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A Quick Guide to Running an Amazing Direct Mail Campaign in 7 Easy Steps

Direct mail marketing campaigns have a unique power. Though much of the work of marketing gets handled digitally these days, many marketers are still swearing by the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of direct mail. But, in order for your direct mail marketing campaigns to function efficiently and effectively, you must build and execute them flawlessly.

There are a great many details that factor into setting up a good direct mail campaign. But with a quick checklist of steps to guide in building and executing your campaign, you can rest assured that your spend and your effort will end up generating the customer actions that you’re looking for. Read on for our quick list of steps to running a flawless direct mail campaign, from Portland and beyond.

Step One: Craft Excellent Copy and Design 

design and print direct mail campaign portlandThe first step in any effective direct mail campaign is the generation of copy, and the design of the mailer itself. Insure that your piece is well-written and laid out prior to beginning the execution of any of the next steps. Often, the copy will dictate some of the decisions you have to make down the line. And if you’re in need of a great designer to help you with the campaign, many local printers also offer complete design services — you just have to ask.

Step Two: Work With Your List Broker to Plan the Mailing 

Work with your broker to establish the mailing schedule and lists. You’re broker should be in a position to recommend several different list options and to help zero in on the best intersection of cost and effectiveness for your campaign. Make sure to give your broker your copy and design to aid them in making good recommendations.

Step Three: Work With Your Printer to Get the Best Possible Representation of Your Design and Copy 

Solicit recommendations from colleagues in your industry if you don’t already have working relationships with a handful of good printers. Solicit bids from at least three printers and select the best combination of quality and cost that your budget will allow.

Next, get your mailers printed and delivered to the mail broker. This will be a multistep process involving the approval of mockups, etc. Make sure that this process is scheduled to be complete in advance of your booked dates with your list broker and your data processing company. Also — be sure to check in with your local printer first. In many cases, local printers offer full-scale design to print to mail house services.

Step Four: Coordinate Scheduling With Your Data Processing Company and List Broker

Insure that your data processing company is informed of your mailing schedule and your list due date. They will also need copies of the lists you ordered from the list broker, and any instructions you may want to give it to insure that your mailers go out to the appropriate addresses on the lists.

It’s important to insure adequate data hygiene so that none of your marketing budget is wasted.

This includes exclusion lists, like lists of current customers or anyone that has explicitly opted out of your direct mail campaigns, and the seed list that you’ll be using to track delivery.

Step Five: Coordinate Merge Purge at Data Processor  

Once your data processor has received all lists from you and your list broker, they will merge the lists and purge any redundancies or any addresses found on your exclusion lists. You will want to manage this process, working with your data processor to insure that the correct addresses, and only the correct addresses, are purged.

direct mail campaign Portland letter shopStep Six: Coordinate Assembly With the Lettershop

Issue any key codes, splits, and packaging instructions to your data processor and your print shop, letting them know how to track any variations in copy and sales packages, and how you want the actual mailing put together – unless it’s a simple postcard. Key codes and splits allow you to analyze the effectiveness of variations in your mailing.

You will also need to communicate where you want the address label to be located on your final mailing, the font you want used for the address, the order of materials, and whether you want the mailing presorted to maximize the efficiency of the postal service.

Step Seven: Coordinate Delivery of all Lists and Materials to Lettershop

You will need to approve the key codes, splits, and final mailing list at the data processor prior to delivery to the lettershop. You will also need to approve final materials at the printer prior to delivery. You will then need to approve the final processing and pay advance postage on the entire job by the day before it goes out.

Completion of an Amazing Direct Mail Campaign

Once your lettershop has constructed and delivered your final mailing to the postal service, you will get a verification that confirms your completed job quantities, your postage, and the day that your mailing entered the Postal Service’s mail stream.

How you analyze the effectiveness of the campaign based on returns of the various mailing formats and combinations is material for another post!

And if your business is located in Portland, and you’re looking for some assistance with an upcoming direct mail campaign, get in touch with East Side Printing Co. today. We offer complete design, print and mail house solutions, and we can offer a free quote in 24 hours or less.

[Photos via: Fitness360, Ellinger, Strategicfulfillment]

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