Mediagistic Blog

Creating an Out-of-the-Box Local Direct Mail Campaign that Actually Works

Jeff Pankey creative director and founder of Figment
Jeff Pankey

As we’ve already covered on our blog previously, reports of direct mail’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, direct mail is a channel that continues to pay significant dividends for local businesses, and the reason is right there in the name: it’s direct.

When done well, direct mail solutions provide an excellent level of access to clients in your designated area. This is great for local businesses and service providers aspiring to find new clients and spread awareness in their respective communities. But in order to get the most out of a local direct mail campaign, you can’t put your creative and messaging on autopilot.

Thinking Outside of the Box

A well-executed direct mail campaign still can be effective in grabbing local customers’ attention. Although many people probably think of direct mail in relatively simple terms — postcards, tri-folds or letters, for example — this marketing medium has the potential to be so much more if you take the time to use your imagination.

In today’s world of creative design and special printing options, you can make your direct mail piece a work of art that will stand out for anyone opening the mailbox. It’s just a matter of thinking outside of the “mail” box (see what I did there?).

How to Get the Most out of Your Direct Mail Campaign

When direct mail campaigns fail, there’s really only two reasons they don’t work — they’re poorly planned and unimaginative. This tends to happen because direct mail seems so easy and straightforward to execute.

However, it’s that very sense of comfort that breeds complacency, and ultimately, ineffective campaigns. To avoid falling into that trap, here are some things to keep in mind when planning the direct mail creative and messaging for your next drop:

  • Make the piece engaging. Sometimes just sending out an offer isn’t the ticket. You don’t want to be like your competition, so don’t just slap a big 55% discount on the front of your postcard and call it a day. Everyone else is doing that too. Make your proposition interesting — entice the reader to open your direct mail piece to see what it is. Intrigue them with personalized messaging. Excite them with a powerful value proposition. Your customers will open it if your message moves them to do so.
  • Make your customers respond. Many times, mail pieces just consist of an offer or a discount without conveying any sense of real urgency. Give your reader a reason to respond to the piece. Make your deal’s messaging time-sensitive (for example: “Call us NOW and get an additional $100 gift card!”). But if there’s no ticking clock to drive purchasing behavior, your customers will just hang it on the fridge either until they need you or it comes time to clean the fridge.
  • Make sure you can account for its return on your investment. When everything’s said and done, you want to know how your mailing did. So make sure you have a way to keep track of your success within your store if they are bringing the offer inside. Make sure if you send them to your site, you have dedicated landing pages to track those visits with analytics, contact forms, and/or trackable phone numbers. The resulting information will be crucial for making educated decisions on whether to keep running the campaign, or spend your money elsewhere.

Direct Mail as a Science

Mediagistic has direct mail down to a science. We don’t see it as something that just gets thrown in the mail on a wing and a prayer, rolling the dice in hopes that these campaigns might work. We plan everything meticulously from the start.

Our marketing production team is hard at work, dissecting your target area to make sure your campaign is reaching potential clients that will react. Our campaigns are designed to ensure the message speaks to those people directly, and we take care that there’s a reason for them to open and react. And finally, we make sure that, when those targeted customers do react to the piece, the results are measurable and verifiable.

At the end of the day, Mediagistic has a full arsenal of advertising products to deploy on your company’s behalf, and that arsenal includes creative, branding, traditional media, television, radio, cable, online marketing, and yes, direct mail. You’d better believe that it’s anything but dead.

Jeff Pankey is the founder and President of Figment Design. With over 23 years experience directing and managing creative and marketing efforts for clients, he is the driving force behind the FigmentDesign Advertising Agency and has enjoyed much success in the advertising industry. Responsible for the overall direction of the agency, he also provides guidance with marketing and media relations, creative direction and campaign development, and extensive knowledge in various industries. Connect with him on Linkedin.

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