December 7, 2017

3 Common Direct Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Nilda Cerna, Marketing Manager at Romax Marketing & Distribution.

Direct Mail is here to stay. With the recent re-birth of printed communication, due to both, new print technologies and the ability of digital print to provide true personalised communication, the inclusion of direct mail in your overall campaign is a must.

As an experienced digital marketer you probably already send thousands of email marketing communications with great results, but, do you use the same knowledge when sending direct mail? You must of course, at Romax we advise our clients on how to avoid the following common and biggest mistakes and help you incorporate industry best practice, both, to increase the impact of the mail piece – and your ROI – aiming to reduce the cost associated with print and postage.

Mistake 1: Not targeting – Sending the same communication to everyone

You have different types of clients, therefore, you must send them communications that contain a specific incentive or added value content specifically for them. Adding an image that represents your target group, or shows them activities associated with their member status, or product which matches their preference. Not using segmentation to drive your marketing campaigns from your data reduces the chances of higher returns on your marketing spend.

Consider this – do charities ask for the same donation amount or do they consider the affluence of their donors when suggesting a donation would you ask the same donation from an apprentice as a company director?

As a marketer, you are already targeting every time that you send an email to a group that has certain characteristics such as demographics, previous purchase history, the average spent or another variable. In Direct Marketing you must do the same.

Sending a targetted communication helps to increase: the odds of response, sales and membership renewals and will improve your campaign ROI. Sometimes you just need to change the colour of your communication. Did you know that men prefer bright colours and women soft colours? Furthermore, men tolerate chromatic tones (black, white and shades of grey) more than women.*

direct mail direct marketing

Mistake 2: Not personalising your communication

Tailoring the communication to each target individual is a must, therefore personalising is essential. By not doing it, you are missing an excellent opportunity to influence your client or member in your direct marketing communication.

Not convinced? The evidence shows that 51% of people are less likely to open a piece of mail if it is addressed it to “the occupier.

But, exactly what does personalised direct marketing mean?

You can send the same message to the target group – example millennials – but the personalisation will include:

  • Their name
  • Include  details about their last purchase (or their likely next one if you use an algorithm to predict it)
  • Mention their nearest store according to their postcode
  • Adding a specific text for this client, for example, based on their gender or income
  • Making suggestions on purchases based on their previous purchase history
  • Including your client’s name in a picture!

The personalisation options are many and help you to both increases your brand’s recall and your campaign ROI.


Mistake 3: Not using Data Management services

We split this practice into two areas: Data Management and Data Profiling.

3.1 Data Management 

Did you know that in 2012 more than 2.3 million households moved and nearly half a million people died in England and Wales? Furthermore, in the same year, more than 100,000 new businesses were created. Your data will, therefore, become outdated and incorrect in a very short space of time, unless you constantly update and adhere to good data cleansing practice.

Moreover, In the UK more than 20 million items are mailed every month that are incorrectly addressed, costing an estimated £200M to £300M per year. How much of your communication is “returned to the sender” because of that?

How to avoid it? Using the cleansing services of a direct marketing company such as Romax Marketing, to remove the incorrect contact details and manage the return mail.

3.2 Profiling 

As a marketer, you have worked a lot on creating your client database perhaps using landing pages, online ads amongst other tactics, which is an excellent way to grow your business. But when you want to send them a targeted printed communication, you realise that you haven’t asked enough information to create a good database, probably holding just a name, email and address if they already bought you, and little more.

If you would know that your client is in the top salary range, would you send them Valentine’s weekend promotion in a bargain hotel or an exclusive resort?

Knowing that you can profile your database, to avoid this mistake, is an essential part of direct marketing.  The more information about your client that you have such as gender, age range, civil status, income range, the better your targeted printed communication will be and as a result, you’ll experience an increase in your average purchase value.

*Source: Gender and Colours infographic, KissMetrics, 3Bet Media.


Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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