Follow Baker Goodchild’s ten step checklist to achieve direct mail success!


1) Define project objectives and audience

The first step is to decide on your key project baseline measures i.e. how many extra sales / donations you require from your campaign, what your budget is, your time scale and what you define as success. You then need to identify the key required outcomes from your direct mail campaign, which could be anything from generating new sales to membership recruitment.

2) Write the copy

Your copy needs to be clear, informative and exciting. It should have a punchy headline and captivating text so readers don’t get bored!

3) Define your offer

Including an offer or incentive can increase the success of your direct mail campaign. Examples of offers are the opportunity to donate (for non-profit), discounts and attractive payment terms such as interest free or free shipping.

4) Is your call to action clear?

Your call to action should tell customers what you want them to do. It must be precise, clear and easy to understand. Keep it simple, ask for the sale and create excitement, using phrases like ‘act now’ or ‘for a limited time only.’

5) Implement tracking

Use mailshot specific telephone numbers, landing pages, QR Codes and PURLs to track responses from your direct mail campaign. You can also measure its success using online software like Google Analytics, which track website stats, trends and spikes.

6) Embrace technology

Integrating your direct mail campaign with technology can help to boost its effectiveness. Explore technologies such as QR codes, augmented reality, USB web keys and NFC to take customers online and provide them with additional content.

7) Check quality of data

Make sure your data is up to date and relevant in order to comply with the Data Protection Act and avoid wasting money on non-interested / non-existent customers.

8) Personalisation

Personalising direct mail has been proven to improve response rates. Be sure to include the customer’s name in the letter message and on the outer envelope. You can also take it a step further by including personalised offers and recommendations based on their purchase history.

9) Define your print format

Consider the print format for your direct mail. We recommend using recycled paper (it’s cheaper and environmentally friendly), experimenting with shape and size to improve impact and incorporating textures to make your direct mail more interesting.

Make sure all of your direct mail is fully branded and keep it looking professional so it doesn’t get thrown out as junk mail.

10) Distribution

Last but not least, consider how the mailshot will be distributed. Do you plan to do it in-house or outsource it to a direct mail agency like us? Think about the time and week of distribution and check your direct mail is small enough to fit through all letterboxes.

We hope you’ve found this checklist useful. For help creating and distributing direct mail, get in touch with the Baker Goodchild team today.