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Direct Mail is the oldest and most common form of direct marketing. The effectiveness of colorful postcards or brochures delivered directly to prospective clients in undeniable, but many small businesses woimprove your direct mail roirry about the high cost of starting a direct mail campaign.

If you plan your next direct mail campaign using these simple steps, you will find that the costs are manageable and the return on investment is high.

Find the right mail list

This is key. The mailing list you decide to mail to can make or break your direct mail campaign. The most important step to ensuring your success is to carefully think about who you are trying to reach. The biggest benefit of direct mail is the ability to target just the businesses or consumers who you think would be most interested in your product or service.

There are mailing lists available for almost any type of prospect, so the more specific you are with your selections, the faster, cheaper and better the results.

Be as specific as you can, so that you can target your best prospects. Narrowing down your target market with specific characteristics and demographics reduces the cost of marketing to someone who has no interest or need for your product, saving you and your company time and money.

Create templates that can be re-used

Don’t start from scratch every time you need a design; instead, make some templates. Create something where all the necessary contact information and branding is place, and each time you use it, you can simply change out the dates and promotions.

It can be a simple layout, without much content, or it can be a complex marketing piece which requires only minor alterations to keep it fresh and up to date. Keeping a template or two around can make marketing easier and save you money.

Print in bulk

You’ll save money by printing higher quantities. Instead of printing in small volumes for each run, plan several mailers at once and have the all the mail pieces printed at once. This way, instead of paying higher prices per piece for smaller printing jobs, you’ll save by buying print in bulk.

Don’t forget your existing clients!

Believe it or not, a lot of times the reason why customers don’t go back to your small business isn’t because they were unhappy; it’s because they don’t remember you. Don’t forget to mail out to your existing customers as well and nurture customer loyalty.

Write a Clear and Easy Call to Action:

Provide your prospects with clear instructions on how to take advantage of the deal you’re offering and make it as easy as possible for them to complete the deal.

Talk to Them, not At Them:

One of the oldest copy writing tricks in the book, and still one of the most effective. Always write your mail piece as if the prospect is the most important person in the world, and they are the only ones receiving this exclusive deal. Rather than writing “This is a fantastic sale!”, say “You’re going to love this fantastic sale!”. By making your mail personal, you can expect an increase in ROI.

Add an Expiration Date:

Great sales can’t (or shouldn’t) last forever. By offering a discount for a short period of time, you can see an immediate bump in ROI.

There’s really no shortage of ways you can improve a direct mail marketing campaign, and much of what you’ll learn comes from doing and testing. But by researching and learning as much as you can beforehand, you can easily improve your direct mail campaign and earn more customers.

One last tip…

Don’t Limit Yourself to Direct Mail:

 It’s called a “marketing mix” for a reason. Let your prospects know that they can get more information through your website, ask them to check you out on Twitter and Pinterest, and to call right now to speak to a real live person! Make sure that you provide several opportunities to start a conversation with your prospects.