10 Ways To Improve The ROI On Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaign

Samuel Thimothy - September 29, 2010

Some marketers may feel that direct mail marketing is not a successful use of a marketing budget. However, in a recent study titled “Finding the Right Channel Combination: What Drives Channel Choice,” ICOM found that consumers in U.S. and Canada between the ages of 18-34 preferred to learn about marketing offers via mail and newspapers than online sources like social media sites.

Also, 36% of U.S. respondents, across all ages, trust the mail more than email — up from 29 percent in 2008. This means direct mail marketing is becoming even more important to companies looking to reach prospective customers.

If you decide to run a direct mail marketing campaign, or you want to improve the one you have now, use these 10 strategies.


  • Find the right list – One of the first things you want to do when creating a direct mail campaign is to list specifically who the campaign targets. Up to 40% of the success of your campaign relies on choosing the correct list of prospects. Are you targeting consumers or businesses? Are these people homeowners? Are they families or unmarried couples? These are just a few criteria you can look at when finding prospects. The more specific you are with your target audience, the higher quality your leads will be, and this will increase your ROI.



  • Get your timing right – Don’t order a list too far in advance of your direct mail campaign being sent out. Listing information is changing constantly, so you want to make sure you have the latest information possible. Order your list when you are ready to launch to get a higher deliverable percentage.



  • Define a clear objective – Coming up with a clear objective helps you know exactly where to aim. Decide if you are trying to build brand awareness, announce a new product or service, or generate leads. Without a clear objective, it is difficult to determine success.



  • Include a clear offer and call-to-action statement – If you bury or don’t include a call-to-action statement, you will hinder the direct mail campaign. Also, if you include a discount, special offer along with a deadline for those offers, the potential prospect will have more of an incentive to respond.



  • Provide more than one way to respond – Everyone has their own preference in how they like to respond. If you offer various ways to respond – phone numbers, email addresses, and a PURL website – you will increase your response rate on the piece. It will allow prospects to respond in the way they are most comfortable.



  • Use customer testimonials – Real customer testimonials provide positive references to your company. A recent Sirius Decisions survey indicated that 22% of respondents found peers as their most trusted source. When you have a message direct from your customers, it has a greater influence on future prospects.



  • Test your campaigns – The best way to increase responses is to test different elements of your campaign, one at a time. The top elements to test are your headline, the opening sentence, the offer, and the pricing. By testing and then using the most successful elements, future campaigns will generate a higher ROI.



  • Have proper expectations – It is important to be realistic when launching a direct mail campaign. Deliverability rates for a consumer list are 94% and for a business list are 90%. However, the average response rate is 1% to 2%. Don’t let your high expectations discourage you from knowing what a successful direct mail campaign is.



  • Follow up campaigns with a call – Use a phone call to make a campaign more personal and to reinforce your brand. It can help establish a relationship after a prospect has learned about your brand and company.



  • Track your results – Finally, be sure to track and monitor the results of your campaign. Know exactly the number of people who responded to your mailing and specific information about them. By having more defined targets and exactly how your campaign is worked, you can run an even more successful direct mail campaign in the future.


In addition to direct mail marketing, OneIMS provides many other print marketing solutions and online marketing services. Contact us today at 1-888-ONE-IMS-1.

OneIMS is a Chicago Web Design Company as well as a technology-based marketing service provider. We specialize in integrated marketing solutions such as Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-click advertisements and email marketing. We employ cross-media marketing solutions that are designed to deliver results. Some of those solutions are Variable Data Printing, Personalized URLs and custom Landing Pages and triggered emails.

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