How Should I Target My Direct Mail?

When it comes to direct mail marketing there are three main aspects to a successful campaign: who you’re sending to, how it’s designed and what you’re offering. Of these, the first is the most important. Choosing the right target audience is critical and requires thoughtful preparation.

  1. Choose The Right Audience

Take an approach that is similar to creating a guest list to a business seminar. You need to send your mail to people who:

  • Are interested in the first place
  • Are able to engage with your call to action
  • Would benefit from your product or service.

Preparing a target audience for your direct mail campaign is all about asking the right questions and much of your targeting will be determined by the nature of your business. If you don’t take the time to prepare and carefully narrow your mailing list you’ll end up wasting your resources, time and money.

  1. Consider Demographics

Forty per cent of a campaign’s impact comes from sending to the right audience. Profiling your current customers is a great place to start when building your targeting criteria since you are more likely to attract similar people to your business. Take a look at what they have in common. Are they of a similar age, gender and education level? Do they live in the same area or have a similar lifestyle? These are all important factors when determining your target audience.

  1. Location/ Postal Code

One of the easiest ways to target an audience is based on geographic location, and although this is a great place to start it shouldn’t be your main criteria. Location targeting is less effective overall unless combined with another targeting method such as age, gender and or lifestyle. The more you are able to narrow your target audience, the more likely you are to have success with your campaign.


  1. Lifestyle/ Profession

Focusing on lifestyle and profession are a great way to streamline your mailing list. For instance, if your business is a dental clinic looking for new patients a great way to target those potential clients is to direct your attention to professions that are likely to provide dental benefits. Another approach is to focus on professions that are in a position to recommend you, such as office managers and administrative assistants. Think about who would be interested in your product, what type of lifestyle they may have and their education level or profession.

When determining your target audience, keep in mind the fundamentals of your campaign, focus on who needs your service or product and what benefits you can provide to them. Ultimately your direct mail offering should focus on your customers and what’s in it for them.


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