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Let’s start with a word about Key Performance Indicators (KPI)…
To plan an effective direct mail campaign, it’s helpful to begin with the end in mind. In other words, what are your goals? Do you want to boost your revenue for the year, the quarter or a particular season? Do you have a secondary goal?
It’s natural to design a campaign to get more sales or to build awareness. If you get an increase in calls or sales within a few weeks of your mailing, you might think that your campaign was successful. But, without tracking the results, you’re only getting part of the story.
Read on and learn what tracking direct mail results will uncover and how to use the information to build more effective direct mail campaigns.
Effective Direct Mail and its Impact on Your KPI(s)
A vague goal can yield partial or incomplete results. Instead, be specific about what it is that you want from the campaign.
Here’s an example: if you are running a repeat of the “Happy New Year” campaign, and last year’s campaign yielded $12,000 for a particular product or service you can determine a new primary goal. If your main goal is to improve 25% over last year’s results, your primary KPI would be sales of $15,000.
The Benefit of Tracking Direct Mail KPI(s)
One of the benefits of tracking direct mail KPIs is each result can serve as a benchmark.
If you are promoting an introductory offer of full inspection and treatment of $150 for your pest control service, you can calculate the number of mailings that must be sent to achieve the goal.
With the average direct mail response rate for a house list at 9% and 5% for a prospect list, to make the $15,000 goal will take 100 new customers at the $150 introductory price. Using the 9% return, to achieve 100 new orders, you’ll need to reach 1,112 potential new customers. To help reach your goal, make sure you’ve written an irresistible offer.
Or you can also decide to raise your price to $175 to reach your goal, then send 957 mailers and get 86 new customers to buy.
The revenue benchmark allows you to make better business decisions and prepare appropriately.
Additional Outcomes of Effective Direct Mail Tracking
Gaining control of your revenue is just one of the life-changing outcomes of tracking your direct mail marketing. Here are a few that may be less obvious but can save time and provide additional views into your operations and opportunities to streamline to save time and money.
Establish Pinpoint Timing
Many businesses have a seasonal aspect to their business. Landscapers, handy persons who specialize in outdoor repairs have obvious busy times of the year. Effective direct mail campaigns can help customers and prospects find reasons to utilize your service outside of seasonal times.
When you track your mailing results consistently for all your campaigns, you can determine whether you’ve changed the seasonal timing of your business based on post-campaign sales. And, you can adjust your mail schedule to get the best results.
After a few campaigns, you should be able to accurately estimate the number of phone calls and visits you’ll receive as a result of your direct mail campaign tracking. This ensures that you won’t be severely understaffed.
As you continue to run and track direct mail campaigns, some things will become clearer to you and your team – including how far ahead to prepare for a mailing, when to contact your mail house, and when the results will roll in post-mailing.
It’s not just your marketing and project management teams that are prepared to act in alignment with a mailing, but when your sales and customer service team are kept apprised of the campaigns, they’ll know when they should be ready for new sales, too.
You may be most surprised by how you become transparent to vendors. Good mail houses and printers may call you ahead of a mailing to see if you were planning to schedule your usual quarterly mailings – when you’ve tracked results and established mail schedules based on results.
Ready to Produce an Effective Direct Mail Marketing Campaign?
One Stop Mail’s experienced direct mail team can help you establish affordable and effective direct mail campaigns, from planning to deploying and tracking. Contact us or call 602.932.7984 to find out how we can help you.
While the marketing world has its own 4 P’s of marketing, we in the direct mail advertising corner of the industry have our own “mix”. Our 4 P’s – People, Print, Preparation and Postage – also promote your products or brand to customers and prospects! Learn the industry leading formula for a successful direct mail advertising campaign at One Stop Mail with the 4P’s of Direct Mail Marketing.
During this “Slow-Down” What’s the Best Tactic?
It has been an unprecedented year. The global pandemic has forced businesses in every industry and of all sizes to re-think how they conduct business and present themselves in a safe, yet effective way. Marketing by mail is a tactic that is perfect for the current global situation.
Although most businesses have seen a decline in sales and revenue, now is not the time to cut back on your marketing budget. Successful businesses, navigating these turbulent times are still reaching out to current and potential customers.
Your Target Audience is Home
Most of us are stuck at home during the pandemic. That means we’re more likely to be around to grab our mail and look at it – it may even be the only source of fresh entertainment these days.
Prior to the pandemic, it may have been 3-4 days between trips to the mailbox. These days, 37% more of your customers are excited to receive their mail daily and 30% more are reading the marketing materials compared to before the pandemic.
Because people are mostly indoors at home and looking for things to do, now is a great opportunity to put your business in front of your loyal customers and new prospects. Marketing by mail allows you to communicate with your customers that you are open, safe and what services you’re currently providing.
For new prospects, you can offer the same communication but maybe add a special or offer to get them to try your service for the first time.
It’s a Great Time for Home Upgrades
Not only is your target audience stuck at home, they’re also stuck looking at the original cabinets they’ve been considering replacing or dreaming of the pool in the backyard they’ve yet to pull the trigger on. With more and more people at home, consumers are open to investing and making changes to their homes.
Catch them at this opportune time with an attractive postcard that showcases your high-quality work to further entice them to make a buying decision. Use your direct mail marketing dollars to provide a gentle nudge to make the changes they’ve been dreaming about for the past few months.
Marketing by Mail Puts You Ahead of Your Competition
Marketing, especially through the mail, is a numbers game. The more you can stay in front of your customers and prospects, the better off your business will be long-term.
One of the biggest mistakes your business can make right now is cutting back on marketing and falling behind your competition. Instead, stay ahead of the competition by constantly communicating and maintaining or even increasing your ad budget.
Unfortunately, many businesses have had to close their doors leaving their loyal customer bases open and available. Make sure you’re first in the mailbox to these potential new customers.
Don’t just be first in the mailbox, truly stand out and grab attention! Now would be a great time to explore new ways to market your business through direct mail whether it be a larger mail piece or including personalized, variable data. For more information on how to stand out from the competition, check out these pro tips.
Remain Recognizable and Build Your Brand
Now is the perfect time to get prospects familiar with your brand. Again, because your prospects are mostly at home, your reach can increase and you can really hammer home your messaging to people.
In all likelihood, a new customer isn’t going to walk into your business after the first direct mail piece they receive. However, if you reach out to them multiple times in conjunction with your other marketing efforts, you’ll move closer to helping them make a buying decision with you. Use a catchy offer or a colorful postcard to stand out and make your brand memorable.
Talk About How You Keep Customers Safe
Now more than ever, it is important to communicate with your customers and prospects about safety of your business and its practices. Consumers need to know whether it’s safe to have you in their home or when they visit your store. Communicating your policy on masks, social distancing and safety protocols will go a long way in building trust and loyalty from your customers.
We don’t advocate that you leverage a bad situation for gain – but, right now there’s an opportunity for you to be the solution for a stuck-at-home-client. One Stop Mail has all of the resources, from start to finish, to help your business achieve your goals.
Whether your goal is to drive up sales and ROI or simply keep in touch with your customers, now is a great time to spend on direct mail marketing and finish 2020 strong! Call 602-233-3003 to get started on your successful campaign, today.
The first and arguably most important box to check when developing a successful direct mail campaign is determining your target audience. You can design the most engaging mail piece, but if it isn’t mailed to the appropriate prospects, the likelihood of receiving any calls or clicks to your website drops dramatically. The right marketing mailing lists maximize the success of your campaign.
There are critical steps to take before you take the step to rent or buy mailing lists. To get the outcome you desire, determine who will respond to your product, service, or special offer.
How to Choose an Audience
The first step is to take the time to think about your ideal customer. Perhaps your ideal customer are the ones you already have. Maybe your ideal customer is slightly different than your current base. Either way, it’s best to think about what demographics make up your ideal customer.
Jot down a list of characteristics like:
- Household income
- Homeowner or new homeowner
- Married with Children
- Do they live in a specific neighborhood with home with certain home values?
- Are most of your customers within a one to three–mile radius of your location or are your customers spread out?
All of these factors play into the right targeted mailing list you can use to attract new ideal customers. These traits will help determine the type of marketing mailing lists to use. Now let’s look at reasonably priced direct mailing lists that will target your ideal audience.
3 Inexpensive Marketing Mailing Lists
1. Saturation List – A saturation list is exactly what it sounds like. A list of addresses with zip codes that encompasses a radius around a particular location and “saturate” or mail to every address. This list is for businesses that want to attract new customers in a particular area (maybe a two to three–mile radius from your physical location) but don’t need to target specific criteria.
2. New Homeowner List – Mailing to new homeowners is a great way to get in front of an audience that is ready to spend money and needs specific services to personalize their home. Every new homeowner wants to make their new house their own whether it be shutters, blinds, storage, kitchen/bathroom remodels, and much more. Or they need new services in their new neighborhood like restaurants, dentists, pest control, or pool services/landscape.
3. Consumer List – Some businesses may require an audience that meets specific sets of criteria. When considering a consumer marketing mailing list, think about things like household income, home sale value, or age of residents in the household.
After you’ve nailed down your target audience, don’t forget to craft a call to action (CTA) that matches the criteria on your list. You don’t want a CTA or special that misses the mark on your new leads.
If you’re addressing a new homeowner, congratulate them on their new home. If your list is households with children, highlight kids in some way whether through imagery or special offers. Also, if you buy mailing lists that includes the prospects’ name, personalize your mail piece and include their first name or any other data point you can incorporate. Personalization in a mail piece only strengthens your chances of the person reading your mail and taking action.
We Can Help
If you don’t have an internal marketing team to design your next direct mail campaign from start to finish, turn to One Stop Mail – we do all the heavy lifting for you. From professional, eye-catching design, to affordable mailing list and data services, to deploying your mailings, you can depend on One Stop Mail to deliver outstanding results and help you stand out in the mailbox. Call 602-233-3003 to get started on your successful campaign, today.
When it comes to holiday marketing, it’s time to start planning for it. The Holiday season – starting with Black Friday and continuing through New Years – is prime retail season for everyone, and you should focus your budget on proven direct marketing tactics.
Direct marketing via postal mail can still have a vital role to play, especially for smaller shops looking to compete with the “big box” stores in town. Creative, interesting, and engaging holiday marketing materials will help ensure people remember you, no matter what Macy’s has on special.
Do you need to purchase business direct mail lists to make your next mail effort a success?
It’s a complicated question. In years past, there was no question, but these days people are a lot more protective of their personal information and less likely to respond to “cold” advertisements than ever before. Direct mail campaigns are still a great way to reach people, you just have to be a bit more savvy about how you go about it.
Uncover strategies that get better campaign results and use them to get bigger results
It’s exhilarating to get results from a marketing campaign. Finally, the hard work and cost of crafting an effective ad campaign. Keep your celebration short – there’s more work to do with direct mail testing to keep the success going over the long-run.
Although you know that your campaign worked – what was it that resonated with future customers? Did you have the right direct mail list?
Or, maybe it was the offer that did all the heavy lifting. Pinpoint the element that worked best with direct mail testing so you know what to use or change before your next campaign.
In the article “Successful Direct Mail Is All in the Testing” by Lois Geller, she tells an interesting client story. Her team had developed a new marketing approach for a correspondence school. The new method was more expensive than the old one.
The client used the same offer for the new campaign and got the same number of responses as the old. Because the new campaign was more expensive to deploy, the client dismissed Geller’s team and went back to the old method.
Geller reports that something interesting happened. “Two years later our creative director ran into the client at a convention. The client said that our package had become the company’s control because, for some reason, it brought in a better class of customer, the kind of people who stick with the program a lot longer—and who are willing to pay a lot more money.”
The client was just counting the number of responses rather than the quality of people who responded. When they discovered that their new customers stayed longer, they used the latest campaign to get better results. This is how you find a marketing element that can create higher ROI.
What to Test?
The best elements to test for a direct mail campaign are the list and the offer according to the article “Direct Mail Testing – A/B split and multi-variable testing”.
Sure, the copy and images are key components, but the elements with the biggest impact on ROI are the list and the offer. So, if you have limited time and resources, test the list and offer.
Direct Mail Testing
The preferred test method is to focus on one element at a time to pinpoint the one that is working for you. If your current campaign has met your campaign goals, use it as the “control.”
Create a test campaign to send at the same time as the control and monitor the results.
In the test campaign, choose to either send the mailing to a different list – or, use a different offer. Track all the data and the results to see whether you get a better response from the new list or offer, or the old one.
At some point, you may want to test your creative. You can do this by changing out the image that you use in your campaign, a key copy component of the mailer or you can use a different weight of paper to see if you get a better response. Make sure that you change only one element.
After testing, create a new campaign that uses the elements that had the best results.
It’s all about the data
Creative brainstorming can get heated – many experienced marketers have developed an opinion based on what has worked for them in the past.
To ensure that the future is better than the present, keep an open mind to what the data from direct mail testing is telling you. Remember – it’s not about who is right, smartest, or most skilled, the data will tell you what works with no ego involved.
Just keep testing, improving, and growing more success. Have questions? Contact the pros at One Stop Mail – we’re happy to help!
With a well-rounded understanding of the difference between branding and marketing, irresistible offers, and tracking methods, any business can craft the best direct mail campaigns. Below is a sample marketing campaign to show the benefits and ease of creation for even small business owners.
Branding or Marketing the Best Direct Mail Campaigns
Quality-Auto Used Cars is gearing up for an end of summer marketing campaign. They are purchasing many used vehicles and know they need to sell 200 vehicles during their upcoming weekend event. Jeff, the marketing specialist for the dealership, determines they need a direct mail marketing campaign due to their expectations of trackable results, not simply brand recognition for the dealership. With the understanding that getting people onto the car lot will require incentives, the dealership staff begins to brainstorm ideas.
Crafting an Irresistible Offer
The best direct mail campaigns will have a strong core offering that attracts the ideal customer. The dealership staff discuss core offerings for some time and ultimately decide every attendee will receive a hot dog and soda during the “End of Summer Blowout BBQ”. All test drivers who purchase a vehicle will receive a $100 gas card, and 3 lucky winners will receive a BBQ smoker.
Implementing a Tracking Method
Quality-Auto Used Cars decides they will design the campaign postcard as cut-out tickets which can be used as food vouchers and raffle prize entry tickets. This allows the dealership to track the turnout based on the response to the direct mail marketing postcards. The dealership will ask customers where they heard of the event during the sale process to ensure all vehicle sales resulting from the direct mail campaign are given due credit.
Contacting a Direct Mail Marketing Company
Jeff, the dealership’s marketing specialist contacts Tony from One Stop Mail to get help with the direct mail marketing campaign. Tony suggests using One Stop Mail’s graphic design services to create a captivating illustration for the direct mail postcards. Once Jeff approves the final design, One Stop Mail uses Every Door Direct Mail, a USPS service, to deliver the postcard to all homes within a 5-mile radius of the dealership. One Stop Mail handles the difficult work and ensures the postcards are printed, sorted, and delivered at the local post office to be mailed by USPS.
Analyzing the Campaign
Now that the team at Quality-Auto Used cars completes their weekend long sale event, they can analyze the campaign see the benefit of direct mail marketing. Iterations are important in all forms of marketing. As a result, the dealership staff determines if they want to run a second mail marketing campaign using variable data printing, to ensure all prospects who did not purchase a car will receive a voucher for a free oil change and tire rotation with purchase of a vehicle.
This re-marketing allows the dealership to capture a greater percentage of consumers who showed an initial interest in a vehicle and attended the sale event, With variable data printing, the dealership was able to customize each letter sent, using the name of each person who test-drove a vehicle to add a personalized touch and increase the response rate.
As you are planning one of the best direct mail marketing campaigns for your business, contact One Stop Mail for a quote or simply call 602.233.3003 to learn more about how we can help you achieve your marketing goals.
Direct mail is still one of the most popular, affordable, and effective forms of marketing available… but you need to catch people’s attention quickly. 44% is never opened, and most of that boils down to a failure of presentation and not using well-known direct mail tips.
When consumers are time-pressed, your direct mail needs to immediately grab their attention and become the first thing they open.
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