We know that direct mail marketing is effective, cost-efficient, and trackable when paired with omnichannel technologies like IQ Mail, but not every mailer is designed for success. However, a helpful rule can shed some light on designing and writing your mailer to enhance the results, and it’s based on an easy-to-remember formula: the 3:33 rule.
What is the 3:33 rule for direct mail?
This time-tested formula suggests that you have:
· 3 seconds to grab the recipient’s attention
· 30 seconds to engage and entice them to read more
· 3 minutes for your prospect to determine whether to respond
With so little time, every second matters. Continue to the next section for helpful hints for making an impression and getting results – fast.
8 Direct mail marketing tips for success
In this post, we’ll cover our top eight tips for success with direct mail marketing to give you an edge in your next campaign.
1. Define your goals
2. Write for your audience
3. Embrace white space
4. Use a call-to-action
5. Focus on benefits more than features
6. Use coupons sparingly
7. Make it personal
8. Lead with the most important information
Keep reading to learn more about how to succeed with direct mail advertising.
Define your goals Before creating your next direct mail marketing campaign, think about what you hope to accomplish. For instance, do you want to drive sales, increase foot or website traffic, grow memberships, solicit donations, or something else? The answers to goal-oriented questions like these will help you identify the strategy most likely to generate the results you’re seeking.
Write for your audience
When creating copy for your direct mailer, think about communicating directly with your target audience rather than writing universal “generic” content meant for anyone. Perhaps ask yourself who your ideal customer is, what they’re concerned about, and how your offering can help, then tailor the copy to them. Considering their gender, location, age, income, education, hobbies, homeownership status, and other personalized factors can help you make the biggest impact.
Embrace white space
White space is an essential design element in direct mail marketing. Unlike busy designs and too much text that confuse and frustrate the recipient, white space steers the recipient’s attention and creates a visual guide. It provides natural focal points to prioritize the elements you want to highlight so that your message comes across loud and clear in that precious three seconds you have to grab their attention.
Use a call-to-action
As we covered in direct mail mistake #5 in this blog article, a call-to-action is essential for helping your recipients know how to take the next step. Without one, your mailer is purely informational, not a successful marketing tool that can help you achieve your goals. To move the needle, ensure you call your recipient to action with copy, such as “call us today,” “stop in our store today,” “visit our website,” “donate now,” or something else. Lastly, include only a single call-to-action to boost your direct mail marketing response rates.
Focus on benefits more than features
Direct mail advertising that only conveys the features of your product or service is more likely to end up in the trash can. To boost engagement within 30 seconds per the 3:33 rule, focus on the value of your offering. Communicate how you can make their lives easier and how your product or service helps them. Taking a results-oriented rather than features-oriented approach to direct mail marketing is yet another essential tip for success.
Use coupons sparingly
While direct mail advertising coupons can work well for repeat customers, avoid building a reputation solely on saving a buck. Instead, focus on the value of your offering because it makes it harder for competitors to undercut your price and steal your customer. If your recipient understands what they stand to gain by working with you beyond a low price, they’re more likely to sign on the dotted line.
Make it personal
Just as we covered in tip #11 in our article on practical ways to boost sales with direct mail, personalizing your mailer is a surefire way to achieve success. Variable data printing and other data-driven technologies make it easy to personalize the greeting and content of your mailer for each recipient, enhancing your response rates – and your company’s bottom line.
Lead with the most important information
Lastly, don’t bury the lead. When drafting the copy for your direct mailer, move the most important part of your message to the very top. Focus on what you can do for your customer or what they need to know, then follow with any necessary details. This way, your recipient understands the message or request within those magic few seconds, increasing the odds of success.