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How to Save Money on Direct Mail

The mainstay of marketing, direct mail remains one of the most useful tools in customer procurement, engagement and retention. Direct to homes and businesses across Britain, it’s front and centre where your prospects live and work. Direct mail’s unique selling point is its physicality, something that is rare to find in the predominantly digital landscape in which we live. But why send a mailer when you can send an email? Higher engagement rates, that’s why.

Of course, a printed mailer has a greater production cost than its electronic counterpart—what with the printing, the postage, and the man hours required to get it just right. That said, direct mail has greater rates of engagement and comes out as the overall leader in cost per acquisition. There’s always room to save money on Direct Mail, and it comes from being strategic, sensible and planning your campaign from the outset. Here are some pointers to get you on the way to greater campaigns for less.

 

Cleanse Your Database

An accurate database means less returned mail, which equates to money saved. Think of the environment and your back pocket before mailing out into the ether. Ensure your database is up to date by validating all records, merging duplicates, and data matching any gaps.

Find out how we can help manage your data.

Buy Lists

Rather than pounding the pavement to find new clientele, let someone else do the hard work for you. Data companies have millions of records awaiting your special brief. By pulling data from a variety of sources, they can match your requirements to build a comprehensive client profile. Now just wait for the leads to roll in.

 

Outsource Data Entry

Got a stack of unentered customer data cards sitting in a shoebox somewhere, but can never find the time nor resources to have them entered into you database? It’s easy—get some outside help. Using electronic data scanning, a computer can read cards in milliseconds, digitising all the contact information in the fraction of the time it would take you or a team member do the same.

 

Mail Discounts

When you work with a professional direct mail company, use their power of persuasion to attract discounts. Bulk mailings do attract special postage rates from the Royal Mail and Down Stream Access competitors and these can vary depending on your requirements Advertising or Business? Prepared to wait a little longer for the mail to reach your customer? There’s a discount for that. Pre-sorting the mail before dispatch? It will be cheaper again. There are endless ways to work the system, and your direct mail specialist can show you the way.

Find out more about our mailing services.

If you’d like in-depth insights to successful direct mail campaigns, call us on 01494 539300 or fill in our online contact form

You might also be interested in the following articles:

5 Reasons to take another look at Direct Mail

Achieving better Direct Mail response rates in this digital space

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A Guide to Testing in Direct Mail

Top tips on testing in Direct Mail for increased customer engagement and higher ROI

Many people aren’t aware of one of the most attractive features of direct mail: the ability to constantly test and refine your campaigns, ensuring your message is always evolving to maximise your reach and improve your responses. As the UK leaders in delivering Mailing Services, we have all the direct mail tools and expertise you need to successfully execute an A/B testing campaign.

See below our guide to testing in Direct Mail –

What is Direct Mail A/B testing?

A/B testing enables you to uncover what works best and what does not, continuously improving your ‘control’ pack. Begin your campaign with two alternative mailings, A and B. If possible make the test changes meaningful by which we mean clearly different e.g. one with a lift piece one without or one creative vs. another.

Build in a system that allows you to track the response from each of the two mailings. This could be a scannable barcode which indicates which mailing the response comes from or a unique customer code, for instance. Once responses start coming in, it becomes easy to measure and compare the response rates from the two mailings. Keep a daily record it will really help later on.

Find out more about A/B Testing.

 

What to test

Later when you have the confidence that you are achieving a Return on your Investment you might test out visual tweaks to your campaign: changes in colour scheme, images, layout and font. Changes in the envelope presentation, for example, or in whether key parts of the text or greeting are handwritten or typeset, can also prove significantly affect response rates. Valuable feedback can also be gained from testing changes to copy and the offer contents itself. You might shorten or extend the deadline on an offer, or trial a rebate scheme, for example, against a two-for-one offer. Changes in the target group (who you are mailing) are also great fodder for A/B testing.

 

One step at a time

Now, let’s imagine you’ve done your first A/B test—with varying offers, say—and evaluated the responses. For your next mailing, use the more successful offer from the first mailing for both your A and B groups, but vary something else—perhaps the layout or the greeting. This time, did group A or B yield a higher response rate?

Incorporate your results into your third mailing but this time test yet another variable. Monitor every response you receive daily so that you can forecast results, learn lessons and implement them, in realtime, without waiting until an offer ends.

 

Cut the cake into different-sized pieces

While the standard A/B test involves a 50/50 split, there might be other lower risk ways to trial a new campaign idea. Try a 70/30 or even 90/10 split for a new idea that might be high risk in a standard 50/50 scenario. Of course, the greater the difference in size between the “control” and the test pack, the larger the mailing may need to be to give meaningful results.

Please contact us enquiries@firstmove.co.uk, call 01494 539300 or fill in our online contact form for more information.

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Direct Mail – 4 ways to split test

10 tips to successful Direct Mail campaigns

direct mail response rates

Achieving better Direct Mail response rates in the digital space

When it comes to a direct mail campaign, direct mail response rates are our bottom line. And research shows that, whereas an average email marketing campaign will yield a response rate of just over 1 in 1000, response rates of 1 in 25 or better are possible for an expertly planned and executed direct marketing campaign. But just how does one get one’s direct mail response rates to rise?

 

Personalisation

A personalised message with customer-specific content can be the crucial difference between your mailing ending up in the rubbish bin and your prospect ending up in your store or on your books. The options for personalisation are limitless: from envelope colours to handwritten greetings to offer content, a cleverly personalised message is easy and will lift response rates dramatically.

Find out more about direct mail personalisation.

Timing

The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing, goes a well-known saying. And in many cases when it comes to generating sales or subscriptions, nothing could be more true. Use sales information and expert knowledge to optimise the timing of your direct mail campaigns so that your message arrives exactly when your prospect wants to hear it, maximising customer response rates at no extra cost, that can be acutely personalised from a behavioural perspective.

 

Using previous sales information

One of the most powerful tools in the direct mail kit is the ability to analyse previous sales information and use it to tailor your current campaign. In some cases the application of “big data” can be harnessed by pushing an almost limitless level of personalisation into any mailing. Basically if you’ve got the data, we’ve got the know-how. Build a customer database that enables you to easily identify customers who have purchased most frequently, most recently, and who have spent the most money, and use this information to target future campaigns. Sales records and information about customer preferences can be used to generate leads and convert these to sales or subscriptions, ensuring the maximum response rates from every campaign.

 

Filtering and segmentation

Another key strength of direct mail marketing is the possibility of taking the information in your database and applying filters to help segment your campaigns, ensuring the right prospects are targeted in a way that speaks to them. The database is at the heart of this process, and indeed, the heart of any good campaign. Using categories, codes and key data fields, you can organise your data in the most effective way possible, making future filtering and analysis as easy as a few mouse clicks. Once the filters have been applied, segmenting your campaigns to target different groups is a cinch—and higher response rates await.

 

Means of reply

Every prospect is different, and a smart campaign will reflect that, not only in the content and format of the mailing, but also in the means of reply. Email, phone, web, post—cater to all factions of your audience by knowing their preferences. Use sophisticated database filters to segment your campaigns into differing means of reply groups, so that every prospect is as comfortable as possible with the reply means, and of course, far more likely to respond.

If you’d like to talk further about your direct mail campaigns and find out how to increase your direct mail response rates call us on 01494 539300 or fill in our online contact form.

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

How to write a responsive Direct Mail letter

5 ways to personalise your Direct Mail campaign