5 Reasons People Are Trashing Your Auto Mailers4 min read

Have you ever spent a lot of money and time putting together a direct mail campaign, only to have it fall completely flat?  There are a lot of reasons some auto mailers are homeruns and others fail to perform altogether. One primary reason mail campaigns fail is that something about the piece practically begs recipients to trash the mailer immediately.

If you’re not getting the results you want from your direct mail campaigns, it’s likely you’re making one of these mistakes. Here are five ways you could be subconsciously asking for your direct mail pieces to be trashed:

1. It Looks Like Everyone Else

“Think about your audience and then consider how you can best attract them directly to your piece before it hits the bottom of the trashcan.”

A lot of auto mailers have taken on a recognizable appearance. You can almost always tell whether the contents of the next envelope in the stack are requesting you to open a new credit card or purchase another insurance policy. It’s the branding– the recognizable traits that tell you, “Hey! This is junk, throw it away!”

 

If there’s one thing you walk away with from this post, it should be this: if your mailer looks like every other mailer, you are asking your recipients to just toss it out unopened. Mix it up. Get creative. Mess around with oddball shapes and sizes, unusual colors and images. Think about your audience and then consider how you can best attract them directly to your piece before it hits the bottom of the trashcan.

2. Your Call to Action Is Unclear

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen a completely unorganized, user-unfriendly mail piece. All I can think when I see it is:  what a colossal waste of money. A good call to action is simple and tells the recipient how they can move forward.

 

If your mail piece isn’t ushering the reader in any direction, they won’t move, and you won’t get business. What’s even worse is when you do include a call-to-action, and it includes way too many steps. The consumer wants to be able to move instantly! If they see a five-step process, they’re more than likely going to toss out the mail piece and move on with their lives.

3. It Doesn’t Make Any Sense

 

We’ve all received junk mail and even after re-reading it, there’s still no telling what it’s trying to communicate.  If you’re looking for a nice ROI, you need to be clear and to-the-point. Don’t babble on about anything that doesn’t directly state what your intentions are.

4. It Looks Outdated

 

Ever enter a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated in twenty years—what does this usually make you think?  If you are using the same template, message, envelope, or anything else that you used 10 or 15 years ago, stop!  Immediately! Brainstorm internally on what your next ‘generation’ of direct marketing looks like – or find a trusted partner to engage with and hear from them what is working in the market today.

5. You’re Misfiring

 

Correct targeting is crucial in order to gain appropriate responses from your mail pieces. If you’re sending one standard mail piece to everyone, it needs to be general enough that everyone can relate to it. Even then, you’re probably going to miss the boat with some recipients. Do research and learn about the demographics in your mailing zones, and then draft your messages accordingly.

Do research and learn about the demographics in your mailing zones, and then draft your messages accordingly.

A message that connects with middle-aged recipients will more than likely fall short for younger crowds. On a similar note, you don’t want to waste your mail on households that won’t be likely to buy your product at all. In order to best target your recipients, know the demographics of your customers. You can then aim appropriately at those who fall in that corresponding demographic. Don’t misfire on your target; be intentional about who you’re talking to and how you talk to them.
There’s no doubt that getting people to respond to your mail is challenging. With all the other mail pieces competing for their audience’s attention, it’s more important than ever to stand out to the right people and provide them the message they’ve always wanted.


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