#DMGuru: Tips for packaging your Direct Mail campaign

Packaging may seem like the final step before sending out a direct mail campaign but it’s something that you should be thinking about right from the start. Why?

  • The packaging you choose will have a major impact on postage costs and your return on investment.
  • Packaging can be the big decider on whether a recipient opens your direct mail or chucks it straight in the bin.

Here are some tips from The Mailing People to help you get your packaging right and bring in the best possible results for your mail marketing campaign.

Budget needn’t mean boring

We’ve said this before but it’s amazing how many businesses forget about the effect of size and weight on postage rates. If you start by establishing your budget and look at the different postage rates that fit it, you can then focus your design team’s creativity on working within those parameters.

You can deliver original and effective direct mail for a tight budget, providing you work within the appropriate postage parameters.

It’s a wrap

There are so many different ways in which you can wrap and package your direct mail. Many people think it’s simply a choice between polywrapping or envelopes, but it doesn’t end there. Printing a name and address directly onto the direct mail, rather than enclosing it could work for you (and cut costs). A simple self-mailer also eliminates packaging and can be just the kind of short and to-the-point messaging that some campaigns require.

Then there are 3-D packaging options and flat pack to 3-D, as well as interactive packaging that can have the recipient sliding or unfolding card or paper to reveal an ingenious and memorable message. It may even create a model or figure for the recipient to keep on their desk or windowsill.

If you have a bigger budget you might want to consider design options that use die-cutting. Die-cutting is a great way to create unique one-piece self-mailers that create an impression and inspire a response.

And finally – remember the impact of colour and design when it comes to envelopes and polywrapping – there is so much that you can do with colour and creativity to transform conventional packaging.

Keep it fresh

Your campaign might comprise several mailings over a given time period. If that’s the case, look at ways of varying your packaging for each mailing. Using direct mail in this way can help you to tell a story, build audience buy-in and strengthen your message.

 Make sure that each piece of mail is consistent in re-iterating your message and strengthening your brand identity while using variation to build interest and customer engagement.

Direct mail ROI

As we said at the outset, successful direct mail campaigns can be judged by their return on investment (ROI) and that so often starts with packaging and postage. With that in mind, always make sure your designer starts on your campaign by having a chat with your mailing house. It could be that spending a bit more on your direct mail may improve ROI, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Know your facts and figures and you can create direct mail that matches your budget and creates a great return.

This is where talking to your mailing house counts. The best direct mail companies will not only give you the stats and figures on things like size, weight, postage and packaging but will also advise on suitability and ideas, depending on your business type and the nature of your campaign.

Packaging is one of the most important components of the formula for successful direct mailing. Get that right at the outset and you’re well on the way to brilliant direct mail marketing.