Direct Mail Response Intimidation Factor

Does the thought of coordinating a direct mail marketing campaign still intimidate you? Are you worried about the direct mail response you’ll see? You should be a concern. But the fact is…when you plan your campaign focusing on the right recipients and mailing list  in mind, half your challenge is dealt with.

The entire process of a direct mail campaign encompasses many steps and vital components: none as important as your intended audience, and the right mailing list. Once you’ve decided on the overall goal and purpose of your campaign, the required mailing list becomes clearer. Or…do it the other way around…

Perhaps you already have a list available and know whom you want to reach out to. So, will you buy a list through a mailing house or list broker?

Or will you use the holy grail of mailing lists? I’m talking about your in-house mailing list.

Your In-House List Is Golden

House List Response Rate - Direct Mail Response

Response Rates Vary With Your Mailing List

That’s the one with the names of your current and/or past customers; people who have come into your shop or visited your website and provided their contact information through ballots, or requests for information, etc. You are collecting their mailing addresses right?

Statistics show that your best opportunity for direct mail response lies in your existing connections. Why? Because you’ve already established a relationship with these people. They already know, like and trust you, and have a relationship with you.

And if you’ve been providing great products or services, along with good customer experiences, they’re more likely to return. After all this is your loyal and happy fan base we’re talking about.

Take advantage of their rabid enthusiasm. Forget about the ones that swoop in for a deal and disappear in the night never to return again. If you need more incentive to doing something with your house list, consider the data shared here…

According to a January 2019 article citing the Direct Mail Association’s, 2018 DMA Response Rate Report,
✓ House file (lists) now yield a 9.% response rate (compared to 5.1% in 2017); while
✓ Cold prospect lists yield an average of 5% response (as opposed to 2.9% response in 2017).

That represents an even more impressive opportunity than previously thought for direct mail response as you capitalize on your existing list(s). Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

Moreover, if your campaign includes mailing catalogues or coupons, the results are even more encouraging. Imagine the possibilities.

It’s worth noting that previous DMA reports stated that:
✓ Over 100.7 million U.S. adults made a catalogue purchase in 2016.
(Source: Quad Graphics); and
✓ 2.5 billion coupons were redeemed in 2015.

Another advantage of using your own list is that ultimately, the cost of customer retention is much less than that of seeking out new clients and/or customers. However, this doesn’t mean that you should never send a cold mailing either. At some point you do want to bring in new customers as well so your customer base doesn’t become stagnant.

What I’m suggesting is that if you’re thinking about a strategic and planned marketing campaign, this is a smart place to start and your best option to optimize your direct mail response.

You Know The Audience Already

Your Customers Want To Hear From You

Your Customers Want To Hear From You

Now that you’ve decided to use your in-house list it’s time to consider your message. Think about the conversations you have with people you already know, compared to people you don’t know very well. How much warmer, personal, and easy-going are you with the first group?

Likewise, the advantage of preparing your marketing piece lies in your knowing your audience through an existing relationship. You know their buying habits. And they already like you. You’ve provided stellar service and customer experience in the past. Why wouldn’t they return?

With this advantage in your back pocket, you won’t necessarily need a full-blown long sales letter or marketing piece to lure them back. Unless of course you’re marketing a new product…but I digress.

Even a simple post card mail out will do the trick. In fact, according to a USPS Household Diary Study, postcards have experienced an increase in the number of people reading them, with a 3.95 increase year over year.

So your message and medium don’t have to be complicated and there are numerous options. The trick is to be noticeable, clear, enticing, and appealing to the emotional side of buying. Now couple that strategy with your in-house list, and you’ve got direct mail response magic in the making.

So go ahead, capitalize on your in-house list. It’s waiting for you.

I want to see your direct mail responses soar and hope you’ve found value in this last article in my three-part Direct Mail series.

If you found the information provided in this topic helpful, or would like more information or details on it, I reveal the entire process more in depth through my step-by-step guide on Direct Mail marketing. Be sure to check out the details here, to learn how you’ll benefit from Direct Mail marketing in your small- to medium-business.

Covering Direct Mail Response in Video

Direct Mail Demystified – Part I (image)

Oh…I also cover the topic in a video series if that’s your preference.

Your comments and questions are welcome. Be sure to share them below, and share these tips with your business acquaintances.

I appreciate your interest.


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