it.

3.   Lack of Design & Creativity

It is imperative that your mailing piece is visually appealing. Eye-catching graphic design, “lumpy” mail, unique pieces and sizes, and other techniques make a piece stand out and make a huge difference. Consumers throw away pieces that look junky, amateur, or cheap. Mailboxes are crowded. Creativity is how you get noticed. If you need to, hire a creative team or graphic designer to help you create a great piece.

4.   Bad Timing

Timing your direct mail campaign correctly is very important. There are many variables to take into consideration, like seasons and holidays. Try creating your promotions and offerings around the season and timing of certain events. Keep in mind that if you are entering a holiday season, or any other busy season, you need to plan your campaigns ahead! It is important to note that the direct mail process takes longer than some other forms of marketing to plan and execute. You can read more on how to plan a direct mail campaign in our Dive into 2015 with an Effective Marketing Plan series.

5.   Ignoring Social Media

Social media is your friend! Some may say that social media is the enemy of direct mail, but that’s not true. Social media is a great way to reach out and communicate with your consumer. Social media can be used to spread further brand awareness and inform your audience about your products and services. Incorporate your social media URLs to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. onto your mailing piece. Include a “follow us” with logos, or you can even use these links as your CTA.

56.   A Bad Mailing List

Do you know what the most important factor of your direct mail campaign is? It’s a great mailing list! A mailing piece with well-written copy and an awesome design may entice the reader, but without a well-targeted list, they may not be interested in your product or services in the first place. A common mistake is not spending enough time and effort when selecting the right list to reach the right audience. To get a good list, you can use your existing in-house customer list. This list should be filled with current customers and prospects that have previously bought from you or responded to your marketing efforts. However, you can pull in even more consumers and new clients by renting an outside list. Trustworthy list companies like US Data Corporation can provide you with high-quality, responsive lists. These lists can maximize mail deliverability rates and keep you clear of the wrong target audience. A good mailing list can guide you to profitable prospects and boost your business efforts.

Direct mail is a powerful communication and marketing tool with amazing abilities. It can impact your audience and drive ROI, but only when done right. Make sure you avoid these direct mail deadly pitfalls and take the time to plan your campaign thoroughly. You will be reaping the benefits in no time. If you need further assistance with direct mail marketing, please call US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.