Tips for sending out a direct mail piece for your small business

Sending out a direct mail piece for your small business?

When you decide to send out a direct mail piece for your business you will want to keep a few things in mind when designing a mailer. But before I go over the elements of a successful direct mail piece we need to cover a few things about basic strategy beforehand.

Who is the piece directed to and what is the purpose of the direct mail piece?

Are you going to be sending it to a list of past customers or a prospecting piece to attract new clients? Do you want to notify current clients of additional services or incentivize a new prospect with an offer? It is best to keep your mailer singularly focused. Having direction helps its effectiveness.


You also need to decide what format to send the mailer in and how many times you plan to reach the client or prospect. If you are trying to reach current clients, you may be better suited to use an email campaign. It is far less expensive and easier to administer. The problem is you probably don’t have everyone’s email and you need to mail a portion of them if you want to notify everyone. I prefer a letter for your first piece – it is more professional and increases the effectiveness of subsequent mailers.


For new prospects, the first mailer should be a formal introduction letter. It’s a nice way to introduce your small business to the customer you are targeting. Use a professional picture of yourself, office or team and a short bio. Folks really to like to learn more about you, research shows it’s one of the top viewed pages on websites. If you are the owner, invite them to tour your office, show off your small business and meet your team. Tip: Be prepared to schedule any client leads from your small business direct mail marketing piece within 24 to 48 hours or they will lose interest and go somewhere else – you don’t want to make them feel unimportant!


One more thing to think about for your direct mail postcard or introduction letter, it almost always saves labor, time and money to have a professional service handle the mailing. One exception would be small targeted mailings of 200 or less. If you hand stamp and address a small amount such as 200 or less, your open rate will dramatically increase & in return increase those leads.


There are things to consider when designing any direct mail piece: Headline, graphic design, message, call to action, and sense of urgency.


(1) Headline: It is the most important part. Why? Because that is the first thing people read; if they are interested they will read on, if not it hits the trash. The header must be the largest type on the page, it must be between 7 and 10 words and if possible all on one line. Tip: Don’t try to get too fancy here and use hard to read type, no all caps – they will think you are yelling at them! and ALL CAPS IS HARDER TO READ!


(2) Graphic Design: A single large graphic is best to use, at least 50% of the mailer size – we like to refer to it as the “Hero Image” that saves the day & wins you over. You know the saying… a picture is worth a 1000 words, and funny tip: people love to look at other people! Avoid using stock photos if can help it, invest a little money in real photos of clients, team members & yourself – use a tagline under the photo to draw interest. Tip: Do not take the photos yourself with your iPhone – homemade photos are a huge turn off.


(3) Message: The message must be focused. One of the biggest mistakes most people make is trying to cram all kinds of messages, coupons, bullet points, & additional phone numbers in the ad. It needs to be simple, an easy on the eye. Tip: The reader doesn’t want to work at reading who, what, and how to contact you – they want to quickly get the point in the message you are trying to get across.


(4) Call to action: A call to action is a must and should be compelling enough to get people to reach out & call, email, or message you in they way you ask on the direct mail piece. This can be in the form of an offer or special, but be careful – as the problem with a coupon is that it attracts the mentality of “another coupon” and you will have to work like crazy to retain them after the initial visit. Tip: Your call to action would be better off if the message is driving them to your website to get more information or call for details.


(5) A sense of urgency: Creating that a sense of urgency in your marketing direct mail piece works best with a limited quantity offer or special that ends in 30-60 days. Using an expiration date or limited amount will often motivate prospects to take action. Tip: Make the special redeemable for a future date – then you don’t have “another coupon” one time client.


Last but not least, remember to always include solid brand standards for your small business on every direct mail piece: A strong and consistent brand includes your small business logo, company name, address, phone number, web address. Tip: It’s nice, if room is available to also add your store hours as well.


To have a successful & professionally designed direct mail piece, I suggest you use a graphic artist, like Thrive Creative Group. It is best to use one who has lots of experience in direct mail, who knows the post office regulations and help your small business avoid costly mistakes. For more tips & ideas, give Thrive Creative Group a shout anyway you like, 931-221-4991 or thanks for reading!

Posted In: Marketing Tips