According to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2009 Statistical Fact Book, 81 percent of households either read or at least scan the advertising mail sent to their homes. That being said, planning your message is an essential step toward your success. Consider these tips from writer Ed McCarthy before launching your next campaign:

  1. Determine why you’re mailing. Are you trying to build name recognition among prospects? Or is the goal to maintain loyalty and cross-sell with existing clients?
    1. Targeting: Who do you want to reach?
    2. Offering: Remember that appearances can be everything–especially when trying to keep a piece of advertising on the fridge and out of the trashcan. The inclusion of a memorable offer will give the piece more shelf life.
    3. Timing: Keep the timing in mind. A piece on IRAs is more likely to be read at tax time, but will end up in the round circular file if you send it mid-summer.
  2. Remember the three principles: Targeting, Offering and Timing
  3. Keep the 50/50 rule in mind. When dealing with the cost of a direct mail project, consider that about 50 percent is going to come from postage. From there, 50 percent will be creative development, list purchase, and production.