Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns: How Much Direct Mail is Too Much?

Filed in Direct Mail Marketing on October 15, 2018 by

How much direct mail is too much for your marketing campaignDirect mail is memorable and effective. It’s also expensive, and potentially annoying, if you’re sending it out too frequently to your prospects.

How can you strike the balance between sending too little mail to capture your leads’ interest and sending so much they feel bombarded? Here are our tips for planning the perfect cadence for your direct mail campaigns. We’ll talk about how much direct mail to send your prospects, when to send direct mail versus digital content, and how to space apart your mailings to get the best possible results.

Direct Mail Tip #1: For potential customers, send direct mail early.

Use direct mail in the beginning of nurture campaigns. By sending direct mail early in your relationship, you’ll set yourself apart from competitors who may be relying on less personalized tactics to nurture their audience.

You’ll also be spending your marketing dollars wisely. Since direct mail is more expensive than digital channels, you’ll save some dollars by aligning physical and digital touches when engagement is likely.

Finally, by kicking off your campaign with direct mail, you’ll strengthen your digital communications that follow it. For example, imagine you send your latest prospect a personalized gift basket after your first sales meeting. One week later, you send a follow-up email with the subject line: “Did you like the gift basket I sent you?” It would be nearly impossible for someone to ignore that subject line.

Need help orchestrating your physical and digital channels? Check out our tips for orchestrating offline and online marketing.

Direct Mail Tip #2: For stale prospects, send direct mail to reconnect.

Imagine you have a prospect who used to respond to your communication but has suddenly stopped. Naturally, you’re worried that another phone call or email might come across as pushy – and you’re probably right.

Send a personalized letter or gift to a stale prospect by mail, however, and you’re likely to get an entirely different response. Not only is a physical item much harder to ignore than a digital one, this gesture shows you’re really interested in connecting rather than just selling your product or service.

Read More from PFL: Tactile Marketing Campaign Ideas

Direct Mail Tip #3: As a rule of thumb, don’t send more than one direct mailing a week.

Every campaign is different, but it’s likely to look pushy or desperate if you send more than one item a week. On the flip side, if you have a really warm lead who has expressed gratitude for your thoughtful letters or gifts, waiting more than one week between direct mailings may cause your recipient to forget you – making your efforts go to waste.

Direct Mail Tip #4: With direct mail, don’t “spray and pray.”

Think of the last time you received a mass email from someone you barely knew. Did you feel compelled to take action? Did you feel like the sender really understood your challenges and goals?

Email is cheap compared to direct mail – so reserve your mailings for highly-qualified leads or especially big opportunities. Use it when you want to build trust and engagement.

Direct Mail Tip #5: Alternate the types of direct mail you’re sending.

One way to strike a balance with your direct mail cadence is to alternate the types of direct mail you send. Use thank-you cards, printed guide books, welcome kits, and so on. The novelty of direct mail will fade quickly if you keep sending water bottles or low quality brochures.

Direct Mail Tip #6: Create urgency when it’s appropriate.

If you’ve sent a series of mailings offering a free trial, a demo, or some other offer, add a time limit to it. If your prospects haven’t responded after multiple mailings, it may not be that they’re uninterested, they just may not see the need to reply right now. Let them know your pricing is expiring, your quarter is about to close or the offer is otherwise about to expire. A little fear of missing out can spur action.

Direct Mail Tip #7: Test it.

Much of the time, you’ll only be able to find the right cadence for your direct mail campaign by trial and error. Put a plan in place, execute it, and observe your results. Then, adjust only the cadence – send your mailings closer together or farther apart, and then record the results. Make sure to only change the cadence of your campaign, rather than tweaking design or offer-related elements, or you’ll never know what actually made the impact.

If you can nail down the best cadence for you on a small test group, you can roll out a larger campaign with the confidence that you’ve structured your campaign in the most effective way.

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