Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Knowing who to mail

Knowing who to Mail

It is vital when planning a direct mail campaign that you know exactly who you are targeting.

The help sheet Planning Direct Mail - Part 2 covers in detail the appropriate steps to make the most of a direct mail-out.

Following are some tips to make sure your group knows who to mail and what messages you are going to convey to them.
  • Know the reason or reasons for your mail-out.
    • Is it a call to donate? Is it for members or volunteers? Is it an invitation to a function? Is it to raise awareness or something else?
    • Does this eliminate certain people from your mail-out?
    • For example, would you be annoying recent donors by sending them a further mail-out focussing on donations?
    • Does this alter the tone of your mail-out? Does it mean targeting different audiences with different mail-outs?
    • For example, you would write differently to existing members compared to potential members?
  • Use knowledge to narrow your target audience.
    • Is there a particular segment of the population or community you are aiming at, and if so, how do they differ from the rest?
    • Are going to concentrate on new or potential contacts, or people, on your existing database or contact list?
    • If it's new contacts, you might have to pay more attention to introducing them to your group, whereas existing contacts will already know the basic details of your group.
  • Be aware of competitors.
    • Know what "competitive" organisations are doing to attract members, donations, support, etc.
    • What they are doing may influence the plans you have and to whom you direct your mail-out. This is particularly important if they are trying to target people who usually donate to you, are current or former members/supporters, or generally considered as recipients of your direct mail-out.
  • Know your environment.
    • Your surrounds can have an effect on who you aim your mail at.
    • If there are new opportunities presenting themselves through growth in your geographic area, economic growth, changing demographics or legal/legislative/political changes, your group could look at taking advantage of them.
    • Conversely, if there are challenges in your environment, be they demographic, geographic, economic, legal, political or legislative, your direct mail-out may look to confront them.
More details on these points, as well techniques used to carry out analysis in these areas, can be found in the help sheet Planning Direct Mail - Part 2 available at the Marketing, Media and Post Centre of the Our Community website.

The information contained on this site is subject to change. Our Community will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever coming from reliance placed on all or part of its contents.