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How to Set Up Data for a Direct Mail Campaign.



Direct mail advertising involves sending a physical piece of mail to a potential customer. Direct mail offers several advantages over other forms of marketing, such as targeting a specific audience and the ability to track results. Additionally, a direct mail piece can be more personalized than other types of advertising, which can help to increase response rates.


Many major brands utilise direct mail as a successful channel in their overall marketing strategy. By sending existing and potential new customers personalised pieces through the mail they help to strengthen their relationships with their customers, while also increasing the likelihood of growing sales.



Step 1. To personalise a campaign or to address an envelope, you first require data!

Gather a solid database of customers or potential customers from a source. ‍Setting up a direct mail campaign starts with a great database of existing and potential customers to reach. You can either export data from your CRM system or purchase a database from a credible source.

Note - Beware when looking at this option. Many databases purchased can be out of date and not relevant to your target market!


Step 2. Once your data is exported successfully into Excel, sort your data into the correct fields.

Here is an Example of an Excel spreadsheet with the fields correctly laid out for an Addressed Envelope mail out.

The Customer Number field is not a mandatory field for a campaign mail out, however it does make it easier to delete any envelopes that end up Returned to Sender by Australia Post. Removing returned items from your data is good practice, as it keeps your data source clean. You do not want to keep paying to send marketing offers to someone who has moved from the address you have on record!


Once your data is supplied to Printcraft for a campaign, our specialised software will dedupe - remove duplicate addresses, remove any contacts that have critical fields missing (ie. Suburb) and return your data to you with a final campaign quantity. We then provide you the opportunity to review and approve this cleaned data before we move forward with your campaign.


Below is the Australia Post Guide to correctly addressing Envelopes.

Printcraft’s software takes the above Excel Spreadsheet and populates the envelope to the below specifications, adding the barcode required to maximise any bulk discounts (over 300 items).


(Australia Post Guide to address layout)

Step 3. Set up your Artwork for Personalisation in Print

When personalising a mail piece, artwork will be set up with a placeholder in the position of the data space. Ideally, this is set up with Column names to easily identify which column of data is inserted into each place holder. You can even include data such as a personalised discount amount for each customer, like the example below.



Example #1 - DL Flyer Personalised with Name and Percentage Discount.

Here we demonstrate the use of only two columns (First Name – Column B, and Discount – Column I), which could be used to personalise a DL piece inside your envelope or the back of a Self-Mailer.

(Image above: Data placeholders set up in artwork)
(Image above: Personalised data inserted)

Example #2 - Envelope / Flysheet set up with Customer Number, Name & Address.

Here is an example of how your data would be set up and then inserted onto the front of Envelopes, Flysheets or Self-Mailers. Instead of inserting “First Name”, “Last Name” etc, we use the Column names to avoid any confusion.

(Image above: Data placeholders set up in artwork)
(Image above: Personalised data inserted)

Need more help? Just give our friendly team a call to discuss your next mail campaign. We can help each step of the way, and provide advice and guidance when needed.


We're here to help make Print & Mail easy and stress-free!

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