Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Creating Direct Mail

How to Create Direct Mail

Once you've decided to embark on a direct mail campaign, how you are going to create that direct mail becomes the next question.

There are a few steps that your organisation should progress through to ensure that your direct mail campaign is going to be the best targeted and most successful it can be.

These steps are covered in more detail through various help sheets at the Media & Marketing Centre, with this help sheet designed as a briefer guide to each of the steps - with links to the other, more detailed, help sheets.




Before Creation, Plan

Prior to the actual work of creating your organisation's direct mail pack, you need to do some planning and preparation work in order to lay solid foundations for your direct mail campaign.

Obviously, the more direct mail campaigns your organisation has done, the more it will be able to draw on the knowledge it has already gained.

But regardless of whether your group or organisation has experience in using direct mail, it is still a good idea to pause and take the time to work through a few simple questions.

The first question you need to ask is this: What is the purpose of your direct mail pack?

Is it to inform, for example, or specifically illicit feedback? To fundraise or attract new members?

This should be your prime reference point when putting together your direct mail pack - as it will have a bearing on the pack's contents, appearance and who it will be aimed at.

For example, if you are raising money through a raffle, then the printing and inclusion of raffle tickets needs to be organised.

If you are trying to find new members, a membership form or slip should be included in your direct mail (though such a form should be included in all your direct mails).

For more information on finding out the purpose and target audience for your mail-out, refer to the help sheets Knowing Who to Mail and Why are you Direct Mailing? in the Mail Marketing section of the Media & Marketing Centre.

For more overall direct mail planning advice, refer to the three-part Planning Direct Mail help sheet.




Creating Direct Mail

After some planning - through which you will narrow down what needs to be put in your direct mail pack, the next step is to look at the style, substance and appearance of the direct mail contents.Some of the elements you will need to consider are:

The appearance, style and wording of the direct mail letter that you are sending out.
  • What do the letter's contents need to inform readers about?
  • Should it be formal or more casual and "chatty"?
  • What font should you use?
  • How should the letter be laid out?
The contents of the direct mail pack.
  • Is there a need for any response devices?
  • In addition, is a membership/sign-up/renewal form needed?
The "look and feel" of the pack.
  • How do you want your pack to appear? Formal, casual, festive, serious?
  • Which parts of the pack need to catch the eye?
  • Are there any fonts or layouts you should consider for the pack?
Envelope appearance and "feel".
  • First impressions count, so how do you want your envelope to appear?
  • Do you want to hand-write the details on the envelope for a personal touch?
  • Do you want to use real stamps, or a franking machine?
  • Any other considerations?
Response tools.
  • Specifically, which response tools do you need?
  • Are they going to be separate to, or incorporated with, other items in the mail out?
  • How are they going to look - fonts, colours, logos, etc.



Where to Find Help on These Issues

There are a number of help sheets which can help you work through the various stages of creating direct mail and its contents.

Some of the help sheets you can refer to include:



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