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6 tips for a successful direct mail campaign

6 October 21

Sure, I can give you a ton of amazing gift ideas, but direct mail marketing is far less about the gift itself and way more about the way it makes your recipient feel.

The perfect gift might not exist, but there is a nearly perfect way to look at corporate gifting that can help you make the most of the direct mail channel. Here are 6 useful tips and tricks to help you plan a direct mail campaign that will knock your recipients' socks off.

1. Know your audience

Every article on marketing tips begins with the proverbial “know thy audience” but I can’t stress enough how important it is when it comes to gifting. Sending a generic gift or, even worse, the wrong gift not only wastes your budget but also risks damaging a potentially powerful relationship. Before you get sending, think hard about your target audience and how you can impress them with a thoughtful gift and the right message.

Let’s say, you're in MarTech and sell to a lot of CMOs in SaaS. Well, you can bet they receive a lot of direct mail, so to impress this crowd, you have to be super fun in your messaging and highly personalized in your choice of a gift. If you’re in Industrial IoT, however, you’re selling to a persona that’s far less likely to receive direct mail and gifting campaigns. That means you probably have a way more captive audience so sending something like a video mailer to key decision-makers could be a great way to get your content front and center. Pair that video mailer with a branded cooler or a six pack of beer and you can bet we’d be listening too.

2. Don't overthink it

You don't have to reinvent the wheel to have a successful direct mail campaign. The goal of gifting is less about the actual gift and more about delivering moments that matter. It’s easy to get bogged down trying to find the perfect gift or most creative way to reach your prospect’s desks. When in reality, successful direct mail campaigns can be a helluva lot simpler than you think. The most important thing to remember is that putting a smile on a person’s face and making the recipient feel something is when a human connection is made and when your brand stands out from the rest. If you know your audience well, you’re probably already thinking in the right direction.

3. Send the right message

The messaging accompanying your physical gift can make or break an entire campaign. No matter how great and personal a gift is, it won’t strike a chord if it’s accompanied by a generic message like “Book a time in my diary”. The message you send has to be as personal and relevant as the gift itself. Don't be afraid to be clever and creative in your approach. A general rule of thumb is to tie the physical gift in with your messaging. Something as simple as sending a package of beef jerky with the message “we’d love to meat you,” or a branded succulent with “we promise this demo won't succ,” might be enough to brighten up your recipient's day with a smile. Even if a cheeky pun doesn’t suit your company’s tone of voice, there is always a fun and fresh way to deliver a relevant and memorable gift experience that puts your call to action top of mind.

Wondering what you can send? Here are the Best Corporate Gifting Ideas for Q1

4. Time your follow-up

Ah, the art of the follow up. Direct mail marketing isn’t about hitting send and expecting the recipient to do the thing. Following up with the recipient as soon as you see that the direct mail piece has landed is just as important as the gift experience itself. Using a tool like Reachdesk to track when the gift has arrived allows you to follow up in real-time while your brand is fresh on the recipient’s mind which increases your chances of landing a meeting with them.

5. Start somewhere and test

Like most other marketing channels, you can take many different routes with your direct mail marketing. You can send a gift hamper to new customers to fuel customer retention, you can send a coffee voucher to prospects before sales calls to improve your show rates. You can send gifts for sharing like cookies or cupcakes or branded swag personalized to an individual recipient. Don’t let the wide range of options give you a sense of analysis paralysis. Our advice: Start somewhere, monitor performance and experiment. While you wait for your custom branded items to be procured, why not try out one of our Marketplace goodies like cookies or cupcakes on a different audience? That way, you can track how the different approaches performed against each other and start gathering data to support your measurements of success.

6. Gift high-use items or conversation starters

There’s a reason why that CMO at that SaaS company receives so many Yeti tumblers and mugs. It’s an item they might use every day with your company logo on it, creating brand recognition that’s worth every penny. Ever tried mushroom jerky or mushroom coffee? I bet your recipient hasn’t either. Gift items that are fun conversation starters and stay away from low-cost plastic pieces that your recipient may want to throw in the trash.

Want some gift ideas tailored to your ICP or next big direct mail campaign? Your Project Manager would love to help! Or you can check out our Q4 Corporate Gifting Guide.  

Nicole Barry Senior Project Manager @ Reachdesk

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