Tips, tricks and news from the world of direct mail

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Direct mail tips that will save you money and increase ROI

Police your list, all mailings start with this. Garbage in, garbage out. Your mailing will be less effective if you have an outdated list. Keep it current and run address hygiene at least on an annual basis to ensure your mailing reaches the intended target audience

Size matters. If you design a DM piece that exceeds the maximum specs for standard mail even a slight overage can cost you thousands of dollars in postage. Refer to the Canada Post specs for personalized mail below.

Pay attention to weight. Just like a poorly packed suitcase, a DM piece that exceeds weight category limits can result in postage costs that will blow away your budget. A lettermail piece that weighs 31 grams instead of 30 can increase your postage costs by 40%. To prevent this, build a mockup and weight before you print.

Be different. Have your piece stand out. You don’t need to send all your appeals in a standard # 10 envelope. Use a bigger envelope ( i.e 5 3/4 X 9.5) that will still qualify for standard mail rates and get noticed in the mailbox.

Test. Try different pieces with different messages to see which ones resonate best with your prospects and donors

Talk to your lettershop. If you have an unusual piece design that falls outside the standard letter/response piece templates please consult your mail service provider to see if can be processed on their automated equipment. Manual assembly can get expensive.

Personalize. Use your data to make your message resonate with recipients. Experienced DM companies like BMR can ensure the personalization flows nicely into your letter as they have extensive experiences in manipulating variable data including dynamic variable paragraphs within the same appeal. Nothing worse than an all caps or Dear last name salutation to make your appeal go south.

Don’t overcomplicate. Do you really need 65 segments for that 5,000 piece mailing? Altering your message to different segments can be effective, but realize it will get to a point where the increased production costs outweigh the donations received if you segment too much.

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