You’ve plotted and planned and finally committed to a killer direct mail campaign for 2015. But before you begin to execute on your copy, design, printing and mailing, there are a few important questions you can ask to maximize your direct mail budget and ensure every dollar is spent wisely.

Having worked on thousands of direct mail campaigns for clients at Ambit, we know how quickly a small error or oversight can derail a great print campaign. So ask these four questions before you begin executing your campaign to be sure that you’re doing it right.

How well do you know your market?

One of our steps to a great direct mail campaign is to create killer content that speaks to your target market. But therein lies the question: do you know your market well enough to do this? If you’re not sure, consider using a branding or creative agency to help do the market research and develop content that will speak to your target. A relatively small amount of money spent on this up front will pay big dividends in a successful campaign.

Does your creative resource deliver value?

There are plenty of options for developing the creative and design on your direct mail campaign. When it comes to graphic design and copywriting, many marketers veer towards the tried and true–people they’ve worked with before–or the least expensive option. But mail is a crowded space and direct mail a big investment; it’s important to ensure that the design and the copy you have stand out. Take a long, hard look at the creative resources you’re using and ensure they’re delivering value per dollar before proceeding with your direct mail campaign.

How good is your data?

Mailing list resources abound, but good data requires work on your end. Have you spent the time and money to acquire a targeted list for your campaign, and have you scrubbed the data and tested it? Sending out direct mail to bad contacts or the wrong target audience is an extremely expensive mistake, and your direct mail campaign is only as good as the data in it.

Is your design & mailing service efficient?

There is no worse sinking feeling than realizing you’re going to go over-budget on mailing costs because your direct mail piece is larger than USPS regulations or that you’re going to miss a big holiday deadline because you didn’t give yourself enough lead time. Make sure that the physical presentation of your mail will produce maximum impact, but also ensure the art complies with USPS regulations.

You’ll also want to review USPS regulations for your mailing list and make sure you’re in compliance. If you’re using a mailing service, do the research to ensure they’ll reach your target audience in a timely manner and at the time you want (especially important for holiday or other time-sensitive marketeing materials). Finally, some of those mail pieces certainly won’t reach their desired destination. What’s your plan for returns: do you want them, what action will you take with them?

Good planning prior to designing, printing and sending your direct mail campaign will ensure that your budget is spent well and your campaign is efficient and effective.

If you’re considering a direct mail campaign in 2015, we can help. We’re offering a free 30-minute consultation to go over the logistics around direct mail design and execution. Our experts can save you time and money by giving you guidance right off the bat. Contact us at to schedule your session today.

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