Avoid committing these mistakes on your next direct mail campaign.With all of the man-power, time, energy, and money that you invest in your direct mail campaign, it’s worth it to take the extra time to cover your bases and ensure you don’t commit any of these common mistakes.

  1. Sending to a Bad List

You’ve planned for months, invested money on production, printing, and postage, and finally you send out your mailer—to a bad list. It doesn’t matter how great your design, copy, and timing are if you’re sending to the wrong people.

There’s lots of ways you can have a bad list if you: don’t run NCOALink, forget to de-duplicate, purchase an untargeted list, or don’t update your data. Getting your message in the hands of the right people is half the battle in an effective mailing campaign. Don’t leave your list choice until your deadline to get it done.

  1. No Call to Action

Educating the recipient is important in direct mail, especially if it’s the first time they’re hearing of you. However, if you spend all of your valuable space on educational text and don’t quickly direct them on what they’re supposed to do, you’ve lost.

A clear, concise, and powerful call to action can make or break your mailer’s ROI. Use an actionable verb, make it visible and bold, and make it easy. Also, limit the amount of calls to action to one or two. If you give the recipient too many options, they may not choose any. By simply directing them to a landing page on your website to claim their gift or get more information, they have clear guidance on what to do.

  1. Using the Wrong Format/Packaging

Looking to sell a car? You’re probably not going to send a black and white letter with 600 words of copy and in a #10 envelope to your list. Instead, you’ll send an oversized postcard with colorful professional photography showcasing what will hopefully become the recipient’s brand, new, car!

You don’t show up to a pool party in a tux, or to a job interview in a snowsuit. How you deliver your message matters. It affects the recipient’s immediate interest in your product and the determination of its relevancy to his or her needs. Make sure your format matches your message.

  1. Weak Copy

Any eye-catching, clear design that directs your eye to the important messages on your mailer is key. But if your messages aren’t clear, your mailer will suffer. Clarity means getting to the point. So, be sure not to use too many adjectives when describing your product or service.

Also, focus on communicating the key points of your product or service and discuss its benefits—not its features. A computer processer with the speed of 3.40 GHz may not mean much to the bulk of the population; but knowing your computer will still function at high speeds while using multiple apps and programs is valuable to many.