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5 Direct Mail Mistakes Marketers Should Avoid

Let’s face it direct mail probably seems archaic to most marketers.

In the modern B2B world where the spotlight is on drip campaigns, social media, and other digital channels, direct mail marketing can seem out of place and maybe even irrelevant.

But contrary to popular belief, direct mail campaigns can actually yield response rates 30 times greater than email

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Many B2B companies are finding that direct mail consistently outperforms other media when it comes to demand generation. And, in the current marketing landscape plagued by “digital fatigue”, direct mail may be taking the coveted ‘engagement crown’ home by effectively getting in front of busy prospects.

In this previous post, I talked about this growing trend of direct mail adoption and how B2B marketers can follow best practices as they venture into direct mail marketing campaigns. But while keeping up with best practices is crucial, it’s equally important that marketers don’t make easily avoidable mistakes that could jeopardize the performance of their campaigns.

So to help you launch effective direct mail marketing campaigns, we decided to compile a list of common pitfalls that you should look out for.

Common Direct Mail Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

1) Send mailers to everyone in your database

A pretty common misconception with direct mail is to blindly unleash mailers without first building proper segments or identifying target audiences. As you may quickly realize (or even know from your digital campaigns), in B2B, marketing to everyone is synonymous with marketing to no one.

Similar to digital marketing efforts, the challenge is to sharpen the focus of your marketing campaign to target the right people at the right time.

It’s crucial to take into account your target personas, identify which stage of the buying cycle they’re in, and then align your direct mail offers to prospects in a specific phase of the purchasing cycle.

Tip: Building out segments of your target accounts or audiences using fit, behavioral, and intent data is a great way to ensure higher conversions when executing your direct mail campaigns.

2) Cut corners on printing and design

Sending out sub-par mailers, or mailers that look mediocre and generic, can be detrimental to your direct mail efforts.

Think of it this way: The design and quality of your mailer is equivalent to the subject line of an email; quality printing and design determines whether your mailer ends up in the trash or in the save pile.

Rather than sending your audience a lot of mediocre mailers, send a target selection of really well-crafted mailers. Make sure your mailers are concise, easy to consume, and contain a clear call to action.

Tip: Identify key characteristics about your target audience or segment, and use it to personalize offers for your prospects.

3) Make your call to action (CTA) too complex

Nowadays, buyers are wary of clicking “too much” to access a landing page or content. This extends to direct mail – if your call to action is too difficult, your recipients simply won’t respond.

Don’t ask your prospects to complete more than three tasks. For example, don’t send respondents to a web page that asks them to fill out a form. Make your call to action as simple as possible to complete.

Tip: Find out which stage in the buyer’s journey your prospects are currently in by evaluating behavioral data (which you can find in your marketing automation platform). Create a personalized offer that is relevant to their current stage and make it easily accessible.

4) Forget to follow up

As with most marketing campaigns, try not to think of your direct mail campaigns as a one-off marketing effort, but rather as a single step in the process of acquiring new customers or upselling existing ones.

Put a plan in place to follow up with the recipients of your direct mail campaign via email, display ad, or other digital channel.

Remember: Even if your prospects don’t respond to your mailers, you can still capture their attention with the same message on different channels. Integrate direct mail with other marketing channels to effectively engage your audience.

Tip: Leverage offers on other channels to support your direct mail campaigns. Use similar messaging to tailor the prospect journey across multiple digital and offline touchpoints.

5) Don’t build for scale

It’s important to also build your direct mail campaign for scale. Direct mail campaigns are meant to be an iterative process, so it’s important to establish baseline metrics, test results, measure performance, and refine your approach over time.

Measure the results of your direct mail campaigns and optimize them on an ongoing basis.

Tip: Prospects that engage with your direct mail campaigns or other marketing efforts may have a higher propensity to convert, so tailor future offers to these segments based on their new position in the buyer’s journey.

Wrapping It Up

There is no one-size-fits all approach in marketing, so the key to direct mail success is to personalize campaigns for your prospects and target accounts. Create offers that are tailored to their needs and helps them along the buyer’s journey.

If you’re still evaluating direct mail marketing for your business, or want to learn more about how you can build an effective direct mail campaign, check out this upcoming webinar we’re hosting with Printing for Less.

Direct Mail Marketing Webinar 1

  • very helpful tips for my marketing strategies

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