Author: Justin Nelson, Director, Strategy & Agency Services

If you’re a brand considering launching the direct mail channel or it’s a new role in your career, this 10-point checklist is for you.

1) Identify overall goals and objectives of your direct mail campaign

What does success look like and what metrics will be used to evaluate performance? What is the goal that this campaign is trying to accomplish?

This could include:

  • CPL or CAC
  • ROI or ROAS
  • Improved LTV

2) Define the Audience

Who is the right target audience to receive the direct mail piece?

Selects may be based on:

3) Suppression Files

Are there any addresses or contacts that need to be removed from the target audience?

Do you want to target current customers? Do you have a list of do not contacts or opt-outs?

4) Creative

Determine the appropriate format for the campaign – letter pack, postcard, bifold, etc.

When it comes to creative there are 3 key considerations to keep in mind:

  • A great offer
  • A clear call to action
  • Space for the address panel

5) Find the Right Print Partner

After determining the audience size and the appropriate format, gather quotes and schedules from print shops.

Select the partner based on:

  • Cost of their services
  • Timing for in-home delivery
  • Ability to execute the format correctly

6) Deliver Creative and Data Files to the Printer

Creative should be provided as high resolution, print ready PDFs with bleeds included

  • CMYK and spot colors are acceptable (no RGB)
  • High resolution artwork (300 dpi or better)
  • Elements designed to print off the page (bleeds) must extend past the trim .125”

7) Print and Data Audits

The printer will typically provide two sets of proofs to audit:

Digital PDF Audits:

  • These audits are to ensure that the printer is interpreting the creative correctly. The audits will be provided to your team for review and approval.

Data Audits:

  • These audits are to ensure that the printer is interpreting the data correctly. This is an area Speedeon can handle.

8) Postage Payment

Before a direct mail campaign can be delivered to the post office, they require postage paid in full. An invoice will be sent based upon the data selection and postage type. Any delay in postage will result in a delay of the campaign, so make sure this is included in your budget.

9) Campaign Deployment

Once postage payments and all approvals have been received, the printer will transport the direct mail to the USPS. Once this occurs, mail will enter the stream and begin arriving in-home. Tracking of in-home dates is available.

10) Results

Matchback reporting should begin no sooner than 15-30 days post in-home. An updated customer file is needed to perform the reporting with a 3rd party like Speedeon.

Direct mail can be a powerful channel in your customer acquisition strategy. Things to consider is that it has a longer performance tail than digital and is more costly up-front. It does, however, tend to lend itself to higher quality, longer-term customers.

If you have questions or need guidance, feel free to book a strategy session with us, and we can help!