consumer responding to a direct mail marketing

Five Tips to Maximize Direct Mail Response

I spend a lot of time talking with smart marketers about the power of direct mail. The thing is: When planned and executed well, direct mail can be an extremely powerful customer acquisition tool.

There are three primary factors that make a direct mail campaign successful:

  • Your audience
  • Your offer
  • Your creative

Your offer generally accounts for 30-40% of your response. A freebie, or certain dollar amount or percent off will only entice a certain amount of your audience to act.

In our experience, a lot of people devote the majority of their time to developing their creative because it is the most visible and only physical part of their mail piece—but in reality, it only drives approximately 10-20% of your response.

The most successful direct marketers know that a significant amount of time should be spent building out the right audience, as finding the right contacts is ultimately responsible for 40-50% of your success.

So how do you build an audience with success in mind? Here are 5 tips:

  1. Lead With Data: What do you know about your current customers and how can you use that information to best match them to a relevant offer that will drive action? You need to have an idea of who your ideal customer is, and ideally use demographic and lifestyle data that will allow you to segment and target audiences based on key attributes.
  2. Target Life Events: Demographic data is a great start, but understanding when your customers or prospects are experiencing relevant changes that will put them in market for your products or services can allow you to reach your audience with timely messages that are more likely to spur action. For example: Knowing when people move into your footprint will allow you to target them with an offer that may bring them into your business for the first time.
  3. Model Your Audience: Cloning or Response models present a comprehensive view of customer behaviors that can provide the richest insights into your audience. Want to find out which customers are most likely to respond? What to figure out which prospects behavior most like your best customers? Predictive analytics can get you there.
  4. Mail More People: If you have modeled your audience, consider mailing deeper into your model to determine where you will find diminishing returns. You might be surprised how many deciles of your model will continue to perform well.
  5. Play The Long Game: Just like Facebook gets smarter the longer you run a campaign, a model can be retrained based on responses to keep honing your audience. You can continue to uncover key attributes of your best-performing responders.

Direct mail is among the most effective marketing channels and has been tried and tested in every industry, category, and niche. When you truly optimize your audience, it can be a game changer for companies looking to scale their marketing programs.

Click here to learn how one company uncovered a uniquely high performing audience for their direct mail program.