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Direct mail requires two important components to work together in order to get the best possible results.

The better those two components fit together, the better your results will be. Both are critical; both are equally important to your success.

These two important components are the mailing list and the creative or mailing piece. If either one is off it can make or break a marketing campaign.

Even the slightest changes in either of these components for better or worse can impact your ROI.

Like all great marketing, testing using sound principles and based on expertise is your quickest path to success.

Proper strategy can produce amazing results.

When the mailing list is on point and selected properly and the mailing piece evokes the correct emotional response with your prospect, then the magic happens and you create new customers.

Direct mail can also be used for reaching existing customers to make a new purchase or a repeat purchase, this is retention marketing.

The mailing list should be the accurate selection of an audience, whether it’s a saturation residential every door campaign or a highly targeted small or large group of qualified individuals.

The mail piece or creative can come in many shapes and sizes, it can have many components or tons of pages or it can be as simple as a postcard.

What goes into the mail piece creation will largely depend on what you are asking an individual to do. That is the beginning point in determining what the mail piece should look like and what the mail piece needs to say.

Mail piece creative is the combination of copywriting and design, both need to work together to communicate a proper message.

Most marketers that have tried direct mail and failed, failed because one of these variables were executed poorly.

There’s no substitute for experience.

Direct Mail is a very expensive media and because of the incredible amount of variables within list selections and mail piece creation, there is also a lot of room for error.

Many companies have tried and failed at direct mail because it is an expensive media, but doing it properly has its rewards.

Most companies large and small use direct mail as part of their acquisition and retention strategy, even the largest online companies such as Google and Facebook actively use direct mail.

There’s no better way to tell your story.

Seasoned marketers know that customers derived from targeted direct mail provide the best lifetime value and return on investment when compared to the other media channels.

The combination of acquisition and retention synergies gives it a unique strength that’s hard to beat.

Just make sure you do just a couple things right (lists and creative) and your likelihood of success increases substantially.