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    7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 22, 2008 1:38 AM by HealthLifeAGT

    Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates

    NoBullFunding Scout
      Does anyone know what the average response rate for a mass mailer? I plan on sending out 1000 in my area, and am trying to project how many responses I'll need to break even on the cost of the flyer. I seem to recall 2-3% but wasn't sure.
        • Re: Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates
          intechspecial Ranger

          There is a simple formula to find out your turnover rate.

          Your turnover rate depends on a number of things like, the quality of product, your ability to market and advertise this product effectively, your personal people skills. timely and effective responses, knowing when to push a sale and when to hold back, your competitors affect on your consumer, etc, etc, etc.

          What you could do is run a beta mailing program to see the results of your efforts.

          Here is what you will need to keep track of:

          The number of flyers you send.
          The number of responses you received from these flyers.
          The number of sales you made from those responses.

          Let's say you mail out 100 flyers.
          Out of those flyers you receive 18 responses.
          Of those 18 responses you are able to close on 4 sales.

          Your ratio would be 50-9-2 or it would take you 25 flyers to complete 1 sale.

          This is called your sales turnover ratio.

          Professional sales strive for a 10/4/1 ratio. Or 10 flyers to complete 1 sale.

          You can use this formula for cold calls, door to door, or even email.

          One thing to consider is that it is always good when you can find out exactly why someone decided on using you or turned away from using you.

          This can help to raise your turnover rate as well.

          Finally as a note of interest I tried to market services via flyers and mailings at one point. I dropped and mailed over off 350 flyers and recieved no responses.

          I put an add in the paper for one week and recieved no responses.

          Later I read that it takes a consumer hearing about the same product at least 6 times before they make a decison.

          I put an add in a local paper for an entire month, and was able to close on 4 calls, which made a small profit. If I would have continued on my methods I would of been able to tweek my turnover rate enough to increase my profit, but I was more or less testing out a market to get a understanding of how things would work, and was not interested in expanding on that paticular portion of my business.

          You must understand your consumer, appeal to his needs and fears, rise above the competitions offerings to be any where near successful.
          • Re: Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates
            A_Ellicott Adventurer
            I've heard that the average is more like 1%. However, I believe response rates can vary greatly, depending on the quality of the addresses.

            You should definitely investigate the accuracy of the addresses you purchase. I've been in my current location for six years yet I still receive expensive color brouchures addressed to the previous occpuant.
            • Re: Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates
              HigherProfits Wayfarer
              I handle mailings for dozens of clients. Some full sales letters and some simple mailers...

              There's no "this is what you should expect" number - Let me explain that:

              You need to do a few things to maximize your return on investment:

              1) Have the best sales copy you can. For this you need a copywriting firm, like mine, or anothers, produce it for you.

              2) You need to run smaller test mailings to figure out which variations perform the best

              3) Then after you know which version produces maximum results you can then run mass mailing at will and will know your response rates and what ROI you can expect from each mailing.

              If done corectly a direct mailing can be the quickest and easiest way to produce a steep incline in business, don poorly and it can become a financial burden on wasted advertising.

              If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

              To Higher Profits,
              Dave Ryan, Consultant
              Higher Profits Marketing
              dave {at}
              • Re: Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates
                GrowthCurve Adventurer
                There are WAY too many variables to even begin to guess as what your response rate should be.

                One of the biggest variables is going to be the list.

                It also depends on what you're offering and how the mailer is written and designed. The envelope is key. First-class postage, hand-affixed, will do best almost all the time.

                In some cases, you'll get all the response you need on the first mailing. In other cases, you will need to mail a dozen times before it starts to click with the recipients.

                It all depends...

                I have a significant amount of experience in marketing, and I think I understand your business well. Email me if you want to bounce some ideas and samples off me.
                • Re: Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  As others have noted, it largely depends on the type of business and the offer being made. For a major campaign, I concur with HigherProfits.

                  To answer your original question, the best I've ever done on brochures was just over 8 percent (in that case, a response was the same as a conversion to a sale). I've also had some that were zip, zero, nada. 2-3 percent is probably a reasonable planning basis if your list is qualified (i.e., all the recipients will be at least potentially interested and able to purchase what you have to offer). If not, it will probably be lower.

                  I've found that printing a brochure as a full color tri-fold mailer (no envelop needed) is much more effective than a flyer with black ink on any color paper or anything mailed in an envelope. If you can fit the message you want to communicate on a postcard, that will be even cheaper to print and mail -- and the response rate will be about the same.

                  It helps to build in a simple "response mechanism" if you can, such as a postage paid return card, a detachable coupon, or website address with a code that offers something special. Anything that causes/allows the recipient to take action immediately is good. For some businesses, "keepers" are also effective (an example would be a pizza place that puts their menu and phone number on a magnetized card that sticks to the fridge).

                  Finally, in my experience, repetition pays off (unless you're marketing a one-time event). When I've had a good list, mailing to the same 100 people 3 times has gotten me better results than mailing to 300 people 1 time. (That's an affordable way to "test" different designs and copy, too.)

                  Hope that helps. Good luck.
                  • Re: Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates
                    HigherProfits Wayfarer
                    For a great read on direct response mailing check out the classic book "My Life In Advertising" and "Scientific Advertising" by Claude C. Hopkins.

                    Priceless information. If you need help with your campaigns feel free to contact me.

                    To Higher Profits,
                    Dave Ryan, Consultant
                    Higher Profits Marketing
                    dave at

                    • Re: Bulk Mailing Reponse Rates
                      HealthLifeAGT Wayfarer
                      Typical is 1-2% depending on the product being marketed.Also if the flyer has coupons it will yield a higher response.