I was reading an article about direct mail on the CMA web site, which said that the response to a direct mail campaign is typically 1 to 3%, but can be as low as 0.25%. Sounds about right to me. Over the years I have heard a lot of figures tossed around, but always in that 2% range. Early in my career my employer had a mailing list of about 10,000, which we used several times a year, and we did get 100-200 responses per mailing.
When you figure that it probably costs $2.00 per name to do a direct mail piece, that means you are paying $100 per lead. Wow, you’d better close a lot of those leads!
Is there a better alternative? I have had good success with a method that I call the Extremely Targeted Mailing.
Here’s how it works. Select a product or service that will be of interest to a clearly defined group of customers. Then pick a very targeted audience, no more than 100. Spend some serious time on the list to really narrow it down. Now compose a covering letter with a good sales pitch, and use a mail merge program to print a personalized letter to each customer. Do a good quality signature scan so that the letters look hand signed, or take the time to actually sign them, (100 letters won’t take that long to sign). The letters should be signed by the person who will follow-up.
Use your mail merge again to prepare mailing labels, and be very careful to put the matching letter in the matching envelope! Now put a real stamp on each envelope. Nothing says bulk mail more than an envelope with metered postage or a bulk mail indicia.
Mail about 10 envelopes per day (keep track of which ones you mailed on which day). About a week after dropping the envelope in the mail, have the person assigned to follow-up call each customer and ask, “did you receive my letter about…” You will be surprised at how many will say yes. And the few who don’t remember will often take a moment to look through their mail to find it. If they don’t remember it or can’t find it, ask to check their mailing address, and offer to send anther copy.
If they do, you are in the drivers seat. Make your telephone pitch, and ask to book a follow-up appointment. If they haven’t read it, ask if you can call back in a couple of days when they have had a chance to read it. And be sure to follow-up!
I have done this many times, and am happy to tell you, this process does not get 1 to 3% response, I have had 25 to 75% success with this approach! Sure, it is a lot more work, but every step along the way involves some sort of customer contact, so even the negative responses have a positive outcome.Would you like some help in designing an Extremely Targeted Mailing? We can even do the grunt work for you. Give us a call for a free needs analysis.