Identifying Target Audiences for Direct Mail Campaigns

Have you done anything with direct mail and gotten flat or poor results? If so, there is a good chance that the audience targeting wasn’t the best for the campaign.

One of the most important parts of every direct mail campaign is ensuring that you are targeting the most relevant audience possible. What you typically see are companies simply targeting geographic areas without going into more detail about the makeup of the household, presence of children, ages of the household members, household income, home value, interests, etc. are all relevant when identifying your target audience.

By doing this you’re able to generate a more compelling message and personalize the direct mail to some degree that will enhance your results.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can narrow down your target audience and deliver a specific direct mail campaign that gets them to take action.

Define Your Target Direct Mail Audience Using Demographic Data

There are a large number of options you have available to you which allow you to refine a targeted audience for your direct mail campaigns. Here are three of the easiest ways to narrow down that audience – Geographic Target Data, Demographic Targeting Data and Psychographic Target Data.

  • Geographic Targeting – Geographic segmentation uses the location of your prospects. This is very important for businesses that target only specific areas. This could be a radius around your business, specific zip codes you service or an entire city, but having that specific information is critical for your campaign. It will make the direct mail more effective and more affordable.
  • Demographic Targeting – The graphic thing about demographics is that they give you the ability to narrow your target audience to the most effective level. This is where you are able to segment target recipients by Age, Sex, Race / Nationality, Income, Presence of Children, Marital Status, Household Income, and more.
  • Psychographic Targeting – The most common type of psychographic targeting is using interests. Interests can be explicitly targeted in some cases while others are implicit and can be addressed in the messaging while targeting it’s explicit counterpart. Other types of targeting psychographics include their lifestyle, opinions, attitudes, beliefs and personalities. Each of these has their own unique way of being targeted and some of that targeting will need to come from the messaging.

While you have all of these options for targeting, how do you identify who to target?

The simple answer is that we can’t really answer that for you.

What we can tell you is that depending on what your product is there is a lot of research out there to help best refine who you are targeting and why.

For example, if you are selling a product that has been developed for parents with children between the ages of 7 and 14 then you can select your targeting to include the presence of children and align your age targeting to match what on average would put those parents as having children within that range.

Personalize Your Direct Mail Based on Targeting

Now that you have your target audience defined it makes sense to personalize your direct mail to get the best results from your campaign. There are a number of ways to personalize, but if we were to bucket them into 2 groups it would be personalized messaging and using Variable Data.

When personalizing using a message you will speak directly to the defined target audience.

For example, “Special Offer for those over 50”, “Our records show that you have 2 kids over the age of 8 which qualifies you for our …”. These types of messages talk directly to a targeted audience and personalize it to their situation.

The other method can be seen in the examples we shared on message but is the technical side of all of this. Using specific data from your targeting to include in the printed direct mail piece.

Here’s a short list of items you can include directly in your direct mail that can be unique on every printed piece sent out.

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Age
  • Unique Quote
  • Image of a Home
  • Type of Car
  • And Much More

By doing this you’ll ensure better results from your direct mail campaigns.

Using Unique Behaviors to Trigger Direct Mail Campaigns

We won’t go too deep into this because it’s a more complex topic, but you do have the option of integrating listeners and triggers into your marketing when it comes to direct mail.

The behaviors that can be tracked which can trigger direct mail actions are things like

  • Visiting Your Website
  • Attending an Event
  • Signing Up for a Newsletter
  • Purchasing Online
  • Calling Your Company
  • And Many More

The goal is to create direct mail that can be personalized to the event being monitored that then triggers the direct mail. It’s a much more sophisticated version of personalization that merges everything we’ve discussed in this article.

Direct mail is a marketing technique that can garner a big result if you do it right and target your audience correctly. Invoke can help find your audience and create a direct mail campaign that speaks to them.

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