Back to Blog

Header Image

6 best practices for direct mail

Commercial printing 6 best practices for direct mail


by Dimitri Van Gaever

Sending out a direct mail is always a bit of a gamble. As is any type of marketing campaign, for that matter. Still, direct mail is a tried-and-tested means to boost sales that tends to come with a great ROI, provided you know the rules of the game. Or, better said, the best practices. Not quite sure what the best practices for direct mail are? We’ve got six of them all lined up for you to explore.

6 best practices

1. Keep your direct mailing list in check

Did you know that marketing and sales departments on average waste 15 percent of their budget due to poor data quality? It literally pays to keep your direct mailing lists in check. Most companies declutter theirs at least twice a year to avoid sending direct mail to incorrect addresses and non-leads.

2. Make sure your direct mail gets personal

What sets direct mail apart from junk mail is personalization – and we’re not just talking about addressing recipients by name here. A successful direct mail plays on a customer’s purchase history, their chapter in life, their needs, goals and dreams, or even their pets. In other words, each direct mail piece you send out should be unique and, more importantly, relevant to its recipient if you’re after a decent ROI. Are you about to send out a batch of 10,000 direct mails that are all identical? Then you should definitely consider going back to the drawing board.

3. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s

Direct mail copy should not only be creative but also tick all of the following boxes:

  • The headline is both clear and bold, immediately attracting the recipient’s attention and communicating one central message.

  • There’s a subhead that gently leads the reader to the rest of the copy. Nobody likes jumping in at the deep end, especially not when it’s a lengthy text.

  • The copy states benefits, not just features.

  • There’s an offer the recipient simply can’t refuse!

  • The copy (modestly) mentions the company name.

  • A call to action tells the recipient what to do. Visit us online! Call us today!

  • Contact information is included.

  • There’s a return address, which lets people know they’re dealing with a company that has an actual location.

4. Use color psychology to your advantage

Color not only affects our mood, but also how we (subconsciously) feel about products. That’s color psychology for you! So instead of picking your direct mail’s color palette willy-nilly, read up on our tips.

5. Don’t pick just any paper stock

The copy is enticing, the graphics are gorgeous, and the colors are spot on. Your direct mail design is good to go! But don’t start the presses just yet, because you still have to decide on a paper stock, which can really make or break your direct mail. It’s a proven fact that consumers intrinsically link a mail’s message to the tactile experience the paper offers them, so choose your paper stock with care.

6. Choose the right print technology

Offset and digital printing both come with pros and cons, depending on your goals and the nature of your direct mail. Are you struggling to make the right decision? Read all about offset versus digital direct mail printing on our blog. Good to know: Xeikon presses are renowned for their diverse substrate compatibility, high coverage and high-resolution prints, handling any direct mail design with the greatest of ease.

Discover more best practices to reduce your direct mail costs!