Understanding the 40-40-20 Rule in Direct Mail Marketing

direct mail listsAbout 39% of customers say they try a business for the first time because of direct-mail advertising. However, in order for any direct mail marketing campaign to be successful in getting new customers in the door, it needs to follow a specific set of rules for maximum appeal and readability. One of the most essential rules in the direct mail marketing world is referred to as the 40-40-20 rule. Originally thought of by marketing giant Ed Mayer, this concept has helped countless businesses and direct mail marketing companies create successful marketing campaigns. Here’s what your business needs to know about the 40-40-20 rule.

What Is The 40-40-20 Rule?
The 40-40-20 rule states that a successful marketing campaign is 40% list, 40% offer, and 20% creativity. Simply put, this means that 40% of a campaign’s success is about targeting the right audience, 40% is about the offer itself, and 20% is about the creative elements used to convey the message. Let’s break down these terms even more:

Audience (40%)
Even the most unique and well-made ad will be unsuccessful unless it reaches a suitable audience. Finding the right audience can certainly be a challenge, especially for direct mail marketing campaigns. While social media marketing relies more on algorithm and user data tracking, determining the proper audience for a direct mail campaign is more about demographics and specific locations.

“Provide plenty of details on demographics, zoned coverage, and numbers of readers within specific mile ranges of prospective advertisers,” writes John Foust in Above The Fold Mag.

Offer (40%)
Perhaps the most simple component of the equation, the offer is what compels the consumer to patronize your business. When consumers have a compelling RTB — reason to buy — the entire campaign has achieved its major purpose.

Creativity (20%)
Once you’ve narrowed down your audience and offer, you’ll have the chance to be creative with the actual content of your mailer and let your business’s uniqueness shine. Don’t think that the audience and offer alone are enough to get customers in the store — sometimes, that extra bit of creativity is what makes the mailer eye-catching enough to read in full.

Ultimately, understanding the 40-40-20 rule of direct mail lists and campaigns can help you advertise your business as effectively as possible. For more information about digital printing services or direct mail lists, contact Modern Mail and Print Solutions.

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