Why Does Mail Fail?

Whether part of a Customer Relationship Management approach or a solo direct mail solicitation, there are many factors that go into a successful direct marketing campaign: product, list, offer, creative, timing, brand, back-end support, fulfillment, and of course testing and more testing.  However all too often, mail fails -- or succeeds despite itself -- because marketers neglect the basic best practices:
  • List: Reach out to someone who would be interested in your product or service, at that person's address, using that person's accurate name. 
  • Offer: The offer includes your product and a potential action motivator. The motivator may be a free item, entry in a contest, discounted shipping, or discount if the customer responds in a short-time frame. Whatever the offer, it should be relevant or the targeted list and complement the product.
  • Creative: The layout, design, and copy should be appropriate for list, product, and offer. The design should get the message across in the least amount of time at the lowest cost within postal standards. 
  • Timing: Mail & e-mail should arrive at home at a time that is relevant to the customer.
These basic principals apply whether you are sending e-mail or physical mail.

Using real examples, I will show examples of mail & e-mail that neglected the basics.

If you have an example of failed mail or e-mail to share, please e-mail a scanned image to mailthatfailstoday@gmail.com. Be sure to remove or block any personal identifiable information.

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