How to Do Direct Mail for Complete Beginners

At the end of this article you will know:

1) What kind of mailing you’re going to do.

2) Who you’re mailing to.

Lets get started!

The first thing you should do is figure out why you’re considering a mailing in the first place. It takes time and money to mail a bunch of letters. What are you hoping to get in return?

Decide what you want to get out of direct mail.

Why are you doing this mailing? Are you looking to advertise a sale, and bring people into your store? Are you looking to sell something directly? Do you want people to call you, or set up an appointment?

(FYI, “checking in” or “introducing yourself” is not an objective. It is a waste of money.)

It’s important to understand what you’re hoping to accomplish, because it affects who you mail to, what offer you’re going to make, and how you’re going to make it.

This isn’t a time consuming step, but it’s an important one.

With your objective in mind, it’s time to move onto step 2: Assembling your list.

Put together your list.

Your list should include only those people relevant to your objective.

Are you trying to get new customers into the store? Then do NOT mail to existing ones! Do you have a special offer for long time customers? Then mail it only to them.

Do you have a special product or service you want to offer, but not all your clients or customers can afford? Mail only to the ones who can afford it.

A small, carefully target list will out perform a catch-all. Why send letters to people who aren’t interested, and couldn’t afford it even if they were? That just wastes the cost of printing and mailing.

Having a targeted list allows you talk to your customers in a very personal way. You aren’t talking to everyone. You’re talking specifically to the people who would want what you’re selling. You can make more compelling selling points.

How do you put together a list?

First, take a look at the contact info for your customers and clients. You have that right? If not, you need to start getting it!

Ask your customers for their mailing address. Sign them up for your newsletter. Have a contest with space for their contact info on the entry form.

Get creative, but get those addresses!

Or maybe you want to bring new customers in the door? In that case, rent a list.

There are a number of list broker services available. And if you’d rather have someone do the work for you, there are a number of direct mail services around that will help you assemble the right list.

So far so good. You now should know what your mailing goal is, and have a list of who you’re mailing to.