With all of our inboxes looking more crowded than ever, it can feel extra tough to stand out these days.

Yes, email marketing still works, and yes direct mail marketing can be expensive, but a successful direct mail campaign can quickly and easily offset those costs and boost profits. That’s why so many companies take advantage of the direct mail marketing concept.

The key to success is in your approach–proper planning goes a long way.

1. The Targeted Mailing List

The most important thing is to know who your audience is so that you are able to target that audience with your mailing.

The two primary ways to get a list to mail to are: 1) your own customer list; 2. purchase a targeted consumer or business mailing list from a reputable company, which will help you narrow your niche so you get the best leads possible. (Two examples are InfoUSA and Melissa Data.)

2. Your Value-Add (In Other Words, Why Are You Mailing?)

You can mail for all kinds of things–paid events, paid classes or programs, free preview calls or webinars, sales of products or services, etc. The key is to give your audience a reason to purchase or watch or listen—like a sale price, rebates or bonuses.

Make the offer time-limited and you can even have prospects redeem a coupon or offer code so you can measure your campaign’s success.

3. Use Great Copy

First, identify with the target audience through features and benefits in your copy. For example, it’s not enough to simply say that a pair of sunglasses has 100%UV protection (the feature). You have to tell your audience that this will save their eyes from the sun’s harmful rays (the benefit).

Second, don’t forget to have a clear call to action.

4. Designing, Printing and Mailing

Consider having a professional graphic designer create your mail pieces. My company has also used successfully.

Additionally, there are also mailing houses that can do the designing as well as mailing, which can save you a lot of headaches.

As for which medium to use, think about your audience when deciding whether they will respond better to a postcard, brochure, greeting card or sales letter.

5. Follow Up

Will it be a two-part campaign? More than that? Will you follow up with a different medium? A phone call? Multiple touches are so important.

Now it’s your turn: how can you add direct mail into your marketing mix? Start with a small campaign and test your results.

You’ll get your prospects’ attention and they’ll appreciate the breath of fresh air!

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