‘Direct mail is ineffective.’ It’s 15 times more expensive than email marketing and response rates are negligible. This is a claim that is all too often echoed within companies in the UK.
Direct mail is what you make it. Response is governed by the level of energy and thought channeled into the campaign. The old 1% response rate has long been dead, not to mention completely inappropriate in most cases.
Whilst we provide you with the compelling, result oriented copy and design that is essential to a successful campaign, by following the tips below you will have every element of your campaign working for a better response.
Provide a cover letter
Without one you risk appearing impersonal and hitting your recipient cold, resulting in a poor response. Ask us to prepare one for you.
Make seductive offers
Offer discounts, free trials, guarantees or vouchers. Incentives can rapidly improve response rates without necessarily costing the earth. Limited period offers can also help to reduce the response interval.
Bulk-up your package
Include promotional pens, coasters, rulers, notepads and other gifts in your campaign. It will not only increase the chance of your envelope being opened but it will also allow you to place your company name on an item that your prospective customer sees every day.
People don’t like feeling left out of something good. If other people have benefited from your product or service, display how and build an aura of envy around your reader.
Provide a keepsake
Letters and leaflets will often get thrown away immediately after they are read. Slip a business card in your DM package to provide them with a reminder of your company and your offer.
Package your campaign uniquely
Using unorthodox techniques can encourage interest and ensure that you attract the reader’s attention. These techniques can be applied to the package both externally and internally. Hand-writing the address on the envelope can also give it a personal dimension.
Accurately target your market
Fail to do this and you will render your campaign ineffective. If any of these tips were to rank number one in importance, this would be it. If you have an existing customer database then you could achieve a 30-40% higher response rate than if you were to use a cold data source.
Calculate a break-even point for the campaign and set this as your minimum response target. Do not use a percentage. Percentage targets can be completely unfitting with the product/service that you are offering. A company selling £65,000 machinery may only receive one order from a 10,000 letter mailing (0.0001%) but the campaign will still be profitable.
Don’t embark on a costly campaign before initially testing it on a small scale. If you receive 50 responses from a mailing of 1,000 letters, you can almost be certain that you will receive 500 responses from a mailing of 10,000 letters. If your test shows that you won’t reach your break-even level in the full campaign then adjust the promotional material or market sample accordingly.
Choose the right time to send
This is particularly relevant for seasonal products/services. Choosing the right time to send can mean the difference between a highly profitable campaign and a highly costly campaign.
Use complimentary promotion
Press, radio, websites, Email and television can all help to boost response levels. Approaching potential customers through more than one medium of promotion can help increase brand/company visibility and boost the credibility of your direct mail campaign. Following up a campaign with telemarketing can heighten response rates by a staggering 1,000%.
Doing so allows you to evaluate the success of your campaign and pinpoint any problems with it. Analyze response rates and any resulting sales. If you follow up your campaign with telemarketing, use this as an opportunity to gather a little research from your target markets for use in future campaigns.
Repeat, repeat, repeat
If your direct mailing was a success, repeat it to those that didn’t reply. You can expect a response rate of around 50% of that achieved in the first mailing.
Get in touch to see how we can help you to get the most out of your direct mail campaign.