We’ve seen a lot of bad direct mail over the years (not produced by us I might add).  By bad we mean being called Mr Mylan when you’re a Miss.  There’s nothing more annoying.  But bad direct mail can take many forms, from impersonal messages to glaring typos.  It leaves us feeling annoyed, disappointed and downright disinterested – and more often than not ends up straight in the bin.  But why do businesses spend so much money and get it so wrong?

Here are the top three ‘no nos’ for direct mail…

Don’t mail people who aren’t there

You’ll be surprised how often this happens.  It’s so easy to get it wrong if your data’s not kept up to date. You could be mailing people who’ve moved house or even worse, people who’ve died – and soon you’ll be breaking the new General Data Protection Regulations.  Use out of date data and you may as well just throw your money away.  But it’s easy to avoid all of this with a regular data cleanse.  Running regular checks on your database to remove or update any incorrect records will ensure this doesn’t happen. It’s so important to make sure all your customer data is kept up to date.  Just last week a colleague was mailed a honeymoon offer from the company that booked her honeymoon!  Not the best way to make your customer feel valued.

Treating people like a number on a list

There’s one way to guarantee your direct mail will head straight for the bin  –  an impersonal communication that has no relevance whatsoever.  You need to take the time to understand who your customers are and what they want.  Once you understand this, you can create communications that are targeted and personalised to them – the more relevant, the more engaged your customers will be.  Did you know recipients are 7 – 10 times more likely to open personalised direct mail?  Addressing your communication to “The Householder” just won’t cut it.  If you’ve taken the time to get the data bit right then you can really go to town on the personalisation front – variable imagery, messages, the works! Having the data and not using it, well that’s just a crime in our eyes.

The quality’s pants

We’re talking typos, bad grammar and cheap paper here.  Poor quality, creates a poor impression.  If a company can’t take the time to get their communication right then the recipient isn’t going to take the time to read it.  So, what should you do?  Always get at least two people, if you can, three, to check proofs.  The more eyes the better.  Take the time to consider the correct paper for your print job and request samples.  If you can, go and pass your print job on press.  These checks will ensure that any quality issues are kept to a minimum. Typos like, “You’re special offer vouchers are enclosed” on the front of an envelope, well there’s just no excuse for that.  Make sure you give your quality checks the time they deserve.

If you want fresh eyes on your Direct Mail Campaigns please get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you.