First Move Direct Marketing

35 Years of Delivering Direct Marketing Success

35 Years of Delivering Direct Marketing Success

What Are the Patterns of Behaviour When It Comes to Direct Mail?

Direct Mail Patterns of Behaviour

Patterns occur naturally and help us to recognise a structure and that perhaps life isn’t entirely arbitrary. The same applies to marketing, including direct mail and its statistical analysis by searching for repetitive behaviour, usually in the form of sales, conversions or other metrics.

This data is vital to assessing the profile of your customer or prospect. It helps you to assess their propensity to spend and to devise a direct marketing strategy to target them with insight into their behaviour before you make your first contact.

If you have an established business with a proven sales history then you are at a serious advantage to your more junior competitors. Having a record of what has enticed customers before (and how they behaved once they received your direct mail) allows you to contact them armed with the information you need. When you apply this principle to direct mail it makes your job of selling much easier, whether product, service or charity.

There are three key behaviour patterns to identify when it comes to Direct Mail:


While it might seem obvious, frequency refers to how often your client purchases. For subscription-based services this could be monthly, quarterly or annually; for specific products, this could be once a year or every few years. Understanding your frequency helps you anticipate demand for your product or service and can assist in planning things like inventory and peak replenishment periods.



Value helps you identify the amount your customer spends each time, and can help you estimate how much they’re worth to you in the long run when paired with frequency. Not all customers were created equally and some are more valuable to you than others—these are the ones worth nurturing.



How long will your customer stay with you? This is where lifespan comes into play, helping you to understand whether they’re a once-off customer or if they could remain loyal for the long haul. Clients with a long lifespan are good targets for supplementary products or services that add value to what they already have.
When analysing your sales data, take the three above factors into consideration. Pick your star product or service (this will likely be your highest seller) and apply these three metrics to the sample. Use this information to understand your data better and make more informed decisions when sending out your next direct-mail campaign.

For example, those lower-value clients have the potential to become higher-value clients if you understand more about their lifespan. This will show you opportunities where you can contact them more frequently and thus, build your sales. Just follow the patterns.


You might also be interested in the following articles:

A guide to testing in Direct Mail

What to include in a Direct Mail pack

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