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Direct Mail Strategy | 14 Dec, 2020

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5 Common Direct Mail Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Jeffery Li

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

5 Common Direct Mail Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Photo: Updraw Illustration Library

Whether it's your envelope, your list or your copy, there are plenty of ways people make mistakes with their direct mailings. Many of these common pitfalls are easy to avoid. However, some people end up inadvertently sabotaging themselves by glossing over the details. Below, let's explore some of the many mistakes people make in their direct mailings.

1. Not Personalizing Information Correctly

If you're forgetting to personalize client information, you're making a grave mistake. Such a mistake is not just harmful to your reputation, but you'll also find yourself spending much of your time trying to do damage control. The whole point of personalized mailings is to make the customer feel important. So when their name is misspelled or the wrong surname is used, you come across as an insensitive robot who doesn't care about them. When you send personalized mailings, it's important to not only use the customer's name correctly, but use their name throughout the letter. Doing so makes them feel as though they're a necessary asset to your business and not just a customer.

2. Sending Mailings to the Wrong List

Sending mailings to the wrong list is another mistake businesses make with direct mail. Postage is vital when it comes to sending your mailing because it isn't cheap (once everything is added up). For example, when a business markets on the internet through a pay-per-click program, the additional traffic has no cost and it doesn't necessarily cause any harm. However, direct mailings don't work that way and it can become very expensive. Every 35 cents counts, so mailing information to someone with absolutely no interest in your service is a waste of your time and money.

3. Spending Less Time on the Letter

Many people who create direct mailings make the mistake of spending more time on their brochure than they do on their letter. This can be a big mistake, because people often read the letter first. Crafting an exceptional letter that can sell your service in the first paragraph is essential. When it comes to what you're offering, discuss the benefits and then touch on the features.

4. Skipping the Tests

It's important to analyze your sales regularly when testing. Many businesses ignore their sales details as they test new direct mailings — and that's a terrible idea. To avoid serious problems with the impact of your mailings, make sure you never test an "A" mailing and not have a "B" mailing to follow it. Once both are sent out, make sure you check the response rates for both of the mailings. These findings with show you what works (and what doesn't) in your direct mailings.

5. Saving Your Message for the End

Many copywriters save the best for last when it comes to putting across their message. The same usually goes for commercials as well, as they often place their message at the end. This works for a lot of businesses, but most businesses aren't internationally known, so people don't know what you're selling with a few sentences. In order to make an impact on a potential customer, you'll need to bring out the big guns from the get go. Ask the customer intriguing questions that touch on a pressing problem they might have with a statistic. Starting with an offer up front is a fantastic way to break the ice and keep a potential client interested in your service. There are plenty of ways to operate a flawless direct mail marketing campaign and have every cent count. Because much of your campaign will be spent finding out what works, you'll have pleasure in knowing that you're putting your best foot forward when it comes to meeting new clients.
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