How to develop the best direct mail offer

Credit: Pixabay by manfredrichter

Marketers know the offer you choose to send is extremely important. Sending the right direct mail offer to the right person drives direct mail ROI. When you start planning your direct mail offer, your design and target list should correspond to it. When there is a mismatch between them, your ROI is significantly reduced.

To create the best offers you need to first identify what type of offer you need.

  • Lead – get people to show interest. Usually, the offer is for something free.
  • Order – get people to buy. Usually, the offer is to buy something now.
  • Subscription – get people to buy long term. Usually, the offer is to buy something monthly.
  • Traffic – get people to go to your website, store or event. Usually, the offer is a discount.
  • Fundraising – get people to make a donation. May times a premium free gift is the offer.

Your offer needs to be clear and easily understood. Keep in mind that in general the higher the price the lower your response rate will be. However, a lower response rate with high price purchases may be just want you need. Quality over quantity is the goal. After all, ROI is more important that response rate.

We recommend you start with your offer creation first, then your audience selection and finally your creative design. The reason for this is to make sure that your list is targeted to the right people for your offer. This is also true for your design. You want it coordinated with your offer and appealing to your target audience.

Let’s look at a common lead offer is a white paper to qualify your leads for better ROI. You will want to get them to give you information or schedule a call in exchange for the paper. Since you are asking a lot of them you can give them a gift card in addition to the white paper once the call takes place. This builds rapport and commitment on both sides.

Now at a common order offer of buy one get one free. In many cases the first order may represent breaking even or a slight loss. Your marketing goal is really to establish repeat business. You’ve already invested in marketing so if the customer experience is good, you should get repeat orders over time.

A common traffic offer is a 40% discount for a specific time period. You are trying to get people to your store during your event. The better the discount the more traffic you will have. The point is to sell as much as you can during the event, so the more people that come the better.

Fundraising is a little different, in that your offer may just be the good feelings one gets when making a donation. Some nonprofits do offer a premium gift for a specific sized donation in hope of getting more people to a higher donation amount.

No matter what your offer is, you need to make sure it is appealing to the right people. It can take time to develop a great offer. One of the benefits of direct mail is the ability to test different offers at the same time. Tracking which offer worked best leads you to better and better offers on future campaigns. Remember the better the offer the better your ROI. Are you ready to get started?