Marketing & Communications Centre > Mail made easy > Increase Mail Marketing Success

Top Tips to Increase Your Mail Marketing Success


Know why you are direct mailing – and do so before you mail.

  • It could be to raise money, attract members or publicise activities, but being clear on the reason why your group is mail marketing can make it easier for your group to focus on it and base decisions about your mail marketing around it.
  • Refer to Planning Direct Mail Part 1.

Consider a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis before the mail-out.

  • This sort of analysis familiarises your group with its strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities it has to direct market and any threats (including competition or other competing appeals) that may hinder it.
  • Your group should set aside a couple of hours for the job, and involve key members in undertaking the analysis.
  • Refer to A SWOT Analysis in Preparation for your Direct Mail Campaign.

Be SMART and have some objectives for your mail marketing.

  • SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timed, which are the different types of objectives your group should look at when establishing what you want to achieve from your mail marketing.
  • Refer to Planning Direct Mail Part 1.

Have all your material ready for the mail-out.

  • That includes any background material – newsletters, pamphlets, news clippings or even annual reports – or response devices like surveys, membership applications or Reply Paid envelopes.
  • Refer to Planning Direct Mail Part 1.

Make sure you can cater for any response.

  • Examine what form of response your group expects its direct mail out to prompt – it could be extra phone calls, a flood of mail or requests for more information.
  • Then make sure you have someone there to answer those calls and receive that mail – or enough information to cover and demand.
  • Refer to Planning Direct Mail Part 1.

Know your audience.

  • Be aware of who you are mailing to.
  • ASK: Who are these people - Donors? Members? Funders? Volunteers? Potential donors? – and is your mail marketing aimed at existing people in those categories, or new ones.
  • Refer toPlanning Direct Mail Part 2.

Have a good database and then maintain it.

  • Whether you are creating your own database or buying access to a list, it needs to be done thoroughly initially, and then maintained properly.
  • Maintaining your database involves regular updates of new or changed information or purges of irrelevant or dated data.
  • Refer toMailing and Database Management.

Be familiar with database and list management tools like profiling and segmentation.

  • These tools can help your group maximise the success of your mail-out, because they give you the ability to better target certain sections of your database.
  • Rather than a "one-size-fits-all" campaign you are developing letters and communications that are designed to be more relevant to the recipients.
  • Refer to Customer Relationship Management.

Make sure your letter is personalised, relevant and clear.

  • While personalising your letter attracts the initial attention of its recipient, being relevant and clear encourages people to read on and become more receptive to your message or request.
  • Refer to The Power of Personalisation.

Ensure your letter grabs the reader's attention, makes an attractive offer or request, shows how the reader can help or benefit, and encourages action from them.

  • Using the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) model of direct mail letter writing can help your group do this by structuring your letter so it results in the action you are seeking.
  • Refer to Remember to Seek a Response.

Consider the envelope.

  • Personalise the envelope using mail merging and mailing labels. Also consider Impact Mail and different coloured or shaped envelopes to make your letter stand out.
  • Refer to Pushing the Envelope.

Review and improve wherever possible.

  • Always be aware of ways you can improve and better focus your mail marketing – for example, the use of testing procedures can help you review and improve the wording and contents of your direct mail-out.
  • As well as this, periodically complete a SWOT Analysis, maintain your database and refine (or re-define) your mail marketing aims.

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