Direct Mail Marketing Beginner’s Guide, Part 8: Refining Your Message

By: Andrew Glover
August 11, 2020

There comes a time when your direct mail campaign needs to change its messaging. When we hear the same chord repeatedly played eventually, it starts sounding a little stale. The same goes for messaging. When your organization relies on one limited collection of messages, your members become tone-deaf toward what you are trying to say. For your direct mail messages to be memorable, you need to mix up your messaging. Marketers must employ a broad set of messages that are adaptable for the right moments and audiences while staying specific and authentic to their brand.  

Your organization should first focus on determining when it’s time to refine your message. After learning when it’s time to refine your messaging, you can take the necessary steps to adjust your direct mail to improve your responses. But also know that refining your content and messaging is always an ongoing process, and you should always look for ways to enhance your offers and calls to action. 

When Is It Time to Refine Your Message?

A decline in response rates is one of the key indicators that it’s time to refine your message. You should examine your direct mail pieces and the message itself. You need to determine why the response rate decreased before you start improving your message.

The continued success of your organization relies on your ability to give prospects and members what they need and want. A great way to do so is by sending member satisfaction surveys. These surveys will help you determine what areas of your messaging or service need improvements. 

In your surveys, ask members what they thought of your current mailers and messages. Dig into the details you find in the survey results for any useful information that can be analyzed as a trend or visualized with data analysis. Once you know what the problem is, you can start refining your message for your next campaign. 

How to Refine Your Message

When you’re ready to adjust your approach and messaging, incorporate small-batch testing or A/B testing methods. Testing in small batches allows you to see how a mailer performs before committing to a larger quantity. If the response rates aren’t high, you can stop and adjust the campaign and continue testing in smaller batches until you see the response you prefer. 

A/B testing is another great way for you to test which message performs better. You can create two different mailers and messages and send them out. Then, based on the performance, choose the better performing mailer for your broader audience. It’s always best for your organization to test the waters before committing to sending direct mail to your entire audience. You can save money by testing the waters first and then going with the best performing message. 

There Is Always Room to Improve

Don’t get too comfortable with your direct mail campaigns. There’s always room to improve and grow within your marketing goals. If prospects and members aren’t responding well to your offer, ask them why. Maybe the incentive isn’t great, and you can modify it for the next batch. Look at your call-to-action. Is it easy for your members to redeem the offer? Did you make it clear how you want the receiver to contact you? Whatever message you provide, make it clear for the reader. 

You can test the effectiveness of your message with an unbiased friend. Have them look at the mailer for a very short amount of time, around 5 seconds. Then have them answer two questions:

  • What is the product or service offered? 
  • What is the receiver supposed to do after receiving this direct mail?

Listen to their feedback and adjust your message to make it easy to understand and make sure the offer is compelling.

You should also evaluate your audience. You may send the wrong message to the incorrect audience. Focus on personalizing your content for your audience because your responses will be much better with this approach. You want to create a memorable experience for the reader because then you will see positive reactions to your campaign. 

Refine Your Message with Valtim 

Regardless of how far along you are in your direct mail campaign, the team at Valtim is here to help you personalize it and work out all the details. We provide a wide range of direct mail products and services, and we know how to target and track every piece of your marketing campaign. Contact Valtim today to get started refining your direct mail.

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