Your direct mail design needs to reflect your target audience so you can generate the best results. But who is your target audience, and how do you go about creating a targeted direct mail campaign?
Eye-catching colors and a well-crafted direct mail message are sure to generate results. Still, if you aren't reaching the right audience, your direct mail campaign will result in wasted money and a less-than-desired ROI.
Luckily, whether you're looking to reach an audience from your internal database or a brand-new audience, we have 5 steps to help you identify the right target audience and create the perfect targeted direct mail campaign.
What is Targeted Direct Mail?
Targeted direct mail is a marketing approach that sends specific, tailored messages to a chosen audience. This method revolves around understanding your existing successful customers' characteristics, behaviors, and needs and leveraging this insight to identify potential new leads with similar traits.
You can use multiple types of targeted mailing lists, including internal, compiled, and response lists. An internal mailing list leverages data from your resources, such as a CRM or Marketing Automation platform, while compiled lists are created based on publicly available demographic and location data. Response mailing lists consist of individuals who have shown specific behaviors or interests.
Targeted mailing lists give you extensive control over who sees your direct mail message. You can segment your audience based on various criteria, including age, income, geographic location, and purchasing habits. This allows you to be specific in your targeting, ensuring your direct mail pieces reach those most likely to respond positively.
Overall, targeted direct mail allows you to reach your ideal audience, delivering relevant content that resonates with their needs and interests. This personalized approach results in a higher response rate, better customer engagement, and improved return on your marketing investment.
How to Perfect Your Direct Mail Targeting
1. Define Your Direct Mail Campaign Goals
Your direct mail campaign should start with a well-defined set of goals. Consider what you're promoting, your desired outcomes (such as brand awareness or promoting a sale), and whether you aim to reach new or existing customers.
Whether you're a small business looking for its ideal target audience or a large franchise with a full-sized mailing program, you must outline your goals to reach the right audience before you begin your targeted direct mail campaign. Ask yourself a few questions: what product or service are you advertising? Is your goal to promote a new product or to build stronger brand awareness? Are you looking to target a new audience or certain existing customers or leads? Is your goal to drive traffic to your website or location?
Depending on what your goals are will help you determine the type of people and areas you should be targeting in your direct mail campaign. Defining your goals will also help you tailor your direct mail design and message to your target audience.
2. Analyze Your Best Customers
Understanding your successful customers is essential. Identify their common characteristics, behaviors, interests, and purchasing patterns. This will enable you to craft a 'customer persona' that will guide your direct mail targeting efforts.
Understanding your best customers' key demographics, such as if they are males aged 40-49, are woman business owners, or have pets, is a good start. These details can be determined by simply analyzing your internal database.
However, suppose you don't have specific information on file or want to take it further to gain higher response rates for your targeted direct mail campaign. In that case, you can use a solution like Look-Alike Analysis. This solution gives an in-depth look into who your most successful customers are, so you can understand who your ideal audience is. By identifying characteristics or experiences your customers have in common, including demographics, household size, buying habits, interests, and more, you can gain deeper insight into the type of people you should target.
No matter how you analyze your current customers, it's best to be as specific as possible, as it can save you time and money when compiling your targeted mailing list and lead to a higher ROI.
The more detailed information you know about your customers now, the easier your targeted list compilation process will be.
It's important to remember that prospective customers don't have to be anyone picked randomly from a community. You can target people who are just like your existing customers. The more information you get about your past and current customers, the better.
3. Decide on Your Target Audience
Based on your direct mail campaign goals and customer analysis, decide on your target audience. It could be people sharing similar traits with your best customers or a specific demographic living in a certain geographic location.
Some great resources that can help you understand how large your potential audience could be in a specific area include a direct mail list builder and acquisition tool, a Proximity Mailing list generator that allows you to choose individuals surrounding your ideal customer, or an EDDM mapping tool. These tools enable you to view details and options regarding your target audience within a given ZIP code or area.
These tools can also be helpful if your business is just starting out and you need more information about your customers. This is because they are affordable ways to reach targeted audiences. You can then begin collecting the customer data needed to perfect a targeted mailing list as you generate responses.
4. Choose a Mailing List Type and Compile Your Targeted Mailing List
Mailing lists are crucial to your campaign's success. Select from internal mailing lists (from your CRM or Marketing Automation platform), complied mailing lists (based on location and demographic targeting), or response mailing lists (based on specific interests or behaviors). Your choice depends on your budget and campaign goals. Overall, the three mailing list types in detail are:
Internal Mailing Lists: Creating a mailing list from your internal database has some advantages, including being free and the fact that you most likely have already had interactions with these individuals, meaning they are already aware of your brand. Plus, with your internal database, you can also use direct mail automation to set up triggers and automatically send direct mail to individuals based on specific events or actions. For example, if they haven't ordered in a while or if they visited a certain webpage.
Compiled Mailing Lists: Complied lists are ideal for location and demographic targeting and are cheaper than a response list. They're compiled by using publicly available information. For example, you can target consumers in a specific ZIP code who are married and have children. Or you could target businesses within a particular industry with a specific sales volume.
Response Mailing Lists: Response mailing lists include people with specific interests or behaviors. There are thousands of data points for you to reach a new audience interested in your company's offerings. For example, you can target individuals who bought a product from your competitor, those who enjoy dining out at a specific restaurant, or those searching for a new car.
As mentioned above, some business and consumer mailing lists, based on classifications like home value, age, or employee size, are public data that is either free or low cost. Other information can be slightly more expensive, like whether someone is interested in purchasing a boat or looking to buy their first home. However, depending on your goals, this type of targeting could generate the highest revenue.
Choosing the right target audience for your direct mail campaign will greatly impact your success. No matter who you are looking to target, you have options. And since you already know several identifying characteristics of your target customer, you can successfully seek out the help of a mailing list provider such as a manager, broker, or compiler.
5. Craft Your Direct Mail Piece to Reflect Your Target Audience
The final step to direct mail targeting is to design a compelling mail piece. This includes the visual design and a persuasive message that speaks directly to your target audience's needs and desires. You can also use A/B testing to fine-tune your messaging, strategy, and offer for maximum impact.
No matter whether your direct mail piece is a catalog, postcard, or brochure, your design needs to align with your target audience's needs and interests, be consistent with your brand, include eye-catching headlines and imagery, and have an irresistible call to action that your target audience can't refuse. You can even take a step further to personalize your message for each recipient. Thanks to Variable Data Printing, you can customize names, images, colors, and more to reflect each individual in your targeted mailing list.
For help with your targeted direct mail design, contact us today to take advantage of a free direct mail design template to ensure you have the right tools to create a mail piece that stands out in your target audience's mailboxes.
Conclusion: Perfecting Your Direct Mail Targeting
Targeting the right audience is critical to generating a high return on investment, and perfecting your targeted direct mail campaign is easy with our simple step-by-step guide.
In overview, to launch successful targeted direct mail campaigns, you need to:
- Define your direct mail campaign goals
- Analyze your best and most successful customers
- Decide who to target based on your goals and customer characteristics
- Choose a mailing list type and compile your mailing list
- Create a direct mail piece that reflects who your target audience is
Once you have completed these simple steps, it's time to launch your targeted direct mail campaign.
At Kingston Printing, we can help from finding the right audience and compiling your mailing list to printing and mailing your direct mail pieces to their destination. Our expert team is here to help you create the perfect targeted direct mail campaign.
We also have tools to help you quickly and easily compile a mailing list on your own, like our mail list ordering tool, where you can build, compile, order, and fine-tune your targeted audience. Or we offer other targeted direct mail solutions like Look-Alike Analysis, Propensity Mailing, and Proximity Mailing so you can easily print and mail your direct mail pieces to an audience most likely to take you up on your offer.
Whether you're looking to launch a targeted direct mail campaign based on consumer interests and behaviors or target an audience in a certain area within a specific demographic, we are here to help. To get started, check out our targeted direct mail services page or compile your mailing list by clicking below.
Compile Your Targeted Mailing List Today!