Increase Your Direct Mail Response Rates
Establish your direct mail campaign plan to remain effective and increase your direct mail response rates.
Remain Effective with Direct Mail
Direct marketing is one of the most creative and entertaining methods to a company can use to catch their potential customers’ (current, past or prospective) attention. With the “versatility of (this) medium, marketers have many chances to leave consumers with a positive brand experience using direct mail.” See more Tips for Boosting Your Direct Mail Response Rates here.
Your Direct Mail Goal — For a successful direct mail campaign, set a goal. What is the overall outcome your company would like to achieve?
- Do you want to increase sales or customer awareness?
- Do you want to widen your customer database?
- Are you trying to sell a new product or an old one?
- Are you trying to encourage potential customers to sign up for your newsletters, rewards programs, or read your company blogs?
Your Direct Mail Plan — Once your direct mail goal is in place, set a plan into action. Select your target market. Find out as much information as you can about this market. This helps create a successful database list of potential customers.
Your Direct Mail List — Prior to creating your direct mailing piece, your company needs to create an accurate customer database list. Additionally, you may purchase a targeted mailing list from a professional vendor such as DatabaseUSA.com®. An accurate mailing list can is the “make-or-break’ step in a direct mail campaign.
When working with your database, prevent inconsistencies by following these steps.
- Use separate fields for each piece of data (prefix, name, address, city, state, etc.)
- Try to not use more than six lines for long addresses
- Separate contacts into two categories – current customers and prospects
- Test names on mailing list through the National Change of Address
Finally, keep your list accurate. An accurate list allows your company “to glean a lot of information about who your customers are and what offers will interest them.”
Your Direct Mail Vehicle — With so many options as to the appearance and design of your direct mail piece, first consider who is it is being sent to.
- Postcards — More than 50% of people read postcards with data available on both sides of the cards. (United States Postal Service – USPS)
- Letters — Letters are easiest direct mail piece to personalize and have the largest response rate (USPS)
- Catalogs — When sent to prospective customers, catalogs have lowest response rate (0.8%), but the highest median response rate (13.8%) when sent to opted-in customers (Data & Marketing Association)
Whatever, direct mail vehicle your company uses, it is helpful to customize its appearance. This way potential customers will recognize future direct mail pieces, and thus provide potential successful response rate results.
Your Direct Mail Offer — Once your direct mail piece has successfully reached your potential customer, its needs to retain their interest for a successful response to happen. “Adding a person’s name and full color in the direct mail can increase response by 135%.” (Canon Solutions America)
Along with personalizing your offer and using full color, read over your direct mail piece to make sure it…
- Is not too long or confusing.
- Provides an enticing incentive.
- Provides an offer that is easy to locate.
- Provides an offer that is simple, concise, or relevant to the customers needs.
- Highlights key phrases or words.
- Uses short, catchy headlines.
- Uses a personalized/active tone of voice.
Additionally, if your direct mail offer invites the recipients to visit your web page or call a phone number, make sure you “set up a tracking mechanism to measure this performance.” How To Get Remarkable Direct Mail Response Rates [Quick Guide].
Proofing Your Direct Mail Offer — No matter what direct mail vehicle your company elects to utilize, the best way to lose a potential customer is to not proof your work – this includes your database, your offer and your actual design piece. Mistakes cost.
Putting together a direct mail campaign takes a lot of work and time. As far as your response rate, much of that depends on the work your company put into making that campaign a success. The average rate is about 2% for most marketers, but even a 1% rate is acceptable and realistic. When possible, use your company’s historical direct mail response rate as a benchmark.