The first thing to remember about a direct mail campaign is that its success is highly dependent on consistency and numbers. Too many of those who attempt to reach their audience via mail don’t recognize the need to send their marketing pieces out not only to the appropriate number of people, but to send them more than once.
When you consider that a marketing campaign is considered successful when you obtain a 4-10% response rate, you can see that numbers are very important. That means, if you send out 100 mailers, and 4 people respond, you have done a pretty good job! Given the reasonable prices of most direct mail marketing pieces, doesn’t it then makes more sense to reach out to 200 potential customers/clients and get 8 responses? In other words, it’s a numbers game. You may have the most eye-catching, interestingly shaped mailer with a fabulous message, but if you only send it out to twenty people, statistics say that you might not get any response whatsoever!
Think about the value of a new lead as you put together your mailing list for your campaign. Are you in a business where one new client can mean thousands of dollars, or do you need many customers to come back repeatedly? For many, more than 4 responses are needed to make a campaign worth the effort, so build up to the numbers you’d like to see.
Once you have determined the amount of potential customers to be mailed, you need to plan the number of times you will reach out to them, and when. One mailing does not equal a campaign. Think about it; when you pick up your mail, where are you when you open it? Most people look at their mail by the garbage can, dropping cards and letters directly in the trash without bothering to open anything that is seems uninteresting. It’s very easy to toss away something important if you aren’t paying close attention, let alone an offer from someone you do not recognize. That’s why it is important to get your message to your customers/clients multiple times. Perhaps your target client doesn’t recognize the name of your company the first time; he might become interested after seeing it on several occasions on different types of mailers.
Experts recommend that you get your message into the hands of your target audience at least five times over a consistent cycle in order to get the most out of your campaign. You can space your mailings out by one to five weeks depending on your preference, but it is inadvisable to stretch it out further. (There is debate over whether to mail within a week’s time. If your offer is extremely time-sensitive it may be beneficial, but you run the risk of annoying your target with too much information. )
Putting together a large mailing over a series of dates can be frustrating and time consuming. Too often, businesses begin with the best of intentions but are not consistent with their mailings, or worse, they fail to mail more than once or twice. One of the better ways to solve this problem is to have a print shop or service do the mailings for you. Because they provide these services to many different businesses, they can advise you on the optimal time between mailings for your target group. Better yet, they will not be distracted by the day-to-day activities that you as a businessperson need to attend to. After all, your job is not to lick envelopes and shuttle them to the mailbox, but to turn the leads generated into revenue dollars.