Direct mail campaigns can boost response rates, immediately drive action, and generate larger purchases — when they’re run the right way.

As any marketer will attest, there are a lot of factors to consider when designing a direct mail campaign. On top of that, companies are often tempted to look ahead to the results, estimating engagement rates and ROI. While it’s crucial to have goals and benchmarks, don’t get too caught up in the big picture that you miss necessary details.

We’re used to discussing “the right way” to promote products and services, but it’s just as helpful to remember what not to do. So, let’s walk through five common mistakes that marketers make when crafting their direct mail campaigns.

Using impersonal copy

When you read a message, would you rather feel like you’re listening to a speaker address a packed room or like you’re having a one-on-one conversation?

In this day and age, personalization is integral to a successful direct mail campaign. If your copy feels impersonal, your readers will notice — and response rates will suffer.

Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to run a campaign that’s tailored to your audience. Tools like variable data printing (VDP) and automation enable a streamlined, hyper-targeted process.

Including too much jargon

Along the same lines, overly technical content will dissuade recipients from reading your mail piece. No matter the medium, readers don’t enjoy being inundated with jargon. Use layman’s terms when appropriate to keep it simple and engaging. For example, if you’re a health care provider sending out explanation of benefit statements (EOBs), you’ll lose your audience if your copy reads like a textbook.

Not tying facts to benefits

If your campaign lauds a particular event, product, or service, don’t forget to link that sentiment to your reader. The most effective copy is always written with the reader’s perspective in mind. They want to know what they’ll gain or how you’ll solve their problems. People learn from facts, but they’ll act based on the benefits you offer.

Forgetting about “free” language

The most powerful word in the English language is “free.” Yet, companies forget to include this secret weapon in their marketing materials. If you have something you can offer for free, use it to increase engagement. For instance, health care providers could offer free informational webinars about their telehealth capabilities or consultations about a particular service.

Shunning analytics and testing

Back in 2017, The Economist boldly proclaimed that data — not oil — had become the world’s most valuable resource. If you aren’t leveraging data in your direct mail campaigns, you’re missing out on prime opportunities to increase response rates and sales.

Want real-time transparency?

Our proprietary technology, CompliChain, helps companies create and manage ongoing projects while delivering real-time transparency into where your print and mail are throughout the process. It’s a seamless experience that’s helped our clients track and deliver millions of pieces of mail within their respective SLA windows.


If you’re ready to leverage analytics in your next campaign, Sepire can help.