The Dos and Don’ts of Direct Mail

30th October 2018

Done well, direct mail can have a positive impact on your business – from increasing engagement, uplifting sales and even helping you to acquire new customers. But done badly, it can put people off your brand for ever.

So, we asked our in-house team of experts to come up with their best practice dos and don’ts of using direct mail within your marketing mix, and here’s what they had to say:


Do make sure the messaging on your direct mail is clear, concise and actionable, anything long-winded will be confusing and will put the consumer off.

Do personalise your offer, such as adding your customer’s name, or sending the mailer out at a relevant point in their journey with your brand, as this will immediately grab their attention.

Do make it clear what you want your recipient to do next and tell them how they can do it.

Do keep your messaging simple, as you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your intended recipient.

Do incentivise your direct mail campaigns with exclusive deals and offers, because this will instantly make it a more appealing proposition for the recipient.

Do use data to segment your audience and tailor your messaging accordingly.

Do some split (A/B) testing to get to the bottom of how frequently your customers want to receive direct mail pieces from you.

Do track and measure your campaigns to compare the results so you can determine which segment is responding more positively to your mail.

Do use an auditing and validating service to make sure that the customer records you have on file are still accurate; this prevents you from sending out direct mail to those who no longer live at that address.

Do routinely go through your database and clean up the data you have on file to make it as accurate and efficient as possible.

Do your homework- study the purchase history of your customers and work out what their next logical purchase might be.


Don’t forget to use deadlines and limited time offers to create a sense of urgency and give your readers a call to action.

Don’t just use plain envelopes, consider using different creative styles, colours and substrates to entice the prospect into opening and finding out what’s inside.

Don’t send out the same format of mailer each time, include a variety in your mix such to avoid marketing fatigue and introduce interactivity which encourages the recipient to take physical action.

Don’t clutter your page with too much copy, imagery and/or colour, the use of whitespace helps to create a sense of calm and is easier on the eye to read.

Don’t make it hard for the recipient of your direct mail campaign to carry out an action, because anything that is too laborious will just be a roadblock to a sale or some other form of conversion.

Don’t let your data go stale, keep details up-to-date and accurate. If the information you have isn’t accurate, it makes it more difficult to ensure that your direct mail is going to reach the recipient, and will be hard to customise it effectively.

Don’t ignore what the data is telling you. Make sure you use it to send customers relevant and timely offers.

Don’t use direct mail in isolation, incorporate it into your digital strategy. For example, send a direct mail postcard to a website visitor within 24 to 48 hours after they visited your online store and left items in their basket to prompt a sale.

For more information about how our experienced team can help you with your next direct mail campaign, simply  click here  to complete our contact form or give us a call on 01322 414 000.