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5 Areas to Address for Direct Mail Optimization

So you think you’ve got the Direct Mail Optimization basics down?

Your direct mail is well targeted, has great messaging, and you’ve got a killer call to action. You’ve selected the right variables to personalize your message. Where could you possibly go from here? We have several ways to go about your direct mail optimization.

Consider the layout of your direct mail. By understanding how the recipient’s eye travels around the piece, you can ensure that you aren’t missing an opportunity to improve the impact of your message. This overlooked element of marketing is one that can reap great benefits if you master it.

Let’s look at something as simple as an envelope or postcard. Where do people’s eyes go first? Give someone you trust your direct mail and ask them to speak the first think they see on the page. Did they start where you expected them to? How can you use this knowledge to improve the impact of your piece? The five basic ways to go about starting direct mail optimization are listed below.

direct mail optimization calculator and speedometer gauge.



It sounds simple, but too many marketers mess this up. Get the recipient’s name right! Spell the person’s name wrong or use an outdated last name and you’ve handicapped yourself at the outset. Think about how many times you yourself have lost respect for someone who got your name wrong when there is no reason they should be getting your name wrong. You are one of those people when you send direct mail. You are immediately expected to know who your recipient is. It matters a great deal  to them if you miss typed Fincklestien instead of Finkelstein.


Where is the mail coming from? Recipients almost always look at this area of the envelope first. Do they recognize your business name? Are you a business they already have a relationship with? If you are a known brand, consider using colored text or adding a logo so the recipient recognizes you from a distance. All too often your contents of the envelope you sent out may be great, but if the recipient does not open the mail because of lack of interest, you wasted your time for nothing.


The outside of the envelope is the first place people are exposed to your message, so take advantage of it. Teaser copy can be preprinted or personalized much like the tip above, you have to entice them to opn your envelope..


Even the type of postage you use has an impact on your response rate. For example, people are more likely to open your mailing if they see a first-class stamp than if you send it by bulk mail. However, it’s important to balance postage type with volume, too. Depeding on your volume, pick and choose the postage that best suits your direct mailing strategy.


When the recipient takes in the mail, which side of the envelope will they will see first? There is no way to predict. So take advantage of the space. Include hints, teasers, and calls to action on the back side of the mailer, too.

If the recipient doesn’t open the envelope, they’ll never see that carefully crafted letter it contains. Studies show you have three seconds or less before the recipient keeps or trashes your mail piece and 30 seconds or less for them to make the decision to open it. Don’t let opportunity escape!

You can download the full One to One Marketing Tip #23 PDF HERE.