Direct mail is a funny thing. Early in our career, we loved direct mail because it was one of the more measurable marketing mediums. We still do love direct mail for this reason and doing personalized campaigns have helped get better responses. Also adding landing pages behind the campaign has helped to measure and qualify your prospects.
I guess the thing that is so funny is how people use these response rate percentages to guarantee their success. You do need to shoot for something, but new direct marketers rely to heavily on these numbers sometimes. I would say that if you truly understand direct mail and know how to maximize every aspect in an expert way than you should be able to reach a 1% response rate. However in this day and age of getting a 1% can be a difficult thing to do.
From a marketing standpoint the great thing about this is that using numbers like this builds failure into the campaign. Since 99% of the campaign is not even expected to work. Building failure into the process is very valuable because you can learn a lot from your marketing failures. This will help your follow-up campaign get better results.
Ok so realistically a lot of companies are getting less than a 1% response rate on their direct mail so what is direct mail conversion rate? Well the conversion rate is the next number to track.
Here is an example.
- Let's say you are mailing 5000 postcards.
- 1% response rate would be 50 people that have made contact somehow, by phone, email, landing page, etc.
- Let's say your sales team is good and they close 20% of these responses. That means you now have 10 new clients.
The direct mail conversion rate has
a lot of variables to consider:
- How qualified the leads are - quality mailing list are huge
- How good is the offer you are making
- How good is the sales person working the lead
- How fast you act on the lead
- How strong your brand is - this helps the prospects trust level be higher
These are just a few of the items you need to understand before you look at a standard direct mail conversion rate. Honestly the only true way to know this is by building a campaign and trying it out. Typically we shoot for at least a 20% for our clients campaigns. However focus on the failure of the first campaign and see if you do reach a 1% response rate and a 20% conversion rate. If you missed any of these marks, ask yourself why? Evaluate the successes and failures you had on this campaign.
Start developing the follow-up campaign and make some changes and see whether you are having more success or more failure. Then evaluate why and where and what would have effected this. This is the true process for a successful direct mail campaign. Do not stick all your eggs in one basket and just hope and pray that you are going to have an 80% conversion rate on your first direct mail campaign. Instead, use this to start creating your baseline to measure against.
I know a lot of companies here these numbers and start spending the money they think their new campaign is going to generate. This is a big mistake. Another mistake is not hiring a professional. Do not go to these quickie all in one places and expect huge success. We know the post office offers this type of service, and they may make it easy to do something, but the effectiveness will be much less than hiring an actual professional.
We wish you all high response rates and better yet high conversion rates with your direct mail campaigns.
Check out our Driect Mail ROI Calculator to learn more about what to expect from your direct mail campaigns.
Good Luck and Happy Mailing!
Posted by: Dale Berkebile