Data and Direct Mail

by MarketingFile 20. February 2014 10:05

Although the shift towards digital and online marketing is here, and has been for many years, there is still room for the traditional direct mail marketing is still a key component when covering all aspects of multi-channel marketing.

As a direct marketing company we have put together a few pointers to get your direct mail piece off to a great start.

Understanding your customers

As an established data company we understand the importance of using the right data in the initial stages, or it could all  go to pot. If you spend a lot of time, money and resources on producing a fantastic direct mail piece but don’t send it to the right people then it becomes wasted time, money and resources. We have all known for a while now that blasting your message to the masses is not going to produce the results you expected. Using the data to segment your audience and deliver targeted messages and therefore a variety of communications will have a positive effect on your ROI.

Targeted messages

Once you understand your data better, customer or prospect, constructing an effective message is the next key step in delivering a successful direct mail campaign. Investing in great copy, and testing what works with your customers, is vital in receiving returns from your activity. Testing is a key point here, find out what your customers like to read, and then ensure it includes the message you need to get across to most importantly achieve a response. So you have your data, you have your message, now combine the two. Segmentation is essential to any marketing success, what is great copy if you can’t make it relevant to your audience and specific to individual segments.


If you are a MarketingFile customer you may know we run offers and promotions from time to time, we are always testing these offers to see what ones are more successful. Making your offer credible in order to convince your customers to react is important as they need to believe they will benefit from the offer and therefore purchase. Deciding on what offers work for your business may be a constant trial and error task as you find which offers not only attract customers but lead them to actively respond.

When to send?

With Christmas and Valentine’s Day just behind us, understand the importance of seasonality and delivering your mail piece at the right time. Again this comes down to testing but also knowing what your competitors are doing, you want to make sure your ahead of the game, but not too early that people forget about you when it comes to purchasing. Make the most of the events during the year that could boost your sales and ensure your direct mail piece is sent in time.

Check out the competition

As you know this isn’t just limited to your direct mail pieces, but being aware of what your competitors are doing is a good way for you to position yourself differently in the market. Check out their social sites, sign up to their newsletters and keep up to date with their blogs and websites so you can distinguish your products and services away from theirs to offer customers something unique.

How to send? 

Deciding on the right format to complete your mail piece is important, going to all the efforts mentioned above you definitely don’t want your mail piece to end up in the bin. From experience at MarketingFile we have seen letters working best for prospect clients or postcards to customers as they are already aware of your company so likely to have that initial relationship already there. If you are not sure then test, use small targeted segments to see what works.


Being a direct marketing company we would not recommend carrying out direct mail on its own, but to combine with other marketing channels for an integrated marketing campaign. Applying digital channels to your campaign can be used initially to test if the data is responsive or not, this will give you a better understanding if the mail piece is going to be received but also responded to. As there can be more costs involved in a direct mail piece we want to ensure our clients get it right ensuring a good ROI.

Using all the points above will help your business successfully deliver a direct mail piece, remember it all starts with the data and segmentation, then producing a well written mail piece and making it part of your overall multi-channel marketing approach. 


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