Time upon time I’m asked if direct mail still works and without hesitation the answer is a resounding YES!
However, with over 200 million people now on the do-not-call list and over 33 Billion SPAM emails zapped world wide each and every day, mail is again the go-to option for direct marketers and it’s going to have to work even harder and more effectively to produce the results you need to succeed.
Some advice on how to make your next direct mail program a winner right now:
1. Mail first to your existing customer base.
A lot of people spend a disproportionate amount of time on acquisition instead of trying to cross-sell and/or up-sell their current database. Begin where the “low hanging fruit” already exists – with current and past clients. Also, begin a formal referral program to your already loyal clients.
2. Spend more time on list selection, refinement and testing.
It’s a fact that your list is the most crucial element in direct mail success, yet most direct marketers still do not spend enough time on list research and spend even less time testing lists. In order for your mail to work more efficiently for you, first spend more time on list selection and list testing.
3. Test more offers in your next direct mail campaign.
It’s also acknowledged that next to lists, the offers that you make will have the greatest impact on your response rates and ultimately on your return-on-investment. Thus, test some offers and please think outside the box – don’t limit yourself to what’s been done in your industry alone.
4. Be innovative in your mail presentation.
Test different formats with your established controls. Be bold, be basic, but please be different. Try a different size, a self-mailer, even though you know that “self-mailers rarely outperform packages.” Try something dimensional and/or add a premium to your current control.
5. Turn a negative into a positive.
Promote that fact to prospects that you will not call them – especially those signed on for the do-not call list — but still wanted to let them know about your products or services, thus you decided to mail them.
By staying the course, ignoring testing and not doing much if anything differently, you will be risking your current success with mail. Now is the time to let your direct marketing prowess shine.