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9 Tips to Boost Your Direct Marketing Results

In order to successfully let the 40/40/20 rule shape your marketing efforts, there are a lot of factors that go into optimizing each of these segments.

This post outlines different elements of a mail piece that are important factors for success.

Here are 9 tips to boost your direct marketing results:

  1. Build a mailing list only of customers who would already be interested in your product.

If you are mailing to everyone in an area where there may be more of a niche interest for your product or service, chances are a lot of the pieces are going to be thrown out without a second look.

For example, if you cover an entire neighborhood with pet care postcards, it may be perceived as annoying by the residents if they do not own a pet. If you choose to target pet owners within your designated area instead, your mailing will have a greater impact as they are already more inclined to be interested in your offer.

  1. Make sure your CTA is strong.

It’s important to make sure that the recipient has a reason to respond, and that the offer is compelling enough to move them to action. It should also be urgent, but not pushy; a clear deadline is helpful for encouraging people to respond.

  1. Use personalization.

You are already collecting information on your customers. Leveraging that data in the mail piece goes a long way for increasing response,as studies show that adding personalization increases response rates up to 135%.


  • “John, take 20% off!” instead of just “Take 20% off!”
  • “John, it’s time for an oil change on your 2003 Oldsmobile Truck Silhouette!” instead of just “It’s time for an oil change!”
  1. Plan with postage and regulations in mind (let our team make that easy and worry free!)

It’s important to ensure that you are leaving enough room for the address panel and postage endorsement. Imagine designing a great piece that fills the entire page, and then finding out you need to move things around last-minute! If you consult with a mailing expert like Compu-Mail before you begin designing your piece, you can prevent the need for drastic design changes along the way.

  1. Have an eye-catching design.

To stand out in the mailbox, your direct mail piece needs an eye-catching design.Photos of people draw the most attention, and supplementing those images with a clean layout including clear and concise text and plenty of white space help the reader easily get through the piece.

  1. Go for a larger size if you use postcards.

Oversized pieces resonate well with people. Studies show that prospects are 15%more likely to respond to an oversized mail piece if they have never done business with you. They catch attention, and give you more room to include all the essential info and some fun visuals without trying too hard to fit everything in.

Plus, make sure you are always using both sides of your postcard. The address side of the card is an often-wasted opportunity to hook viewers and make them want to know more.

  1. Keep words to a minimum.

Rather than filling your piece with text, consider trying to convey as much through your illustrations, white space, font choices and layout as you can. Avoid using unnecessary words to fill space; consumers can see through this. It is much more helpful to build a solid and relevant information base that you can pare down to the essentials before you finalize the design.

  1. Amplify with other marketing channels.

Direct mail shouldn’t be kept in a silo. Research indicates that there is a powerful increase in response when omnichannel marketing strategies are in place. Checkout these statistics to see how powerful it can be when you combine efforts.

  1. Test and refine.

Always test to see what works best for your organization. Results vary for every business, so while best practices show what works in general, testing different lists, offers, and creative in your campaigns will help you figure out what is best for your organization.

The Bottom Line

If you follow the 40/40/20 rule and optimize your direct mail campaign based on these tips, you will see a boost in your direct marketing results.