Direct Mail – Proving its Ability to Stick Around

With the cost at the post office rising, it may be easy to write off using direct mail as a costly venture with low return, according to a recent article on CU Insight. It is sometimes easier to send out a mass e-mail to every member and/or potentially interested party that you know, but sometimes taking the time and creating a targeted direct mail piece is what you should be doing.

The U.S. Postal Service can be quoted as saying, “the best mail is effective mail.” That appears to be an obvious statement to any marketer out there, but it’s not always the case when people attempt direct mail pieces. It seems that one key thing is sometimes forgotten: targeting. In fact, the article goes on to state that “Direct mail response rates are dramatically impacted by focusing the mailing on those most likely to respond.”

How do you target? Basically, instead of sending out a direct mailer to every member, pick out the members that might have an interest. For example, advertising lower mortgage rates to a couple in their 70s would very likely be money wasted, but sending that direct mailer to a couple in their late-20s would be much more likely to see a return, since that couple could already be in the market for a mortgage, or plan to be soon.

According to Shannan Heacock, a Senior Direct Marketing Services Representative at Synergent, “Strategizing with the credit union to send the right message to the right person at the right time is key.” She goes on to say that the more you know about your members and their needs will give you exactly the information that you need to begin a targeted direct mail campaign.

To take that mortgage direct mailer a little further, make sure your offer is clear. According to the article, it is important to tell them the rate, and specifically what you will save them, avoiding as much as possible terms like “up to” and “as much as.” These terms can end up taking away from your message.

You also have to be creative. It sounds like an obvious statement, but it rings true. The article states, “Imagery, tone, and copy all should reflect the target audience’s tastes – not the marketer’s personal preference. If you have done it correctly, you will also find it easy to cross-purpose your piece (i.e. use in email, messaging, call center, and web page). This will help you to use the same message and design, which can be a cost saver when it comes to time invested in the design.

Don’t even think about forgetting to measure your results! It’s important to look at who responded to your targeted marketing. How did they respond, how many leads were generated and closed? This will help you to create another successful direct mail piece in the future.

Katy Robinson                                                                                                   Corporate Marketing & Communications Assistant                                                 Synergent