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    3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 28, 2009 7:47 PM by Dataguy

    What goes into Winning Direct Mail Campaigns?

    Dataguy Newbie

      One of the great things about direct mail is that there are only there main components - the list, the offer and the copy. If you get them all right, your direct mail efforts have a great chance for success. But if you put all your efforts into one and do not pay much attention to the others, your direct mail will almost always fail. While there has been a lot written about colors, typefaces, paper size, et., those are all minor variables when compared to the list, offer and copy. Here is where to focus your attention as you plan your direct mail effort:


      The List. There is a truism in direct mail that marketing professionals always remember:


      A so-so offer mailed to the right list will probably do well; a great offer mailed to the wrong list will usually fail. You must first determine if the people you want to reach are on one or more available mailing lists. Use your best customer as a model for your list profile - what do they look like? Age? Income? Home owners? Children, Interests? Locations?


      If you are selling to electricians, accountants or new homeowners there are plenty of lists available. But if your product appeals only to people who are thinking about remodeling their home, that list may be harder to find. In this case you need to find lists that would have people on them that would have the same or similar interests. This is where it pays to do so research by consulting an experienced list broker to determine if your target market can be reached by direct mail. If not, you may need to look for other marketing methods, but let's assume that you can reach your audience and find the right list.


      The Offer. The offer is the "deal" or what you are offering people in order to motivate them to respond to your mailer. The offer motivates people to respond to your "call to action". Offers come in all shapes and sizes:


      • Monetary discount off a product or service
      • A coupon good for a free trial of a product or service
      • Two for the price of one or special pricing
      • One or more free items or premiums with a purchase
      • Only a certain number of spots open for a seminar or class.
      • Free information or report with a purchase or to the first number of customers.


      The two most important words to think about when crafting your offer are compelling and irresistible. You want people who receive your mail to say "I have got to get that!" or " I had better to that now!" when reading your offer. Anything less may not get much of a response. In most cases, offers like 5% off or such are not very exciting. Your offer can be tied to the actual purchase of your product or service of something less expensive can be given away just for an initial response. Think long and hard about what you can do to motivate prospects to respond to your offer.


      The Copy. You have identified the right list. You have come up with a great offer. Now you need to present it in a way that will make people want to pick up the phone, send you an email or visit your web site to order. And the way you do this is with expertly written emotional copy. You have got to answer the only question that is on the mind of your prospect; "What's in it for me?" Make sure to include a definite call to action, giving a specific time frame for your special offer.


      If you successfully create these three components your direct mail campaign will be very productive. Good Sellingk, Jim / Contact Jim for more info.
        • Re: What goes into Winning Direct Mail Campaigns?
          creativeiads Wayfarer
          Is'nt the respone rate between 4-6%? One needs to make sure that this 4-6% covers your direct mail expenses and be able to make profits out of it.

          Mike Varavooru,

            • Re: What goes into Winning Direct Mail Campaigns?
              AustinLivin Wayfarer
              I've never seen the response rate higher than 1%, at least on a list that I acquired from InfoUSA or D&B. You can expect the list to be pretty stale with around 10-20% bad leads (people no longer there, companies out of biz, etc.) I think the key is to have a solid offering for a specific industry, be an industry expert, market on all fronts, and not let up...ever.

                • Re: What goes into Winning Direct Mail Campaigns?
                  Dataguy Newbie
                  Good points, thanks for your input

                  Statistically the response rate for direct mail is between 1 - 3%. One needs to consider the annual value of a new customer and multiple this number by 1 to 3% of the pieces mailed and then compare that value to the cost of the campaign to determine the ROI of the project. (Email campaigns average less than a one tenth of one percent response)

                  And yes, the average deliverability of a list is from 85-90% for a consumer list and 90 - 95% for a business list. Many consumers move and do not turn in a change of address form, which is how compiled lists get updated. While list companies say they up date their lists on a monthly basis, they actually only run it against the National Change of Address files monthly and change records found there. Since the actual compiled lists began their life from the phone book or D&B credit customers they really only get updated annually. New phone listings are added and listings that have been pulled are kept on the file for a year and then removed. Social Security records are used to remove deceased listings, however if a widow is listed as "Mrs John Doe" that listing will stay the same. Some business records for large companies and public companies may get phone verified and updated semi-annually.

                  Direct Mail is not an exact science so the delivery percentage average statistics need to be figured in to your costs and results.