Direct Mail Tutorial
Direct Mail is often the best way to start building a relationship with new customers.
The fact that you have bothered to write to them rather than email them, is often well received. You can certainly expect a better response rate on a cold mailing than you will get from a cold email. Typically 1 to 2 % from a cold mailing compared to 0.1 % from a cold email.
In addition, your mailings will be helping to build familiarity with your brand. This is borne out by the fact that the highest response rate is often achieved around the third mailing for a particular product offering. Conversely emailing can very easily undermine the trust in your brand by being perceived as spam.
There are in fact many things that affect response rates on mailings, and these comprise the "Product Offering".
They will fall into the following categories:-
Incentives can greatly affect response rates, Hoover once offered free flights on Concorde in return for the purchase of one of their Hoovers. The response rate was overwhelming.
Of course the offer was supposed to be entry into a prize draw for the flight.
Incentives usually take the form of a discount or access to useful information.
It is important to consider the incentive in the light of the overall product offering
This is effectively the creative execution of the mail shot.
There are many variables here and it is important to pass the test of relevance to the target market.
The Message should also be considered in terms of features and benefits to the client, and the rational and emotional elements of the brand.
It takes experience to unravel these concepts. We would of course be happy to discuss them with you.
A more accessible concept is that of HIHI.
Each mailing should be judged against the following criteria:-
Human Or they wont relate to it
Interesting Or they wont read it
Honest Or they wont believe it
Informative to facilitate a buying decision
This is the data strategy, and where the maths comes in.
Basically having decided on the target markets, you segment available data into those target markets.
You then develop a model of expected response rates and costs per response then, test your communications against that model.
Effectively the target markets are held constant and the message and incentive are varied to maximise response.
Responses on their own are worth little if they don’t convert into sales, and you cannot quantify the true ROI unless you know the GP from each extra sale.
It is this thinking that enables you to build a model that justifies ongoing investment, and the true contribution to the business per £Adspend.
This is the model against which response rates should be quantified.
Timing is the tricky one. How do you ensure that your product is front of mind at the time the customer decides to buy?
Some products are seasonal, some are not, but in fact this does not matter, as the answer lies in staying front of mind all the time.
A Multi Channel approach can help here, by providing useful information for example, to armchair gardeners in the winter months. Information helps with planning, if your products are part of that plan there is a good chance they will be purchased when the plan materialises.
This is where the interface comes between Suspects and Prospects, and Mailing and Online communications.
The basic trick is to use the mailings to drive potential customers into a web site where they redeem the incentive.
The price for the incentive is their email address and some information about why the product or service is relevant to the customer’s needs.
Direct Mail Case Studies
West Midlands Police
High Profile Arrests
Build email Database send out responses analysis ACPO Case Study.
Identified customer needs
Change management by trust
Press . local radio etc