How to Avoid Alienating Your Direct Mail Recipients

By: Andrew Glover
February 21, 2020

Direct mail captures attention, but what do you do with that attention? Countless things can go wrong with a direct mail campaign. Poorly planned or delivered direct marketing tactics can offend potential and existing members. Before you plan your next campaign, see that you are not making any mistakes that can not only cost you money but also result in alienating your direct mail recipients. Believe it or not, bad direct mail is incredibly common. Let’s look at a few tips to help you avoid alienating members during your next campaign.

Tips to Avoid Alienating Members

You want to personalize your mailers as much as possible, but you also want to avoid crossing any lines. Showing yourself in a negative light creates an adverse reaction from some people. Here are a few factors you should avoid during your next marketing campaign.

Sending to the Wrong Address

Several things can go wrong with your data. You may have old, outdated information and choose the wrong people to get the wrong offer. This can cause problems with personalization and have you sending mail to people who are no longer interested, who never were interested, or who are no longer at that address. Shipping to the wrong address is a wasted opportunity for your direct mail goals. Reviewing your data before each campaign ensures you have the most up-to-date information, including your members’ addresses.

Using Heavy Political or Divisive Language

Your members may share similar goals surrounding your organization and its mission, but you should never assume a person’s political affiliation. You risk alienating specific members when you assume their political affiliation. Instead of discussing politics or using divisive language, focus on your mission and your current call to action. Then you can avoid alienating people who may support a different political party than your general membership. You want your membership base to focus on your mission instead of building a political divide.

Using Potentially Offensive Language

Too many words or the wrong words can result in your mailer tossed in the trash. Avoid using potentially offensive language. To many people, swearing is a moral concern. In direct mail, swearing isn’t appropriate or effective. Swearing is taboo, and it’s best to avoid swearing in direct mail because you don’t want to risk offending anyone. The power of words and the boundaries of your brand are essential to remember during each direct mail project. Having others proofreader your mailer before sending them out is an excellent way of ensuring nothing printed comes off as offensive.

Plan Accordingly

The provided tips are not a complete list of how you can alienate a recipient with direct mail, but it gives you a comprehensive look at several areas where things commonly go wrong. Sometimes, knowing what not to do is the best place to be when starting to plan a direct mail campaign. Quote often, the best way to stop mistakes is to allow enough time for the creative and production processes. It’s also a good idea to have someone from outside your organization look over your final concept to make sure that person understands your offer and that it’s appealing.

Beneficial Personalization Techniques

People tend to respond positively to their name, birthday, and other personal information. Using variable data printing, you can print your direct mail pieces, so they are personalized to your members. You can include your member’s name, birthday, or anniversary. You can change pictures or graphics based on a member’s age or demographics. If you have the data, almost anything is possible with personalization. Just remember to avoid negatively alienating members.

Valtim Can Help You Avoid Alienating Members

Using a professional for your next direct mail campaign is an excellent way to ensure you don’t alienate any prospects or members. Valtim can help you make the right decisions for your organization and its call to action. We can look over your project every step of the way and make sure your message won’t offend anyone. With adequate project building and proofreading, you can avoid alienating recipients in your next direct mail campaign.

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