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Five Direct-Mail Strategies You Can't Ignore

If direct mail is at the core of your marketing strategy, you know how important it is to continually tweak your campaigns to optimize response rate - and how blissfully amazing it is when you discover a strategy that breaks the mold and rains cash from the sky. Developing successful direct-mail campaigns isn't as difficult as it sounds, though, especially when you incorporate an intelligent strategy. For a successful direct-mail campaign, here are five direct-mailing strategies you can't ignore:

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1. A great mailing list

The quality of your mailing list is responsible for 40 percent of your direct-mail profitability. Get a great mailing list full of likely buyers from a customer database, by searching through industry directories or yellow/white pages, by hiring a list broker or by using the mailing list generation tools at PsPrint.

2. Free offers

A 30-day free trial offer ... free camera for signing up ... six month's service free ... The free offer is perhaps the most effective in all of business. People will always take something for free, and they're usually willing to share valuable data such as contact information, demographics, opinions and other data you can use in future campaigns. What's more, a free offer is like a carrot on a stick, you can use it to draw customers into upsells that really push profit.

3. Direct-mail postcards

The simplicity of the postcard is its secret to effectiveness. Your message is short and directly to the point. Postcards do not have to be opened, and therefore start selling at a glance. You are able to hold each customer's attention for the duration of the postcard's offer. Postcards can be used for a short survey to help you develop your next direct-mail campaign. You can offer a free gift if a customer signs up to your e-mailing list. Postcards are the best solution to direct-mail marketing for those who are on a tight budget. They can be produced for pennies apiece and reach thousands of customers per mailing.

4. Informational booklets

resources imageA booklet is a direct-mail piece that has a shelf life. Booklets present the perfect opportunity to inform and entertain your customers, all the while promoting your products and services. A lawn and garden store could send an outdoor landscaping guide in the spring, complete with money-saving coupons. A massage therapist could send a booklet about the virtues of massage and different kinds of massage techniques, again with attached coupons. Just about any business can share useful information with their customers through a booklet mailing - and by virtue of being useful, many customers will hold on to your guides as reference material. The fact that you include coupons won't hurt your chances of making sales from your booklets, either.

5. Newsletters

Newsletters sent to your existing and future customers can drum up tons of business when the information is useful. Stick to what you know, and treat your newsletter as a professional publication that must be valuable to its audience. If you can inform and entertain, your newsletter will become an invaluable marketing tool. If you want to convert speculation to sales on a consistent basis, you can't ignore these five direct-mail strategies.