Direct Mail Marketing Made Simple: Start with a Goal

Hopefully you’ve noticed that we try to keep things simple with our blog posts. It’s not that we don’t like big words and impressive sounding phrases, it’s just that we don’t believe in making things more complicated than they need to be. We can keep direct mail marketing simple and still succeed. Establishing goals is a perfect example.


Every marketing campaign should have at least one goal. It is pretty simple to understand. But what we tend to do in modern business is complicate things with vague mission statements, equally vague KPIs, and tons of analytics that offer lots of numbers but don’t really say anything. Direct mail marketing doesn’t have to be that way.


Figure Out What You Want


Unfortunately, even something as simple as establishing a marketing goal can be unnecessarily complicated. Avoid the temptation to overthink it. Keep it simple. Figure out what it is you want to do. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish with direct mail marketing.


Imagine you’re Prince Charming. What do you most want the morning after the great ball? If you are thinking aspirin, fair enough. But after that, what you want most of all is to discover the identity of that lovely lady who ditched you at the stroke of midnight. That’s your goal. Now, how are you going to accomplish it?


You could:


  • See if the glass slipper fits any of your servants and, if not, give up and go watch a soccer game
  • Put a classified ad in the local Kingdom Times and hope she reads the paper
  • Wait for the next shooting star and make a very sincere wish that she comes back to your next epic party
  • Personally visit every house in the kingdom and ask every damsel to try the slipper on


If you are familiar with the Cinderella story, you know how it all works out. The point is this: the prince had a very clear goal. He kept it simple. And because he could clearly see what he wanted he could also figure out the best way to achieve it.

Lots of Potential Goals


The fascinating thing about direct mail marketing is its potential. It is not designed to achieve just one goal. There are lots of goals on the table. You just need to figure out what you want.


Imagine a brand-new medical practice on the west side of town. The doctor’s very first marketing goal is to let the entire town know that she recently opened her doors. She’ll run more targeted campaigns later on but, for now it’s all about volume. Direct mail marketing can maximize volume pretty cheaply.


A year from now, that same doctor will want to start encouraging patients to make time for their annual wellness visits. She already plans to send direct mail postcards – but not to every address in the city. Instead, she’ll focus on current patients.


Goals Provide Direction


If you haven’t figured it out yet, goals provide direction. Looked at from another perspective, you can’t go get what you want until you know what it is. That’s just basic achievement 101.


When it comes to direct mail marketing, the potential goals are numerous and varied. Embarking on a campaign without setting a clear goal often leads to trying to be all things to all people. It leads to a haphazard approach that would have Prince Charming running in multiple directions with no cohesiveness and without achieving anything meaningful.


Let’s keep direct mail marketing simple. Making it too complicated only makes tangible results more elusive. Meanwhile, Cinderella is waiting to be found.