The average adult knows and understands how junk mail clutters up our lives. It’s stuffed into our mailboxes, it’s strewn across our tables and counters waiting to be sorted, and half the time we wonder how these advertisers even got our names and addresses in the first place.

From an advertiser’s perspective, however, this ‘junk mail’ is a way of advertising a product to a target market, creating awareness about an online business, or an effort to make a website name more recognizable. These goals should be present in every business owner’s marketing plan!

Experts say that the volume of direct mail delivered through the US Postal Service totals OVER 1 billion pieces each year, which totals over $71 billion in advertising revenue spent each year. Those are staggering numbers and yet other experts say the ROI is only about 1%.

With those kinds of numbers, it’s vitally important to strategize every direct mail marketing campaign, including how on earth will YOUR direct mail piece be seen amid all the other junk.

Tips For Creative Direct Mail Pieces

1. Use different colored card stock. Plain white postcards with black type may be cost efficient but they are boring and will blend in with everyone else’s postcards. Be unique and choose a neon-colored card stock to catch the reader’s eye.

2. Reduce clutter. Limit just one message per direct mail piece. Adding too much information to a piece will make it look like a Yellow Pages ad. Readers will be ‘blinded’ from the clutter and toss the piece right into the trash.

3. Personalize each envelope. By handwriting the recipient’s name and address, using a real stamp and not putting a company name in the return address, each envelope will appear to be coming from a friend instead of a corporation. Adding these personal touches will make them open the envelope to be sure they’re not missing something important.

4. Send a dimensional package. A box or other three dimensional shipping package will definitely raise the recipient’s curiosity, prompting them to open it immediately for their free gift.

5. Print a creative teaser or call to action on the envelope. Telling the recipient they have a free gift or giving them clear instructions to open the envelope often encourages action. Creative copywriters can improve their open rates even more by adding their unique flair.

Direct Mail Is Not A One-Shot Deal

Keep in mind that people are generally not swayed to make a purchase after their first exposure to a campaign and this is true when using direct mail marketing or online marketing tactics. Often it takes upwards of 6 or 7 viewings before people make the choice to buy and this means creating multiple direct mail pieces, each being unique and compelling. And this means increasing your advertising budget.

Direct mail can be an effective marketing strategy, even for online business owners wanting to improve their brand recognition or venture into local marketing. For the best ROI, plan each campaign carefully with experts.