Direct Mail Tips with Land Trust

awesome direct mail piece

The Land Trust for Tennessee has several fundraising events throughout the year, including Once in a Blue Moon, a party at Glen Leven Farm that includes food, entertainment, drinks, boots, bonfire and bluegrass. Like many events, Once in a Blue Moon uses direct mail to increase awareness and attendance. If you don’t know a lot about direct mail, here are 6 tips you should follow.

Direct Mail Tip 1: Send multiples

A key fundamental of marketing is multiple touch points. Thus, it helps to send a couple direct mail pieces or to use a direct mail piece combined with a follow-up email. Land Trust decided to send two letters: a save the date card and the invitation. The save the date card should follow the same general design and layout as the invitation, but with less information. It should be a teaser to get people excited about the event.

Save the Date card

Save the date front

cool save the date card

Save the date card back

Cool Invitation


Direct Mail Tip 2: Make your envelope unique.

It’s no surprise that people receive a lot of mail – most of it “junk mail.” The success of a direct mail campaign hinges on the audience opening the envelope before it gets thrown in the trash. Knowing this, Land Trust decided to splurge on the envelopes and use vellum as the material of choice. Vellum, as you can see from this picture, is transparent. It stands out from the other white envelopes in a stack of mail and piques readers’ interest.

Vellum envelope

Vellum envelope

Custom envelope

Custom envelope

Another benefit of vellum envelopes is its design potential. As you can see in the photo below, it appears as if a moon crescent is shining through the envelope, going along with the “Once in a Blue Moon” theme. You can also see the illusion of a starry sky and the date of the event on the bottom right corner.

See through envelope

Stuffed custom envelope

Direct Mail Tip 3: Invitation presentation

Once you have piqued a reader’s interest, it’s important to retain it. This is where the invitation design and layout comes in. Land Trust used a ticket and a ticket sleeve to tell a small story. As you pull out the ticket, it shows four different moon stages with the sentence “Events like this happen only once in a blue moon.” It’s so clever! And as you can see from the sleeve, the design is simple enough that it makes the “story” and important details pop.

Cool invitation

Invitation: Part 1

cool invitation

Invitation: Part 2

cool direct mail

Invitation: Part 3

Invitation: Part 3

Invitation: Part 4

Direct Mail Tip 4: Follow the 40/40/20 rule

The 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing (and thus direct mail) is a formula for success that most businesses try to follow. The adage is that 40 percent of your direct marketing success depends on your audience, 40 percent depends on your offer, and 20 percent depends on everything else, such as design and layout.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t worry about design – you definitely should. But it is just as important to create a carefully targeted audience that will respond to your offer.

For more details on the 40/40/20 rule, visit this blog.

Direct Mail Tip 5: Make the CTA simple.

Once you have targeted the perfect audience, induced them to open your direct mail piece and delivered an enticing offer, it is crucial to make the call to action simple and convenient. People are busy, and they want to take you up on the offer only if it is convenient for them. Thus, Land Trust enclosed a return mailer with check boxes – super easy for readers to send.

Call to action

Call to action (RSVP card)

Direct Mail Tip 6: Use a good printer (us, obviously)

Yes, we are the best printer of all time, obviously. But for those of you in California who don’t want to use a vendor that far away, make sure to use a nice printer. You can spend all the time and money on the design as you want, but if the quality of the paper is sh****, none of it matters. Also, some printers will stamp and mail your direct mail pieces out for you, saving you valuable time.