Direct Mail Tips and Tricks

Direct Mail Tips and Tricks

In today’s electronic age, direct mail seems passé—and pricey.

Yet when done correctly, direct mail has tremendous value:

  • No matter what someone’s demographic—age, income, sex, ethnicity—or use of the Internet and electronics, he has mail.
  • Some products are best showcased in print. (E-mail doesn’t allow for glossy catalogs, after all.)
  • Everyone reviews mail on the way in from the mailbox. So your direct mail piece grabs eyeballs—and, if effective, can generate action.


We say this over and over at FrogDog: Know your audience. If you don’t know who to target, the list you purchase will be a waste and you’ll miss opportunities with the customers you contact.

If you’re targeting new purchasers and buying a list, think about your best customers: Where do they live? What do they prefer? How do they view your brand?

And find a reputable list vender, which will help you narrow and focus your campaign with the key-target information you have on the audience you seek to reach.

If your campaign targets current or past customers, you need to understand them:

  • What did they last purchase from you?
  • How often do they buy from you?
  • How much do they spend, on average?

You might need to create different campaigns for different customer segments.

Knowing these details will help you craft the right message and offering for your campaign.


Direct mail works best when you lure prospects with an offer: a coupon, a free trial or sample, a guarantee of service, money refunded, a special deal for a certain time period, or some other reward for taking action.

What’s good bait and doesn’t cost you a fortune? Try offering time savers, head-of-the-line luxuries, and special shopping experiences.


If you are a local merchant or franchisee, shared mailers can be cost-effective. Is there another local business that targets your same market—but doesn’t compete with you directly? If so, you may want to team up on a direct-mail effort.


Consumers might need to receive at least three direct-mail pieces a month to notice your marketing message. Don’t expect one mailer to do the trick.

Also, much of how to set targets for responses in direct mail—as in every marketing effort—depends on your product and price point. If you sell $45,000 machines, one customer response in six months may be all you need to make direct mail worthwhile.

Make sure you’ve set goals that make sense for your business.


The cost of sending out a twenty-page catalog is often about the same as sending a forty-page catalog. Do your research.

Finally, make sure that your direct mail pieces align with your brand’s standards. Haven’t defined your brand yet? Contact FrogDog – we can help!

Posted: Jul 03, 2013
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
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