Direct Mail Systems

Direct Mail Systems provides tailored, flexible and effective mailing house solutions to meet clients needs, and exceed their expectations.

Founded in 1974, Direct Mail Systems is a Bristol based fulfilment and mailing house, providing organisations access to a complete range of mailing and data processing services.

Direct Mail Systems expertise is in rapid response mail production. Our 12,000 sq ft mailing house facility has a huge range of printing, enclosing & wrapping equipment to accommodate all your mailing needs.

Direct mail marketing is far from a dying marketing channel, despite what many digital enthusiasts would like you to think. If carried out effectively with a solid strategy behind it, direct mail can be an impressive marketing tool that can yield envious results. However, like many marketing strategies, it does come with its own set of pitfalls which can undermine your efforts and waste resources. In the article, we’re taking you through the common pitfalls in direct mail advertising, so that you can avoid them. 

8 Common Pitfalls in Direct Mail to Avoid

1. No Clear Objective 

Lacking a clear objective is a big mistake many marketers learn the hard way. Without a well-defined goal, it’s easy to lose focus and forget why you were doing the campaign to begin with, leading to an inconsistent message and too wide an audience. 

A clear purpose gives purpose to a campaign and also gives you something to track to determine the success of your direct mail campaign. Objectives could be to increase brand awareness, increase sales or introduce a new product. Whatever they are, make sure that everything you do concerning your campaign serves your objective, from the design, messaging, target audience and the action you want them to take. With 31% of direct mail found to drive a commercial action, it’s not something you want to miss. 

2. Not Understanding Your Audience

Not understanding your audience properly is a common pitfall in direct mail advertising. In order to create an engaging and successful direct mailer, your audience needs to relate to your campaign. 

Sending out mailers blindly to your entire customer database is unlikely to yield the best results. Instead, take the time to segment your audience by demographics, buying behaviours and preferences, and send tailored messaging to each of them. This allows your customers to resonate with messaging that relates to them, whether it’s to encourage a first-time purchase or to cross-sell a complimenting product. 

3. Overlooking Design

Overlooking the design of your mailer can be a common pitfall in direct mail advertising. Although you don’t need to max your budget on top-of-the-range materials and designs, it is important to create an eye-catching and engaging direct mailer that will stand out from the competition. It needs to be visually appealing yet easy to read and understand the overall message. 

It’s advisable to invest in a professional designer to create your mailer and create a stand-out layout that encapsulates your brand image whilst communicating your message effectively. 

Likewise, a well-written and crafted message with a clear call-to-action (CTA) will prompt recipients to perform your intended action, whether that be to donate to a cause, attend an event or purchase a new product.  

4. Not Utilising Personalisation

Not utilising the power of personalisation is a common pitfall that can significantly impact the success of a campaign. Generic messaging just doesn’t cut it anymore and personalisation is key to engaging your audience and making them feel valued. Research shows that personalised mail is 35% more likely to drive an actual purchase than unaddressed mail. Addressing your recipients by name, providing them with customised offers based on their past purchases or making use of variable data printing processes are all effective ways to create highly personalised mailers

5. Not Testing the Campaign

A common mistake made by marketers is assuming a successful direct mail campaign will happen overnight. The truth is that a successful campaign is an optimised one, that has been continually tweaked and adjusted over time via various A/B testing and data from past campaigns. 

Before sending out a large-scale direct mail advertising campaign, conduct an A/B test for particular aspects of your campaign, such as headlines, copy, offers and design. Analyse the results to see which best resonates with your audience so that you can refine your ongoing approach accordingly. That way, before conducting a large-scale campaign you have the data to inform your decision-making process, ensuring no wasted materials or efforts. 

6. Not Tracking Results

The campaign doesn’t end when you send out your mailers! In fact, it’s only just begun. A common pitfall is not following up and tracking the results of the campaign. However, without it, it’s impossible to tell whether it has been a success. By measuring KPIs such as deliverability and conversion rate, as well as any other objective-related metrics, marketers can analyse the success of their campaign and take on any learnings for the future. Including key tracking mechanisms in the direct mailer is also important and makes tracking data a lot easier. For example, including custom URLs and QR codes allows marketers to easily see how many people have accessed the required destination.  

7. Underestimating Timing

Underestimating the importance of timing is another common pitfall in direct mail campaigns. In fact, timing is everything and can make or break a marketing campaign. For instance, sending out mailers at the wrong time can result in them getting lost or mislaid or being overlooked entirely. 

When deciding on the timing of your campaign, you need to look at your target audience and where the mailers are being delivered. For example, are you targeting businesses? If so, mailers received on a Saturday are pretty much redundant as no one will be in the office. 

It’s also important to consider key holidays, industry-specific events and seasonal trends to help plan your sending schedule. In addition, if you are carrying out a multi-channel marketing campaign, you will want to coordinate your direct mail efforts with other marketing channels to create a cohesive and integrated campaign that maximises impact.

8. Disregarding Compliance & Regulations 

Another key pitfall, and perhaps the most important, is the disregarding of any legislation and regulations when it comes to sending out direct mail. Each country has their own regulations and procedures that marketers should be aware of and comply with, as not adhering could lead to some hefty fines, customer complaints and worst case scenarios legal action. 

In the UK, GDPR and the Data Protection Act state key legislation in regards to using customer data, which is applicable to direct mail campaigns. 


Successful Direct Mail Advertising with DMS

Although direct mail marketing seems relatively straightforward, there are a number of common pitfalls that can be avoided with careful planning, execution and ongoing optimisations, ensuring a successful campaign.

With DMS, we can ensure you’re set up for success by supporting you in all aspects of your direct mail campaign. From printing and production to data processing and postage, we aim to provide a direct mail experience that exceeds your expectations. 

If you have any questions feel free to contact our knowledgeable team by clicking here


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