How To Create a Successful Direct Mail Campaign Strategy

8th May 2019

At Howard Hunt, we are strong advocates for the power of print in the marketing mix. We know first-hand just how effective direct mail can be but it’s important to get it right. A lot of planning goes into building a successful strategy, but we have picked out a few of the key elements to consider…


Ensuring that your communications are compliant with the law is the essential starting block to building a successful direct marketing campaign.

To ensure that your marketing is legitimate, familiarise yourself with key legislation such as GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and codes of conduct from industry bodies such as the DMA Code and The CAP Code.

Set your goals & KPIs

What do you want to achieve from your campaign? Ensure that you set a list of realistic goals and make note of both short and long-term objectives that you’d like to achieve.

Ensure that your marketing goals are SMART:


Create a set of KPIs and measurables to track the performance of your objectives – these can be as simple or as complex as required. Performance indicators may include; number of enquiries, click-through rate, response rate, conversion rate and return on investment – these should always link back to overarching marketing and business objectives.

Sort your mailing data

Using cleansed, targeted audience data is crucial to the success of your direct mail campaign. Mistargeted direct mail costs UK businesses £1billion per year in wasted marketing costs and this can be as a result of customers moving home, businesses moving or closing, or even people passing away. With almost 60% of consumers believing that a correctly addressed mailer that uses their name will be of interest to them, it is essential that you get your data right in order to get your communications noticed.

For acquisition campaigns, using knowledge about your existing customers will help you to identify your best prospects and those who will be most likely to enquire, purchase and convert to a loyal customer. You should also create profiles detailing your different customer types. These profiles should include information such as; age, demographic, lifestyle, purchase history, interests and marketing preferences.

Howard Hunt’s expert team can suppress and cleanse your data files to ensure that your mailer is reaching the right people and your marketing efforts are not wasted.

Consider your brand values and message

Mail is tangible and emotional and can be used effectively to tell a story and connect with the consumer.  Unlike other channels, mail is given the time and space to be consumed and the ability to place your brand in hands of your customer has been shown to provoke a stronger, more emotive reaction. When receiving mail, consumers will notice the quality of the piece – this tells them a lot about your brand values. So, with this in mind, it is key to consider the overall quality of your piece including; materials used, messaging, creative and format.

Personalised content according to your customer’s profile is a fantastic way to get your message noticed. Customers will resonate with a mailer that is relevant and useful to them. You can tailor information, offers and imagery to each individual recipient to encourage a higher response rate.

It is also a good idea to test different formats and messaging to gauge what generates greater responses. Build in testing plans that allow you to gather as many learnings as possible for future refinement. You can test anything from the format, creation through to messaging and audience selection.

Remember: Add credibility to your messaging to show a recipient that you are genuine and that they are valued.

Partner with an expert manufacturer

There are so many different variables when planning a direct mail campaign including; mailer formats, production methods, postage and delivery options – it can seem overwhelming. Your print supplier will listen to your requirements and guide you on the optimum routes available to ensure seamless and effective campaign delivery.

Test & Analyse

Once your campaign has gone live, it is important to analyse the performance against the KPIs you have set. Use industry tools to assess your competition and your brand and product standing with your audience. Analysing the campaign’s performance will give you a clear indication on how consumers are engaging with your communications and whether you are generating ROI.

If you would like some help on building a successful direct mail campaign strategy, our experts are happy to help! We can offer you guidance that is bespoke to your individual requirements, simply call us on 01322 414 000 or click here to send us a message.