Three Reasons Why Your Mailer Failed

‐ October 15, 2021

There are only three reasons why a direct mail piece fails to pull a response for your business:

  1. The piece was mailed to the incorrect prospect for the product or service. (i.e. you have an old, bad, or incorrectly targeted mailing list.)
  2. The piece that was mailed did not communicate to the reader.
  3. No follow-up or consistency of mailing.

Unlike with other methods of advertising your small business where the problems and reasons why it failed are clouded, direct mail marketing is the opposite…the fix is always simple. All three of the above reasons are within your power to handle and fix.

Direct mail is the only form of advertising that does reach 100% of the time your best prospective new customer. So if the mailing list that you’re using is good, you can rule that out and the next thing to check is the design and message of your mailer. We know that the United States Post Office delivers the mail, every day. We know that people get their mail from their mailboxes and go through their mail. What happens or doesn’t happen after they get the mailer is a failure in communicating.

The following is a checklist for debugging the failure to communicate in a direct mail piece:

  1. Did you try to advertise more than one service or product? Loading a direct mail piece or any other form of advertising with more than one product or service can cause confusion for the reader. People have short attention spans nowadays and will not read a lot of copy.
  2. Did your mailer have too much copy? You have to have photos and graphics to break up the copy. No one wants to read a textbook.
  3. Did you promote the benefits of owning the product or having the service?
  4. Did you have a headline that stated the benefit of the product or service?
  5. Did you give the reader a reason to buy? A special offer? Something to get them to respond now? Whatever it is, it has to have a perceived value.
  6. Was the special offer a good value based on what your competitors are offering?
  7. Did you give them a way to respond that is obvious? The phone number needs to be in a large bold font, that is easy to find and see. Is the email or website easy to find?
  8. Did you ask them to respond and give them an expiration date for the offer you presented in the piece?
  9. Did you avoid using industry terms that a normal person would not know the meaning of?
  10. Was the piece easy to read?
  11. Could you look at it and in 2 seconds know what it is about?

Direct mail marketing is easy. The failure to communicate is a big reason you did not get a response.

You could also have gotten a huge response and simply did not know it. You might be thinking, “Wait! That does not make any sense. How could I have not known I got a response?”

Today people will respond to your advertising in one of three ways:

  • They will call
  • They will walk into your store.
  • They will go to your website and check you and your company out.

In fact, 98% of people who are interested in your offer will go to your website long before they call or buy something from you. If your website is old or not designed to convert leads you are losing business. Having a well-designed website is vital to your business’s success today.

We offer free website analysis and can give you tips that you can use to make your website better and convert more leads. For more information, click here.

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