Direct mail campaigns are an excellent marketing tactic for any sized business. You can target your audience very specifically, reach the customers most likely to buy, and easily size your campaign up or down depending on the size of your budget. Experts at NeoLane.com reported, "Compared to emails sent to existing customers ... direct mail has 30 times the chance of receiving a response from the customer." To get the most from your direct mail campaign, be sure to follow these 5 steps. Related: Build your direct mail campaign with one of our professional marketing vendors Build a Targeted list Your mailing list is the most important element of your campaign for several reasons. A poorly constructed list can waste money by sending mail to incorrect addresses and recipients who would never make a conversion with your business. However, a list that precisely targets the correct audience will improve your chances of conversions. Create the Right Design The direct mail piece that you send to your list should have an easy and direct call to action. If your design obscures or misdirects your call to action, your mailing won't be effective. Customers should know with a glance what you want them to do as a result of your mailing. The design you choose for your mailing should be appropriate for your business brand, your target audience, and the mailing itself. This includes the colors, fonts, and graphics that you use in your design. Make sure to prioritize readability and the primacy of your call to action. Advances in printing and copying have made it easy for you to create quality, professional-looking mailings right in your office, which brings us to the next section... Related: 4 Reasons to Use Direct Mailing Buy a Postage Meter When your company creates any kind of mailing, it is integral to have a postage meter on hand. Postage meters save time by allowing you to calculate and pay postage for mailings right in your office. Whether you're sending a simple flyer or a complex mailing, having a postage meter in your office can benefit your campaign in a number of ways: Postage meters can help you compare the costs of various different mailing designs. Even a minor difference in size or weight can wind up costing your business hundreds of dollars for a major bulk mailing. Related: Get your postage meter from one of our hand-picked vendors Test Your Campaign Before you send thousands of mailings out to your full list, you should first test the effectiveness of your design on the small scale. Send the offer to 10% of your list (no less than 250 pieces) and gauge the response that you get. A response rate under 2% necessitates a re-vamp of your design; A response rate of 7% or more means you are ready to send out the mailing to the rest of your rate with a relative certainty of success. Use Cross-Channel Integration A study by the Direct Marketing Association found that "customers who buy from two channels (vs. just one) are between 20 and 60% more valuable, while triple-channel buyers are 60-125% more valuable." Integrate your direct mail campaign with your other marketing efforts for best results. An example of cross-channel integration: you send a "push" email to your list several days after they receive your mailing, reminding them to take action. As you deploy your campaign, be sure to track your response rates and customer feedback. Use this data to inform future mailing designs and tweak your mailing list accordingly. Direct mail campaigns not only garner you new sales and customers -- they teach you more about your target audience and how to appeal to them.