What makes a great mailing?

Uncategorized | December 20, 2018

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During the course of the year I have the pleasure of working on a large number of mailing projects.  These mailings are spread across the whole spectrum of companies, from sole traders through to multi-national conglomerates.  Whilst the ultimate end game for each mailing is different, the components are all, at a high level, similar or the same as each and every mailing consists of:

  • Something that is mailed, the “Mailing Pack”
  • Someone that it is mailed to, the “Recipient”

When I’m asked by people about what makes a mailing successful mailing, I always refer back to the 40:40:20 rule.  It’s a simple rule that I feel should be used by all marketers to help them decide where to focus their efforts when defining a Marketing project.  The rule defines that:

  • 20% of the success comes from the creative execution of the project – Artwork
  • 40% of the success will be derived from the offer that you make – Content
  • 40% of the success is down to the people that you target – Data

I always start with the data aspect, maybe that’s because of my analytical mind, so my first question is often who are you targeting?  In essence I want to know if the recipient of the mailing is known to you or not, as this is probably the starting point in making sure your mailing is a success.  

For those that are known, you should be looking to target effectively making the mailing personal to them.  Whereas if you are mailing to people who are unknown to you, you should be working off a profile that has been created from your knowledge of your customer base.

In essence with data, either spend time personalising your mailing to each individual through data driven changes or spend time understanding who your customers are and use that profile to target new ones.

For content you should always focus on the benefits that the individual you are targeting will get from purchasing the product or service that you are marketing to them.  The offer should be all about them and could easily change from recipient to recipient making your offer applicable to everybody you mail.  

Your offer doesn’t have to be monetary or a discount, it could be free knowledge or assessment of a particular situation that might give you the ability to target people better in the future.

Remember an offer can be anything that gives the recipient added value, it isn’t restricted to ‘Price Discounts’, there’s a whole myriad of ways you can benefit.  This often depends on whether you are playing a long game or a short one!

Creative execution, well that’s a tricky one, because design is subjective and that means that no matter what you do or how long you spend on it you will never come up with a medium, layout or set of imagery that hits the button with all of your targets.

There are some aspects of your mailing that you can put a bit of forethought into though, will it be a postcard, letter, self mailer or even a brochure or give away?  There’s an incredible selection of options, with some being better for highly visual requirements, others for communicating large amounts of information.

Ultimately, the question you should be asking yourself is how will I make sure my recipient reads/digests what I’m sending to them.

Obviously there’s a lot more to making a mailing successful than this, more information will be available through future blogs and research.  If you have any questions, get in touch with the team.

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