advocacy brand direct mail elections print print advertising

Top 3 Reasons Why Your Mail Meets the Trash

We know people trust mail. We know people like receiving mail. So why would your mail ever hit the trash? Here are the Top 3 reasons why.

Some would say direct mail is making a comeback. Others, like those of us at Majority Strategies, would argue it never went anywhere.

Regardless of which side of the argument you are on, there is no denying direct mail makes an impact today.

Case in point, Nordstrom recently reported that after cutting direct mail from its marketing plan for loyalty customers, the company saw a reduction in foot traffic at its stores. Nordstrom executives noted many of its customers counted on receiving their awards by mail, not online, despite their push to move toward digital.

“It’s rare that an executive says that cutting direct mail from a company’s advertising budget can have such a negative impact on sales, but that’s essentially what [Nordstrom] said.”

We know people trust mail. We know people like receiving mail. Now we know some people count on receiving direct mail.

So why would your mail ever hit the trash? Here are the Top 3 reasons why:

1. You Are Mailing the Wrong People.
Your mail might be meeting the trash if you are mailing everyone the same message.

Targeting is key to effective direct mail.

Thankfully, direct mail is one of the most targetable mediums, allowing you to speak directly to a smaller universe of voters, constituents, or consumers about exactly what matters most to them personally.

Remember, mail is personal, but without targeting to the person and their interests, stances, and values, that personal advantage is gone.

That’s why you will see us dividing mail plans into multiple subsets of people based on issue identification, geographic data, or demographic data.

“For a recent project for a brand client – with the goal of gaining new customers utilizing direct mail marketing – we started by taking a step back and doing a deep-dive geographic analysis of where our client’s location was in relation to their competition. We then over-laid census and consumer data, including population estimates and median household range, to identify the most target rich areas for growing our client’s customer base. By doing this, we identified key zip codes for targeting but also identified consumers who lived within a given distance of a location. Rather than stopping there, we went another step further by utilizing consumer data and predictive modeling to determine the consumers within this geography who would be most interested in the services of our brand client – in this specific instance, that was female consumers who were modeled ‘Yoga Enthusiasts’ or likely to have an interest in aerobic exercise, sporty living, yoga, physical fitness or pilates.”
– Ashley Burns, Director of Data Analytics and Audience Insights

Read our case study here.

The bonus: Targeting ensures you aren’t wasting postage, printing, and mailing dollars on people you don’t need to be talking to, including those who can’t be persuaded or motivated to support your campaign, issue or brand.

2. Your Mail is Littered with Errors.
Your mail might be meeting the trash if you are mailing pieces with typos and other errors.

Proof, proof, and proof again is the mantra, but mistakes can be made in production, too. Direct mail pieces need to be backed up correctly, folded right, and printed on the correct weight of paper. Direct mail needs to be addressed correctly, political mailings need red tags, and drop shipping can help save postage.

There is a lot to direct mail done right.

This is where working with a professional firm can pay dividends. Their experience can help to ensure common mistakes aren’t made, from simple typos and grammatical errors to production failures and mailing mistakes.

3. Your Mail Doesn’t Deliver a Clear Message.
You might be meeting the trash if you aren’t delivering a clear and concise message.

The creative presentation of your direct mail may be the difference between your message being read and remembered and landing directly in the trash.

Creativity not only helps your mail stand out from the rest of the pieces in your mailbox each day, it also amplifies your message and brings it home for voters, constituents and consumers.

Some tricks of the trade? Be sure your call to action stands out from the rest of the message. Let creativity draw the reader in, then use powerful, easy-to-understand, persuasive language to drive the reader into action.

Download our “Why Mail” e-booklet today to learn more about the power of direct mail.