With direct mail costs on the rise, businesses need to be sure that their message is noticed and that they’re reaching the right contact. Check out these tips from Greg Brown, marketing director of Melissa Data.

1. Select the right list. A crummy mail campaign sent to a good list can make money, but even brilliant mail sent to a bad list fails every time.

2. Update your list. Lists go out of date at a rate of 15 percent or more every year (source: NCOALink).

3. Go bold. Choose a clear, bold headline and a color that pops for maximum notice.

4. Watch out for the “muleta.” A muleta is a little red cape bullfighter used to distract the bull. Similarly, look for anything in your piece that distracts potential customers from your offer, message or product.

5. Now or later? Be sure to present a call to action and an offer. One of biggest mistakes is burying or not including a call to action. Tell your prospect exactly what you want he or she to do.

6. Commit. Be consistent and commit. Consumers rarely get multiple pieces from a business. Hit your prospect with different communication about the same thing, or hit them with different products with the same look or feel – or both. Repetition makes your reader think, “Hmmm … these guys are still contacting me.” Demonstrate that type of persistence for added credibility.

For more information, visit www.melissadata.com.

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