Six Ways to Fail at Direct Mail

Especially in a pandemic, direct mail is an incredibly effective marketing tool. But there are a lot of ways it can go south on you. Here are six steps to make sure your next direct mail campaign fails miserably.

1. Make Sure Your Website Sucks.

Most people who respond to direct mail go to your website first. Make sure yours is outdated and cluttered. Hide what they’re looking for. Use lame photos and long, meaningless copy. And whatever happens, don’t give them a call to action – block that next step before it happens.

2. Ignore Email.

Since emails cost less than direct mail, why try to capture email addresses? Don’t promise good insights, valuable information or special offers. Just stick with regular mail.

3. Never Follow Up.

Assume your direct mail is so awesome that you never need to pick up a phone or stop by in person. So what if that personal touch is more likely to make the campaign pay off? You’re not in this to make money, are you?

4. Be Stingy.

Just send one piece — or maybe two. And send them so far apart that no one will remember the first one by the time the next one arrives. That’s it! Then relax and complain about how direct mail doesn’t work.

5. Be Boring.

Let’s face it: getting people interested is a lot of work. You have to stand out and get them excited. Who needs the aggravation? Just use bad design, bland images and long, boring copy. And no calls to action, either.

6. Loose Lists.

Whatever happens, don’t target your audience. So what if you can get really specific with your criteria and reach an audience that’s more likely to buy? That’s a lot of work. Who needs it?

Of course, there’s a chance that you might actually want your direct mail campaign to pay for itself many times over. If that’s the case, do the exact opposite of everything listed here.