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Tips on Creating a Direct Mail Piece

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There’s no doubt you’ve heard how important the digital media space has become in recent years. “If you aren’t on [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.], then you’re missing out on reaching a huge online audience!” I’m sure a heavy social media focus has dominated marketing conversations in your office, but let’s not forget about another tried-and-true advertising medium: direct mail.

Direct mail is a great marketing asset for businesses. It’s your opportunity to reach a specific audience with a particular message. I grew up in the social media age and I still love receiving physical mail pieces. Maybe it’s because I’m so plugged in to Facebook and Twitter for work and my personal life, but there’s something special about getting “snail mail.”

From a club standpoint, there are plenty of opportunities that call for direct mail pieces. “Grand Opening” and “Now Open” campaigns are two standard examples, but you can send out direct mail to promote any new programs, offers, or seasonal specials that come about in your business. Of course, the key is making your direct mail piece informational and attention grabbing for the reader.

Here are four tips to keep in mind when creating a direct mail piece:

Know your audience and, more importantly, how to target that group. If you’re doing a “Grand Opening” campaign, the obvious group to focus on is the residents around your new club. The look and messaging must fall in line with who your audience is, so it’s crucial to define your target group right away. If you can, try testing this group. See what your rate of return is; it could save you marketing dollars.

Make your design stand out. There is a lot that goes into designing a direct mail piece. First, what’s the layout? Is it a standard postcard, brochure or card? Consider your options and how to best convey your information. Your design should follow your brand standards. It should be striking, but appropriate. Again, this goes back to your audience. Depending on what your campaign is, your imagery should reflect that. If it’s a “Grand Opening” mailer, show off your new club! If it’s a new product or service you’re offering, that should be clearly displayed.

Same goes with your copy. Words are powerful, especially when it comes to promoting your business. Make sure your headline, tagline and supporting copy hit all key messaging points: what your business is, what you’re selling and what sets you apart from the competition. Once again, keep in mind your audience and how your business can make their lives better. The more you can relate your copy to them, the better.

Add value! What’s your incentive? An offer is an absolute must. After your logo, that will be the first thing people will look for on your direct mail. This should be a prominent part of your mail piece. Bold it, underline it, do something to make it stick out.

These four points may seem elementary, but you should approach every direct mail piece with these criteria in mind. Ultimately, it comes down to knowing your audience and crafting the design and message best suited for them that effectively promotes your business.

Hayley Schnell

Hayley Schnell is a communications manager at Lift Brands. She can be reached at hschnell@liftbrands.com.

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