Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid

As a UK mailing house with over 20 years of experience, it is fair to say we have seen all sorts of direct marketing mistakes being made. We thought we would share some mistakes that you should avoid when planning your direct mail campaigns. But don’t worry, when planning a direct mail campaign with us, we will advise you along the way to ensure you don’t make these mistakes. Here are just a few of our suggestions to ensure your direct mail will stand a higher likelihood of success.

No personalisation

People respond to their name, birthday, or other personal information, resulting in a higher engagement with the individual.

You can create your direct mail pieces, so they are hyper-personalised to your clients. For example, you could include names, birthdays, specific imagery to the individual, change the messaging so it is personalised to the individual- the list goes on.  If you have the data, almost anything is possible with personalised printing.

Poor design

To grab your audience’s attention, it is crucial to have a clean, easy to read design with eye-catching graphics. If your mail piece is dull and boring, it can easily blend in with other mail and can be easily ignored. Similarly, if your design has too many flashy colours and information overload, it can distract the recipient from the intended offer or message. We can produce artwork in-house to ensure you have professional-looking direct mail. Something interesting to look into regarding direct mail design is heat maps, they show where the recipients’ eyes are drawn to first, this ensures that the recipient is being drawn to the most important part of the mail piece.

Low-resolution images and logos

A similar point to having a poor design, supplying low-resolution images and logos can even go as far as to damage the trustworthiness of your brand. As a mailing house, we recommend to our clients that they ensure images and logos are saved to 300dpi (dots per inch) or try to provide the largest possible size images which we can scale correctly. Nothing looks worse than a pixelated image!

No call to action

The key element to a direct mail campaign is including a compelling offer. Put simply, there has to be a reason why people should respond to your mail. If you are just sending a piece of information about your product, without an offer, there is no reason for them to respond at this time. Without a clear CTA, the recipient may not know the next steps to take to purchase your product or sign up (whatever your CTA may be) and is likely to ignore the mail piece. However, if you do have a special offer, for example, a discount code with a QR code to take them to your site, they are more likely to read and be engaged with your direct mail. This is also a key way to measure the success of your campaign.

Poor data/wrong audience

We can help you clean up your database or find a new list of similar people that meet your requirements. Sending mail to a random sample of names won’t get you the results you are hoping for. It is a good idea to spend some time analysing your best customers. What is their demographic? What are their interests? All of this information will help you to define a promising mailing list. Keeping your data fresh means that you can correctly target the people most interested in your product or service and prevents you from wasting your budget.

One thing we can do for you in any event is carry out a free audit of your database to see how ‘healthy’ it is. If you are interested in having your data audited and possibly cleansed, please send us an email at to find out more.

Not focussing on the recipient

We get it, you have so much information you want to tell your audience about, such as what you do, who you are, your objectives- these all provide reassurance but not sales. Your message should be constructed around what your prospects and customers want to hear, not what you want to tell them. Always focus your messages on your audiences wants, needs, goals and hopes. When writing, try to limit your use of “I”, “we”, and “our company” and instead focus on the words “you” and “your” so that you are focussing on the individual. Another thing to keep in mind is limiting the use of tech speak and jargon, this can turn your target off.


Timing is one of the simplest, yet most important aspects of a direct mail campaign. Sending out time-sensitive materials too late can hurt your response rates. Sending mail well in advance, on the right day and at the right time of year will help you to see a significant improvement in your response rates. Not to mention the added bonus of beating your competition to your prospects’ letterbox!

If you would like further advice on creating your direct mail marketing campaigns, get in touch with us today for additional guidance on direct mail services. Please email us at or call us on 01905 621 118.