Part III, How to Target the Prospects on Your Mail List

In Part I and II you learned techniques to help you pull together and maintain the perfect mail list. The next step in the process is to design your direct mail piece in a way that will be effective to your target audience. Above all else, your goal is to connect with the people on your mail list in order to drive return. In order to achieve this, you must engage with them and catch their attention. That, of course, begins with design. Here are some tips to get you started.


Remind yourself who your target audience is: In Part I we discussed building your mail list with your current customer base and target market. The next step is to remind yourself who that base is so you can adequately connect with them through mail.


Do the Research: Now that you know who your intended audience is it’s time to do some research and find out what drives their business. Take the time to investigate who these people are. Do they have families, pets, what kind of cars do they drive? At the very least find out what demographic they are in and study their buying history. This is important if you are going to succeed at the next step.


Personalize the Mail: Have you considered Variable Data printing? Most likely the answer is yes because marketers realize that personalization in a mailbox full of generic flyers, catalogs, and direct mail pieces are one of the most effective forms of marketing. Studies show that personalization, especially among Millennials, is key to driving business.


A recent article published by explains: “Personalization works for three reasons. It makes customers, clients, and prospects feel valued, speaks to needs or dreams they have and kindles their imagination” (read more).  It is no wonder direct mail that incorporates personalization derives healthier response rates. Here are some ideas for personalization:


  • Personalized coupons
  • Personalized URLS
  • Personalized messages


Design the Perfect message: The question then becomes: after gathering the mail list, researching your target market, how do you incorporate the perfect message in your design? In addition to personalization, how do you design your piece so it will be impactful and engage them? Here are some ideas:


  • Create interactive mail (for example a fun fold)
  • Create mail for the senses (for example, use a special substrate)
  • Help them realize that you are the answer to a problem they didn’t even know they had.


Like most systems, your direct mail program will give back what you put into it. Sending out a mail piece with little design thought to a mail list of random people will yield a smaller return. However, by selecting a target audience, doing your research, and reaching out with a meaningful and personalized message that really connects with your audience and shows them what you have to offer, your return will be much larger. For more information about Documation and how we work with our customers to achieve their goals, feel free to contact us.

Documation LLC is a 20-year old commercial printing company with clients all over the Unites States and Canada. We specialize in large volume printing for associations, publishers, and agencies in the direct mail and one-to-one communication market as well. Our staff includes creative designers and list management experts, and our capabilities include print on demand, mailing solutions, high-speed production inkjet printing, and variable data printing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: