Are you absolutely thrilled with the results you are getting from your direct mail campaign? If you answered ?No? then read on. Getting maximum results from your direct mail campaign is achievable. What it takes is some creative thinking, planning, and affordable implementation.

I hear many business owners say ?I want to do a direct mail piece?. My question back is ?Is it part of a big plan?. If you are planning a single direct mail mailing without a strategy or continuous plan ? save your money.

What gets bigger results is making your direct mail part of the larger marketing strategy. Plan a grand opening or special event and mail your target market an extraordinary offer they can?t refuse. Be the first to announce a new product or valuable information. Mail a series of creative direct mail pieces that lead up to an offer or event. The most important point is to make it a piece of the marketing strategy and not the whole strategy.

There are 3 key areas to check that will get bigger results from your direct mail.

1) THE LIST ? There are many list brokers out there. Many are reputable. Some might sell your list to your competitor. Check around before buying your list. The more you target your list, the more it will cost up front. The money spent up front will pay off at the back end when you get a bigger return on your initial investment with a more targeted list.

2) THE OFFER ? Is it compelling enough to get people to respond to the offer. Money off seems to work better than percentages. It depends on your business and how people translate the dollars and cents. FREE works! The free offer must be bona vide with no hidden agendas.

3) THE IMAGE ? How many times have you thrown direct mail away without even opening or looking at it? Has your direct mail ended up the same way? Do not underestimate the importance of the image of the piece or how it looks to your target market. Does it look like it was designed from a desktop publishing software program? If so, maybe it?s time to hire a professional graphic designer to help you create something really memorable and effective. Color can be very eye catching and useful in making a strong statement. The kind of paper you use is critical in how expensive and polished the piece looks. Your commercial printer will help you find the most cost-effective paper and printing process for your direct mail.

One of the most important players in your direct mail team is the mailing service or the post office. The mailing service I use is aware of up to date postal standards, requirements, rules and regulations. They have saved projects from not being deliverable by catching printing or size errors. I depend on their expertise and run print drafts by them prior to going to the final printing stage. They have helped determine the most cost effective way of mailing and have gone to bat for us when the post office questioned certain design components. Locate a mailing service that has a good working relationship with the post office. It has been the difference of getting our project mailed or ending up in the trash.