7 Best Practices for Direct Mail Marketing

June 9, 2021 Josianne Auclair

“It’s got to be the right message, sent to the right audience, at the right time.”

That’s the key to success in direct mail marketing, says Shawn Woodford, Yellow Pages’ Director of National Publishing Operations. And while it sounds simple, it’s often easier said than done, as evidenced in so much of the direct mail that lands in Canadian mailboxes.

The truth is that direct mail is highly effective at driving new business, when it’s done right. Woodford shares these marketing tactics to help you cover all the bases—and to help your direct mail piece do its job.

  1. “You need to have a good offer, something special,” Shawn says. “Whether you've got a special sale, or you're trying to promote a special product, make sure you have something compelling.”
  1. Narrow down your audience. Defining the crowd you want to reach is essential, or your message will fall on deaf ears. At YP, precise targeting is the cornerstone of every direct mail campaign they create for clients. You may already know who your ideal customers are, but do you know where they are? “We use all the data attributes available through a variety of sources. As a certified Smartmail Marketing™ Expert Partner, we have access to strategic Canada Post data. Demographic information—gender, age, employment—all of that information goes toward finding the right audience.”
  1. Your creative has to be exactly that. An eye-catching direct mail piece needs captivating copywriting, excellent photography and elevated graphic design. While you may not have these skill sets within your team, YP includes full creative services with every Direct Mail solution program.
  1. “Keep it simple.” Shawn says it’s best to keep your direct marketing piece, well, direct. “You have to get your message across in a very short amount of time—you have about three seconds to make that impression. Don't try to fill a 5” x 7” postcard with 300 pieces of information.”
  1. Mind your footprint. “At YP, we use the most sustainable products available—like recycled paper and FSC-certified printers,” Shawn says, encouraging business leaders to do the same. “All of our printing partners, along with Canada Post as our distribution partner, are very active in making sure we are as environmentally friendly as possible.”
  1. Spread the word. While a successful direct mail campaign requires a good deal of upfront strategy and planning, getting your material into the hands of new customers is worth the effort. And you don’t have to go it alone. YP’s Direct Mail solution is designed to handle all the steps, working with you to get exactly what you’re looking for. “We offer an end-to-end service,” Shawn says. “We will figure out your target audience, craft the messaging, create it for you, send it to the printer, and then distribute it on your behalf. It’s a turn-key solution.”
  1. Follow up. Tracking your direct mail piece to see how well it performed will help enormously when it comes time to do it again. “We do a lot of call-tracking. All the calls are recorded, so you can get a lot of good detail on how responsive the piece was. It’s a great return on investment.”

Want to learn how to make Direct Mail work for your business? Get a free consultation today with one of our Media Account Consultants by calling 1-877-553-6883.

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