5 Tips for Building a Solid Direct Mail Campaign

A quality direct mailing campaign can spread a message, sell a product, or build a brand. Consequently, you want your direct mail packages to be as solid as possible. How do you accomplish that? Tailor your next direct mail campaign by using these five tips.

Identify Your Target Demographic

Every campaign should have a target audience. A youthful women's wear brand, for example, probably doesn't want to bombard 55-year-old men with direct mailing items.

If you're not sure where to start, try to use available data such as search and social media trends to identify who might be most responsive to your appeal. Also, try to collect more data from the people who respond. Use website forms with opt-in specials to solicit information from motivated audience members. Never hesitate to include a small mail form, too. If you have access to a database that ties addresses to demographics, you should also use that to assess the demographics of responsive people.

Build, Buy, and Borrow Lists

Find direct mailing lists wherever you can. If you have established customer data from retail transactions, incorporate those. Purchase a list if you don't have one. If there are folks receptive to lending you their lists—such as a political campaign willing to volunteer for aligned members of their own party—use that to your benefit. Ideally, you'll find a list with robust demographic information so you make the most targeted product possible.

Drill Down to One Message

Every direct mail item should have a single message. If you're starting a restaurant, you might want to have "Grand Opening" as your message for your first direct mailing campaign. The message should be short, simple, and memorable. Avoid inventiveness in the early days and make use of proven concepts. You can refine and expand your appeals as you develop a stronger idea of who responds to your campaigns.

Produce Quality Content

Use quality images to draw attention to your product. Proofread all your written copy, too. Your goal is to send the message that your business, brand, or organization is grounded in competency.

This applies even if you're targeting the most punk demographic on Earth. Folks operating at the social or demographic edge can still produce crisp copy and compelling imagery without compromising their brands.


Ultimately, people need to be able to read your appeal. People won't give your items must mental bandwidth. You want the lettering to stand out from its background. Likewise, you should use clean and simple fonts to convey your message.