How to Increase Direct Mail Responses

Direct mail is one of the most effective forms of marketing, yet with any marketing initiative activity, you need to measure its efficacy. While the goals of each campaign will vary — from sales or sign-ups to brand awareness, the bottom line is the most important. You can learn with very little effort just how successful your campaign has been by looking at your direct mail responses and response rates, but it takes a little more initiative to increase it. Don’t fear — there’s a science to it, and there are certain tips and tricks to increase your response rate.

 

Research

While it might sound obvious, you must understand what your market needs and what it will respond to. Before you begin, gain as much insight as you can into your data, or if the information isn’t  readily available, learn your customers demographics by profiling them against an external  data source and make some well thought through assumptions, at the very least.

 

Personalise

Successful campaigns are personalised and relevant to your audience. These days with direct mail capabilities, you can do so much more than ever before, such as personalised URLs, QR codes that take a customer to their own page on a mobile device, or their sales history included within the copy of the mailer. Whatever you do, make it effective and personalise from front to back. Show you recognise them as an individual.

 

Cleanse Your Database

Target the right prospects by ensuring your records are correct and up to date. There’s no use sending out mailers to those who might who have moved on from their location or are deceased. Perform due diligence yourself, or enlist an agency to do it for you to prevent embarrassment and wasted printing and postage.

 

Be Clear About the Message 

This is possibly one of the most crucial points of direct mail as you’d hate to waste an opportunity. Keep the creative clear and eye-catching, use a strong call to action so the prospect knows what they have to do and by when, and sell them the benefit as wells as the features. Make them believe that your product or service is the only one they need. And give them a reason that they need it now.

 

Make It Easy To Respond

You want your customer to respond, so you want to make it easy for them. Integrate direct mail digitally with a website that’s accessible across all devices, provide a toll-free or local telephone number for which they won’t have to pay, or include a postage-paid reply envelope. They’re small details, but they’re worth considering for a greater response.

 

Something Lumpy!

Who’s going to throw away an envelope with something squishy, lumpy or bulky? It’s the one way to guarantee that they open it. It could be a product sample, a fun trinket, or a something witty that references the creative. And while it mustn’t be a huge cost, something to make an extra connection with your customer can be priceless.

Find out more about our mailing services today and how we can help you boost sales. Contact us on 01494 539300, email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or fill in our online contact form.

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Set Up a Direct Mail Campaign

The Right Way to Set Up a Direct Mail Campaign

Having completed over 25 years of direct mail campaigns averaging 40 a week, we’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s best direct marketers. We’ve seen and experienced how they put their campaigns together, while adding our own expertise and knowledge into the mix to make for high ROI campaigns.

The most successful campaigns appear effortless in their execution, but it’s those with the most level of preparation that yield the most success. Here’s what we’ve learned as an outline of what every successful direct mail campaign contains.

 

Define your objectives

Figuring out what you wish to achieve with your campaign is the best place to start. Not only does it affect the design of the overall strategy, but can simplify just how you go about it. Whether it’s sales-focused or sign-ups-driven, think about what kind of conversion would satisfy the needs of the campaign. For those that are designed with brand awareness in mind, think about what kind of metrics you would use in order to measure its efficacy. We find defining objectives upfront invaluable when predicting the outcome.

 

Create a targeted list

Whether an internal database or a purchased list, the best direct mail campaigns target prospects with appropriate segmentation, the more available information the better. Think about the particular cohorts you wish to speak to and any behaviour that can help you increase conversions. Where do they live? Where do they shop? What kind of offers would interest them? The questions of who, what, where, why and when, help you the most effective method of communication for your data set.

 

Create your mailing design

As the vehicle for your campaign, the design is integral to its success. When developing your mailing materials, pay close attention to each element, whether it’s a letter, a flyer, special offer or a reply card. Are they eye-catching? Are they clear in their communication? Does the envelope scream “Open me”? Seek advice from your designer and direct-mail specialist, and don’t afraid to be creative. As a rule of thumb, 20 percent of the response is influenced by the design or writing of the mailing item, so give it the time and attention it deserves.

 

Then make sure your creative answers these 4 questions

1. Why should anyone read it?

2. Why should anyone believe it?

3. Why should anyone do anything about it?

4. Why should it be acted upon immediately?

 

Code your mailing

Set yourself up for highly accurate and measured results: Give your campaign a distinct identifier with personalised coding. With this information, you can determine which elements of your campaign are the highest performing and look at improving future distributions, as well as assessing the success of the existing one.

 

Test your campaign

The beauty of direct mail is in its flexibility. Why have just one offer when you can have many to establish just which is the most effective? A/B testing achieves even more from your campaigns. Try different calls to action on your envelope, change the wording of the offer to see which has the most engagement, or change the parameters of the database sample and watch the results roll in. With experimentation comes wisdom, and this wisdom is something we’ve acquired over the past two-and-a-half decades. Many approaches to the one campaign can offer insight into your database and how to best achieve an increased response rate with future mailings.

 

Distribute your mailer

Once you’ve fine-tuned your campaign, it’s ready for distribution, but there’s a lot more involved than putting a stamp on the envelope and sending it out into the wild. Bulk mailings require special consideration, largely so the postman doesn’t have a fit! We can advise on the requirements of the Royal Mail, and make adjustments to your campaign so it accommodates them. You might be eligible for Royal Mail discounts, in which case, gives you even greater ROI for a large-volume distribution.

 

Handle responses

Be confident in your ability to handle an influx of responses by being prepared. A test campaign will help you understand the response rate and plan for the extra demand on your resources, giving you ample time to assess a temporary staffing solution with your direct mail supplier should you need one. While you wait for the phone to ring, this is the perfect opportunity for additional training for your staff. The experience should be seamless for the customer from the moment they receive the mailing in their letterbox to when they connect with your team members for their new product or service.

 

Measure your results

Finally, and possibly the most insightful, your current campaign’s results are key for planning the next. Look at the rate of response and see if you can discern any correlation between the recipients and their behaviour, and of course, how it affected the bottom line. Your direct mail provider will have examples of previous campaigns to benchmark yours against, and will allow you to predict future responses. Make the necessary adjustments and commence your next phase of distribution for a simple and effective direct mail campaign.

 

Find out more about our mailing services today and how we can help you boost sales. Contact us on 01494 539300, email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or fill in our online contact form.

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Award Winning Direct Marketing

Award Winning Direct Marketing

HOW WE HELPED TO PROVE
THE GTECH AIR RAM IS THE BEST
VACUUM CLEANER EVER.

Last month we told you how we took home a silver DMA Award, but how did we do it? Our client Gtech and their direct mail campaign has revolutionised the cordless vacuum marketplace. In short, turning a general loathing of vacuuming into a love of vacuuming for thousands of consumers. But how?

Gtech couldn’t rely entirely on the short narrative of TV and page advertisements to tell the whole story. By taking data of previous Gtech carpet-cleaner customers and testing alongside external prospect lists, it enabled Gtech to redefine their customer base and grow their direct sales.

One of the key factors to our success has been our constant measurement and refinements of campaigns. When testing new media, we employ order tracking tools, unique phone numbers on TV and codes in press and direct mail. We then measure response against web traffic, calls and sales data. We profile all customers’ sales by postcode region and map this within TV regions, which provides valuable demographical insights and is critical to identifying ROI and value for money against a traded CPM.

While vacuuming could never be called glamorous (unless you do it in an evening dress or a tuxedo) we took Gtech’s new AirRam vacuum, designed a unique, lightweight, simple, clean mailer, that was low-cost to post, while displaying the proposition without unwrapping and delivered it to over 1,500,000 British homes via the Royal Mail.

Our campaign made use of press coverage, specifically the Daily Mail, and leveraged their claim, “Is this the best vacuum cleaner ever?” By placing the proposition with a great exclusive offer and imagery of the cordless vacuum, one’s curiosity could only be piqued.

And it was. With a whopping 4.3% conversion to sale.

One of the challenges of the campaign came from the relative obscurity of Gtech and how exactly to convince the consumer of their reputation. Through the campaign we delivered resolutions to any hesitations by putting them in the mailer and by helping establish Gtech as the market leader.

So why not have a talk to First Move about how we can create a similar campaign for you with such impressive results? While vacuum cleaners might, direct mail certainly does clean up, awards and all.

 

Find out more about our mailing services today and how we can help you boost sales. Contact us on 01494 539300, email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or fill in our online contact form.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

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First Move direct marketing orders 1st Xerox Trivor™ in the UK