Christmas Direct Mail, planning a campaign

Christmas Direct Mail – How to Plan a Campaign

In Christmas mailing, News by Alan Horton

Christmas comes around just once per year, but even though it’s only one-day, direct mail and marketing will take time, attention and planning. There’s a balance between being fun, creative and original whilst also delivering sales and campaign ROI. In this infographic, we discuss many factors to consider and detail how to plan a Christmas direct mail campaign.

Define your campaign goals

Before anything else plan your campaign goals, for example, do you want to:

  • Informational – simply to create awareness and information about your company/brand
  • Online traffic – drive recipients to a website for online sales & social media accounts too
  • Post / telephone orders – drive orders by post and telephone direct from the mailing
  • Retail traffic – drive recipients to visit a retail store (if so include store address in mailing)
  • Thank you – a simple thank you message (often with gift) for business this year

Types of Christmas direct mail

There are several different mail types which can be sent to recipients, here are a few examples:

  • Christmas brochure – mail a brochure with just a few pages of Christmas related offers
  • Christmas card – mail out a Christmas greeting with a Christmas card, save on costs too
  • Christmas catalogue – mail out a Christmas themed catalogue, frequently poly-wrapped

Optimising a Christmas direct mail campaign – tips and recommendations

There are many ways to personalise a direct mail campaign for Christmas, here are some tips and recommendations:

  • Contact details – include as many contacts as possible in the mailing, such as:
    • email address – this could be campaign specific for monitoring, Christmas@ etc.
    • local store information (if applicable) – include address, opening hours, map, etc.
    • telephone number(s) – landline/mobile numbers, several may be needed and
    • social media accounts URLs – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.
  • Follow-up mailings – if appropriate schedule follow-up mailings to an initial direct mail piece. This often could be a postcard follow-up or could provide new additional offers
  • Include strong “call to action” – leave the recipient in no confusion whatsoever as to the purpose of the mailing, what action is required and how they can benefit
  • Integration with other marketing channels – direct mail works best when it is integrated with other channels. Although not always possible, integration with radio, social media, (e.g. Pinterest pins, Twitter tweets, YouTube video, etc.), telesales, TV, etc. are all likely to increase campaign response rates
  • Personalisation – adopt many of the usual personalisation techniques to improve response rates and provide an enriched mailing experience for recipients:
    • gender – in some cases it will be better to personalise campaigns by gender
    • name – as a minimum ensure the recipient’s name is correctly used
    • history – refer to historical actions (e.g. purchases in past Christmas periods)
    • variable images – vary the images to ones that match the customer’s preferences
  • Timing – the timing of Christmas mailing is important here are some tips:
    • Too late:
      • 25th December is too late! Carefully plan latest possible date for mailings
      • Think of the need for stock to be available to meet sales demand
      • Send too late and recipients may have already spent Christmas funds
    • When to mail:
      • This will vary from business to business
      • Mailing between early to mid-November is often an optimum time
      • Christmas mailings could be timed to coincide with Black Friday (the last Friday in November)

Christmas personalisation of direct mail campaigns

Add some Christmas flair, goodwill and messages with the personalisation tips below:

  • 12 days of Christmas – have a 12-days of Christmas theme with offers for all 12 days
  • Advent calendars – an old favourite, mail advent calendars, remind recipients of your business for 24 days with customised offers and goodwill messages!
  • Appeal to senses – tempt senses by including Christmas elements for senses:
    • sight – make sure mailshots are visually stunning and include Christmas themes
    • smell – add fragrances to mailing with scents of Christmas (e.g. gingerbread)
    • taste – tempt taste buds with freebies (e.g. slice of cake, miniature drink, etc.)
    • touch – include varied textures to interest recipients when touching mailing
  • Christmas colours – use traditional colours associated with Christmas, in the UK, these are most frequently:
    • gold – a colour of warmth in a cold time of year, also because gold was one of the gifts given to Jesus by the three wise men
    • green – for Christmas trees and plants associated with Christmas such as holly, ivy and mistletoe
    • red – for holly berries, which also symbolise the death of Jesus. Red was the colour of the apples on tree in the garden of paradise and was also the colour of robes worn by Bishops such as St Nicholas
    • white – is used as a decoration in colour in many orthodox Churches and signifies peace and is symbolic of snow and a “white Christmas”
  • Christmas freebies – include freebies in mailing as goodwill / to improve response rates:
    • book / stories – include a Christmas book or story for recipients to read
    • tree accessories – borbels, novelties, etc. recipients can hang on tree
    • cracker – include a Christmas cracker, typically with a gift/message inside
    • food – free food in mailing (e.g. chocolates, sweets, wine, product sample, etc.)
    • present – wrapped present in mailing, don’t open until Christmas message, etc.
    • retail voucher – include a voucher (e.g. M&S), this may depend on a purchase
    • snow globes – an old favourite is including a snow globe within a mailing!
    • store freebies – a freebie if you visit a store (e.g. mulled wine, mince pie, etc.)
  • Envelopes – make the envelope stand out as Christmas related, use the Christmas colours and include emblems of Christmas. Make recipients want to open what’s inside
  • New Year calendar – a popular item, mail a calendar, promote your business for 1-year
  • Vouchers & coupons – include in mailing, emphasise exclusivity if via a privileged club

Save money on Christmas mailing campaigns postage

When mailing out your Christmas campaign why not also save money on postage too? We have worked hard over many years to provide downstream access solutions with a range of postal carriers, which will save you money off the cost of postage. Speak to our experts who will be glad to advise on postage solutions for your organisation.

Contacting bakergoodchild for Christmas direct mail campaigns

You should now have a great idea of how to plan a Christmas direct mail campaign. Why plan a campaign alone though when you can benefit from the services of a mailing house such as bakergoodchild? We can manage all aspects of your campaign (print, mailing and post) to agreed timescales and budget.

Contact us today on 0800 612 1972 to speak to our mailing house experts, or email info@bakerg.co.uk for an early reply.

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