Design – A Crucial Factor in Direct Mail

Direct mail, Our Services, Postcard Mailings

Design – A Crucial Factor in Direct Mail

In order to ensure best results and eradicate wasting time/money it is essential that your design brief is as comprehensive as possible and that all essential information is available from the start. This will give the designer a crucial point of reference.

Think carefully about what you are hoping to achieve from your Direct Mail Postcard or other advertising material.

For example, do you want to :

  • Generate sales?
  • Encourage enquiries?
  • Gain newsletter subscribers?
  • Obtain information from your audience?
  • Encourage them to tell a friend

A thorough design brief is a critical part of the design process. It helps develop understanding between the client and designer – and serves as an essential point of reference for both parties.

Above all, the design brief ensures that important design issues are considered and questioned before we start.

Target Audience
Think about your primary, secondary and tertiary audiences. Are you are looking to consolidate your existing client-base or appeal to new markets. This is especially important when asking us to provide fresh data for you.

Social Networks
Are Social Networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +, important to your present and future marketing? We can integrate links via QR codes on your direct mail postcards in order that the receiver can scan the card and be taken to your website landing page. We can also design this for you.

Obviously the more bespoke your design the higher the cost for design work but a good solid design brief with all information provided should be in the region of £40 – £60. It is a mistake to skimp on design and a false economy. When a full brief with all information is provided we will be able to give an estimate of cost.

With 30 years’ experience we have a pretty good idea of a good card design and a bad one. Ask us for samples of our high performance cards. It’s not just about images and information. Keeping the text content as short as possible – succinct and to the point and clear with the relevant images and links is vital. Avoid copying and pasting from existing advertising literature. This mostly results in a direct mail card which does not stand out and text/layout etc. and can look unprofessional at best. Your direct mail postcard should pack a punch as these DIRECT MAIL TROOPS should do.

Whilst you should write in clear, concise way – there is no reason why you cannot use emotive language to emphasise exactly what you are trying to
Make sure to include samples of your company’s current marketing materials or links. If there is a design style that you particularly like or dislike – then explain why in the brief. If you’re not entirely sure why you like a certain design style, then good starting points include:

  • Colour
  • Imagery
  • Quantity and quality of text
  • Typography
  • The atmosphere that particular designs create

The more clues you give about your design tastes, the more likely we will be able to produce something close to your aims.

Write a full brief
A thorough design brief is a critical part of the design process. It helps develop and understanding between the client and designer – and serves as an essential point of reference for both parties. Call us on 01202 300000 or 07796876898 or email to find out more.

Data Health Checks

Direct mail, Our Services

Data Health Checks

Data Cleansing is an important key issue, not only in avoiding the industry term ‘junk mail’ but in supporting the direct marketing industry achieve its environmental targets; suppression costs should not be seen as an additional direct mail expense, but a very cost-effective process.

The benefits of having an up-to-date, accurate mailing database are clear – costs are reduced, return on investment is increased, and customer relationships are maximised.

Correcting entries within a mailing list, or removing / suppressing incorrect entries is a relatively straightforward process.

Many suppression files are available, including MPS, NCOA, GAS and the Bereavement Register.

  • Every day in the UK 1,600 people die and 18,000 people move house
  • 37% of an average sized business database will decay every year
  • 1.2m addresses change on the postcode file each year
  • A business moves premises every 6 minutes
  • The DMA believes that over £95m is wasted annually as a result of mailing deceased individuals
  • It is estimated that more than £180m is lost every year as a result of using out of date business data
  • 47% of consumers are put off from responding to offers that interest them if their name and / or address details are incorrect

CLICK HERE to send us your data for a FREE health check today.
In order to keep your advertising and marketing costs under control we will screen your data at no charge to you.

Clean data is important to ensure deliverability and saves unnecessary print, postage costs and waste.

Take a complimentary DATA AUDIT to see if your data is up to date BEFORE you use it for your direct mail or email campaign. Completely secure.

Don’t waste money on undeliverable mail. With access to all UK updating and suppression files we can have your data cleaned within 48 hours during working days.

3 Mistakes to Avoid for Successful Direct Mail

Direct mail, Postcard Mailings

3 Mistakes to Avoid for Successful Direct Mail

There are 3 key factors that can ultimately render a beautiful mailing campaign useless – in this post we go through each of them – and offer a solution.

To be clear, I am not saying that these areas of work are the only ones that can affect the level of sales you could experience when advertising, but what I am saying is that these areas can have a huge impact and yet are sometimes not seen as the cause of poor sales.  Of course, there are many other factors, but these are as good a place as any to start if you think you should be doing better than you are.

1:  The landing page.
To be clear, the landing page on a website is the page that is specially constructed to receive visitors who have seen a particular direct mail campaign.

The problem is that sometimes the landing page is just a page packed with products and details – but not the right product and detail.  And worse, it can require the reader to click to move on from one page to the next. The landing page should be the only page the reader needs to go to before moving on to placing an order.

What we are often told is that it can take a long time and a lot of work to change a landing page.  But even here there are ways around the problem – and these must be found.

The landing page should be a natural continuation of information and reasons to buy.  If you can’t do this you need to make the direct mail shot the selling mechanism and leave the web page as simply a way to order on-line.

2:  The message
Direct Mail that just announces that this product is available with a little extra information (such as the fact that there is a discount that the company has been in business for 10 years, that you are very friendly and the like) don’t work.

You must establish that you are different from everyone else in ways that mean something to the reader.  Being the same doesn’t work.

In short you must answer the two key questions that dominate all sales:

  • Why should I buy this?
  • Why should I buy this from you?

By way of example, take Coastal Media Solutions.  We advertise on the basis that our services allow you to sell things.  Buy from us, rather than our rivals, because we will get you more sales.

How we get you more sales is not always described, but the reasons are there.  I have been working in Direct Mail advertising for more than a couple of decades and I know how to write good copy and select the best possible image and strap lines.

If you can’t find an immediate answer to “why should I buy this from you?” which is not about being friendly or cheaper, there are still ways forward.  Call me on 01202 300000 or email with a recent advert and I will explain how it is done and how to improve. No charge. No obligation.

3:  Know your competition
You have to know what the opposition is up to, in order to ensure that in your advertising you are doing something that differentiates you from them.

Now the most common response to this point is to cut prices – but generally that is the most disastrous approach.  What you need is a different way of writing and a different way of selling. Coastal Marketing just happens to be the most cost effective provider simply because all my work is carried out on line and the overheads are negligible. I pass on my bulk discount rates to my clients.

This, of course, can be difficult if your focus is on your product or service (as it most likely is), but it can be done – most readily by an outsider who looks at your market afresh.

The solution
Talk to me first about what you need to achieve and I will be able to guide and help you to achieve your goals.

Five Essential Tips for Direct Mail Postcards

Direct mail, Postcard Mailings

Five Essential Tips for Direct Mail Postcards

1. Put a Benefit in the Headline – Pack a Punch!
A great headline is the key to success in any form of direct response marketing. Over 50% of people will only read your headline and nothing else, so you had better make those few words count.

Most people know that the headline should be big, bold, and easy to read and make an impact, but people often forget that the headline needs to communicate a benefit of their product or service. Far too many amateur marketers waste their only communication with a potential customer on a catchy slogan or even worse, their company name. Let our experienced designers design your card.

When you write your headline, ask yourself, what can I do to get my customers/prospects to read the offer on my postcard. It should be obvious that “Valuable Coupons” or “Save 50% Off Your Dry Cleaning” will generate more reader interest than “More Savings, More Deals” or “John’s Dry Cleaning”. The former examples offer specific benefits to the reader; the latter two examples do not.

Thumbs Up2. Use Great Images and a Clear and Powerful Call to Action and dont forget to add a QR code to take your prospects to the specific landing page on your website.
When the average person checks their mail, they are most certainly more likely to pay attention to it if the image is aesthetically pleasing. Postcards score against mail in envelopes because they are already opened. So make the most of that advantage. If the postcard is of interest and has a great image it is very likely that the card will be kept!

Make use of our expert designers.

3. Include a Code or Discount Card with the Offer and a QR code.
Having an offer or code on your postcard serves two purposes. First, it gives your prospect a reason to take you up on your offer, especially if the offer is perceived as valuable and there is a sense of urgency e.g. it expires in a few days or the offer is limited to the first 50 customers. The second, less obvious benefit is that it allows you to track and test your direct mail campaign. The QR code will enhance the campain by leading the recipient to a landing page on your website to encourage more actions. The cut out discount card will ensure the recipient has something of value.

One of the revolutionary aspects of online marketing is that it’s easy to track every click and see exactly how customers respond to different ads. This is obviously more difficult with direct mailing advertising where you don’t always know where a customer discovered your business, but with offer codes you can track your customer responses to help optimise future marketing campaigns.

4. Split Test Your Campaign.
Instead of just designing a direct mail postcard, writing the copy, and sending out the same information over and over again, you should be continually split testing different elements of your campaign. Try sending two of the same postcards with different headlines, or send two postcards with the same copy but with different colours or shapes. Use coupons to help gauge the response rate of the different postcard designs. We also provide highly targeted B2B and B2C lists and it is a good idea to test different demographics for results. By continuously split testing elements of your design and data, you’ll eventually have a postcard that’s been proven to convert. If using your own data we can run a free data health check to ensure you are protecting your brand integrity and not wasting money.

5. Include a Picture of a Person Looking at the Reader.
Studies have proven time and time again that having a photo of a person looking directly at the reader builds trust and grabs attention.

The human mind is wired to look back at someone that’s looking directly at them, and it’s also wired to scan faces to build rapport. (Hopefully the person you choose looks friendly and trustworthy!). If your current design is just a wall of text, try incorporating a smiling, head-on photo of someone in your company (perhaps yourself?) and you should see your response rates improve.

Postcard Design – Essential Ingredients

Postcard Mailings

Postcard Design – Essential Ingredients

The idea of designing a postcard for your next direct mail campaign may seem easy, but you’d be surprised how much work goes into a truly successful campaign. Below is a list of the essential ingredients we need to get things started. We can help you at every step of the way, but the more detail you give us, the better the end result will be!

Front of card
Main Image – We can send you a link to the image library if you do not have your own.
Strap line – This is your call to attention
Contact details – Telepnone number and website address.

Back of card
Content of text – We can help you with this
QR Code – We create artwork to direct potential customers to your website page
Contact details – Telephone numbers and website address.

The all-important… data!
Your data or ours for address mailmerge – ask about our Free Data Cleanse Report

Email Appending – Bring you data back to life

Direct mail, Our Services, Postcard Mailings

Postcard Design – Essential Ingredients

Email Appending

Appending e-mail addresses or mobile numbers to your customer records is an effective way of enhancing your marketing database, opening up new channels of communication with your customers. Not only can this improved communication promote loyalty and retention, but mobile appending and email appending are also proven to deliver cost savings and better ROI when compared to traditional direct mail.

Benefits of email appending include:

  • Cost effective form of communication
  • Remain front of mind with your customers
  • Reach more new prospects
  • Save money on postage and print for regular mailings
  • Communicate immediately with timely offers or alerts
  • Begin to integrate online and offline campaigns

With the UK’s highest multi-channel volumes and match rates, communicate better whilst cutting costs. The database contains 45 million consumer records for data appending.

Call 01202 300 300
Or email for a Free Quote.

Or if you already have an email address but no postal address or phone number, we can reverse the data appending process, matching your list back to our database to fill in the gaps.

Premium Data Lists


Premium Data Lists

We are pleased to announce that here at Coastal Direct Marketing, we can source the data lists you need for your direct marketing campaigns. We work with only the best in the data industry to ensure you will receive accurate data that’s regularly updated by a team of UK based telephone researchers.

* Target the right customers for your marketing campaign
* Targeted Business and Consumer Lists – regularly updated
* Easy access to the UK business and consumer universe at affordable prices
* Specialist lists available ie New Movers for both business and consumers lists

Coastal Direct Marketing are able to source databases across any industry sector. We can also profile your requirements on locations across the UK and size of businesses in terms of employee numbers and turnover. Each record supplied comes with the company name, mailing address, telephone number, contact name job title, email address, number of employees and industry description.

For your peace of mind, the databases we source include a 100% guarantee. This means that if you were to receive any incorrect records, then we will be able to replace them for you free of charge or provide a refund for those records. We are also able to supply some samples from any databases of interest free of charge, so you can see what you would be getting before you commit to an order.

If you looking to launch a direct marketing campaign but you don’t have the data required, then we can help today by supplying you with legally compliant contact information which has the required opt-ins under current legislation.

For more information or to request some samples, please email Suzanne Langley or call us on 01202 300000 or 07796 876 898. We look forward to hearing from you.

Direct Mail Postcards

Direct mail

Direct Mail Postcards

Direct MailAt the heart of our business is a long history of successful direct mailing campaigns using postcards – clear, accurate messages delivered to the hands and eyes of your next customers.

A lot goes in to the creation of an effective campaign and we have learnt through over 30 years in the business.

  • Design
  • Print
  • Data Mailmerge
  • Variable data for personalisation
  • Discounted postage
  • Templates supplied on request
  • Bespoke service to maximise return on investment
  • Data provided for all industries
  • Dedicated account manager for your campaign
  • We do not offer a load up portal as these portals limit the design and continuity of your corporate identity. Which results in a decrease in return on your valuable marketing budget and objectives and creativity.

    Email for more information and a comprehensive price or call 01202 300000 or 0779 6876898 to discuss your precise requirements.