The 40-40-20 Rule is commonly cited as a great formula to follow for success with Direct Mail Marketing.


The rule states that 40% of your success will derive from the effectiveness of your mailing list, while 40% comes from the strength of your product, and 20% occurs as a result of your design, delivery, and copy. Many marketing experts agree that is a relatively accurate formula and that your marketing efforts should therefore be divided with these proportions. Below, we offer some tips for how you boost your marketing success in each of these areas.

1. How to Boost the Effectiveness of Your Mailing List

An effective mailing list will be filled with prospects who read and respond to your mailers on a regular basis. A huge mailing list with a poor response rate is akin to throwing money down the drain. The average response rate for direct mail marketing campaigns is about 5%. If yours is lower than this, the first thing to look at will be mailing list itself. What mechanisms are you using to encourage people to sign up to your direct mailing list? If you’re signing people up without their permission, this is a breach of marketing regulations and unlikely to result in a great response rate, or a positive impression of your company. If you’re using a one-time incentive to sign people up, consider whether people are only signing up for the incentive only, and whether entrants are aware they’re also registering for further communications from your brand. A better strategy is to use the content of the mail itself as an incentive for people to sign up. This might not get you as many new subscribers, but you’re more likely to build a cost-effective list of people who are looking forward to receiving your communications.

2. How to Boost the Strength of Your Core Product

No-one is crying out for more marketing material to fall through their mail boxes, so you need to ensure that the offers contained within your marketing materials are too good to be missed out on. Examples of these offers should be displayed next to all areas where you’re encouraging sign-ups. Try to play to the desires of your target audience. By completing some market research, it’s easy enough to discover what type of offers will appeal most to your most loyal customers.

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3. How to Create Eye-Catching Direct Mail Designs

People don’t have time to read through every word of your marketing copy, no matter whether they actively subscribed to it or not. You need to create designs and copy that jumps off the page towards your reader and makes them pay attention immediately. Eye-catching headlines, consistent branding, intelligent use of imagery will all help. This is an art that takes years to perfect, so you’re best off leaving this job to the professionals. Get in touch with Immedia Direct Marketing to see how our team can help you create effective mailing lists with beautiful marketing material and eye-catching calls to action, all aimed at bringing you more business and increased success.

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