When considering a Direct Mail Advertising Campaign, one of the factors that can really determine the success of your efforts, is to highlight what makes your product or service different and better than your competition.
We’ve developed an Intelligent Approach to Direct Mail Advertising that consists of 5 steps. The video below outlines our Step 3: CLAIM TO FAME.
It’s only about a minute long, so why not watch now?
When considering a Direct Mail Advertising Campaign, one of the factors that can really determine the success of your efforts is balancing reach and frequency.
We’ve developed an Intelligent Approach to Direct Mail Advertising that consists of 5 steps. The video below outlines our Step 2: REACH & FREQUENCY.
It’s only about a minute long, so why not watch now?
ARE YOU READY? HERE IS ONE OF THE SECRETS TO DIRECT MAIL SUCCESS:
Repetition is one of the most important parts of any advertising.
Repetition is one of the most important parts of any advertising.
CAN YOU FILL IN THE BLANKS?
National firms, like companies that sell auto insurance rely on repetition to create a “top of mind awareness”. They recognize the fact that consumers may not be ready to purchase insurance the first time they see their ads. To prove the premise, fill in the blanks with the name of the auto insurance company below:
- You’re in Good Hands with ____________________
- Like a Good Neighbor ____________________ is there
- Call ____________________ , 15 Minutes Can Save You 15% On Car Insurance
Chances are you got all 3 right. It’s the result of repetitive advertising.
Studies have shown the importance of repetition. The more we see or hear something, the more likely we are to believe it and act on it. One report says that 59% of respondents will believe and remember the information they receive if they see or hear it 3 to 5 times.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO DIRECT MAIL ADVERTISING?
So how does this relate to Direct Mail Advertising? Think of it this way. If your goal is to “Grow Your Business”… for the same budget, it is better to mail to 1000 prospects 5 times, than to mail to 5000 prospects 1 time.
Here is an excerpt from an article by the National Federation of Independent Business:
“When designing and placing ads, many small business owners search for the magic bullet: an ad that is so compelling that customers will immediately pick up the phone and call to make an appointment. Remember, advertising is a process, not a one-time event. Advertising research has shown that a consumer usually needs to see an ad five to seven times before responding. This is what the ad industry calls the rule of seven.”
CREATE A TARGET MARKET, BUDGET AND MAILING SCHEDULE
We’ll help you identify your target market and create a consistent mailing schedule that will fit your budget.
Ask us about our payment options that make it possible to mail more for less money. You can save by placing a larger order and then pay as you mail.
Advertising can be expensive, when it doesn’t work well.
However, when a campaign is successful, it won’t cost you money, it will make you money!
How can we improve the results of your next postcard mailing? By generating a bigger response. Well, it’s the message (or special offer) that makes people respond, right? So consider “Kicking It Up A Notch”!
Here are two examples:
A Pizza Shop Drops a Mailing of 5000 Postcards with the Usual Coupons
- ESTIMATED RESPONSE: 3% – Or about 150 coupons redeemed
- COST PER RESPONSE: Cost of the mailing $1798 divided by 150 = $11.98
- REVENUE GENERATED: Average sale $20 x 150 responses = $3000 – not too bad
What if we ”Kick It Up A Notch” and make a really remarkable offer:
“Try Our Pizza – Get a FREE Large Cheese Pizza, No Strings Attached”!
- ESTIMATED RESPONSE: An offer like that could triple the response rate to 9% or 450 coupons
- COST PER RESPONSE: Cost of the mailing $1798 divided by 450 = $3.99 (Much Lower!)
- ADJUSTED COST PER RESPONSE: Add in the cost of the “FREE” Pizza at $3.50 + $3.99 = $7.49
- REVENUE GENERATED: With a FREE Pizza, the average sale will drop to about $8 X 450 = $3600
But don’t evaluate the success of the mailing by only the revenue generated from the coupons.
Let’s say of all coupons redeemed about 30% were new customers.
- NEW CUSTOMERS GENERATED with the Usual Coupon Offers: 30% of 150 = 45 New Customers
- NEW CUSTOMERS GENERATED with the FREE Pizza Offer: 30% of 450 = 135 New Customers
Consider the “Value Of A New Customer” over the next year (or longer).
- How many times will he purchase over the next year?
- How much will he spend over the next year?
- How many friends or family members will he tell about your Pizza?
Maintaining regular customers by rewarding them with special offers and at the same time generating new customers… that is how to Grow Your Business!
In both examples, enough revenue was generated to justify the cost of the mailing without even taking into consideration the potential of future business from new customers.
The usual coupons or a very special offer? You decide how aggressive you want to be.
I have “Good News” and “Bad News”.
First, the Good News…
There are plenty of customers out there, even when the economy is not doing so good.
What is the Bad News?
You probably don’t have a big enough advertising budget to reach them all.
What determines a Geographic Market?
Geographic markets for small businesses fall into three categories:
- Physical Location – Customers Come To You
Like a restaurant or dentist. Unless the business is located in a very rural area, the geographic market will usually be about a 3-mile radius. This market can have 20,000 or more prospects.
- Local Business – You Go To The Customers
Like a lawn service or home remodeling company. In this case the geographic market is larger and is usually defined by neighborhoods. This market can have 50,000 or more prospects.
- Business Without Boundaries – Customers Can Be Anywhere
Like phone, mail or an Internet order businesses. The geographic market can be huge, statewide, nationwide or even worldwide. This market can have hundreds of thousands or even millions of prospects.
Whatever type of Geographic Market your business has, chances are you won’t have a large enough budget to reach all of your prospects on a regular basis. That’s good news. It means you have a lot of room to grow your business.
When using Direct Mail – How many and how often?
If direct mail is part of your advertising plan, how many prospects should you target and how often? There are lots of theories about this problem. The reality for most small businesses is that this question will be most influenced by their advertising budget.
My recommendation is to segment a portion of your potential market (based on your budget) and then mail that segment as often as you can (again, based on your budget).
In other words, for the same budget, I would rather mail 1000 prospects 5 times than mail 5000 prospects 1 time.
There are advantages to this approach.
The targeted market segment becomes your “control group” for experimentation. By mailing to the same prospects, carefully monitoring response and fine-tuning your message, you have an opportunity to develop an acceptable and predictable response rate.
When that happens, hopefully you will see an increase in sales. More sales = a larger advertising budget and you are ready to expand your mailing area. Expand but don’t abandon the original mailing segment. Perhaps you can reduce your frequency in that area due to the increased visibility you have created, but remember, “out of sight, is out of mind” and you don’t want to risk losing the business from that segment.
Direct Mail Works.
Direct mail is one of the most effective media methods you can choose to grow your business, however, like most everything else worth doing, it takes time and money. You have to spend time planning, monitoring and improving your campaigns. Furthermore if you are starting with a modest budget, results will also be modest and more time will be needed for success. So before you start, make a commitment to stick with it and don’t quit until you reach your goal.
EVERYONE LOOKS AT THEIR MAIL, ALL OF IT, USUALLY EVERY DAY
One of the great advantages of Direct Mail Advertising is that it is one of the only media options that is guaranteed to reach the prospect. Think about it, newspapers are losing circulation, television and radio require a huge budget for real market penetration and outdoor advertising (billboards) is hit or miss. But, everyone looks at their mail, all of it, usually every day.
IS YOUR PROSPECT A MAN, A WOMAN OR EITHER ONE?
If you have decided to use Direct Mail to promote your business, the first step is to create a message that will attract the attention of your prospect. Is your prospect a man, a woman or perhaps either one? The other day someone on our team raised the question. When creating a message, should we consider who is bring in the mail? Is it the man or lady of the house? Perhaps it’s the kids. It could even be on a first come, first served basis, who ever gets home first that day.
WHO BRINGS IN THE MAIL? LET’S FIND OUT!
Interesting, I thought, let’s take a poll and gather some answers.
So we invite you to CLICK TO VOTE in our poll. Before you vote and look at the results, who do you think brings in the mail in most homes?
DOES IT REALLY MATTER?
We took a quick survey around the office and found out that the answer to, who brings in the mail, was pretty evenly divided among the four choices offered. I suspect that will be the result of our poll too. So, is this information helpful. Not very. The results are interesting, in a trivia kind of way, but they really should not affect the messaging on your direct mail piece.
SPEAK DIRECTLY TO THE PROSPECT YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH
We stand by our tried and true method of speaking directly to the target profile. It works, we do it every day. If you want to know how and why, read our Feb 6, 2011 Blog Posting “Why Speak To One Instead Of Many?”
CLICK HERE to read it.
Political Campaign Direct Mailing List
In order to have the most effective direct mailing campaign possible, it is essential to target your direct mailers, which means getting them out to the right people. Direct mail allows your campaign to target different voter demographics with highly effective messages. Not all campaign messages will resonate the same with all voters; perhaps a message that reverberates well with seniors may not resonate that well with younger voters. That is the advantage that direct mail has over any other promotional materials (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Fliers, etc.).
So, who should we target?
Well, that depends on the message you are portraying on your direct mail postcard.
- If you are trying to raise funds for your campaign, you would want a mailing list compiled of residents that have donated to a campaign in the past, and have at least a middle class income.
- If you are trying to rally your base, you may want to target only people that are in your party (democrat, republican, independent).
- If you are trying to get young people to get out and vote, you may want target residents that are under the age of 30.
- Are you trying to saturate the entire district with your postcard, then a saturation mailing list would be perfect for you
See Political Postcard Sample Below
Saturation Vs. Targeted Mailing Lists
There are two types of lists that can be used to target potential clients with a direct mail piece. The first way would be to do a “saturation” mailing. A saturation mailing list is compiled by mailing to everyone on a mail carrier’s route. A “targeted “ list is compiled using specific demographical criteria .
What is a saturation mailing mailing list?
Please review video #3 of the bulk mail boot camp.
When to use saturation mailing list?
Can your product or promotion only be used by anyone? If a pizza was offering a three pizza special for $15 would everyone on your street be a potential client? The answer is yes. Every person on your street eats pizza, and is a potential client. If you can look down and you see everyone as potential customer, then saturation is definitely your choice.
If the product or promotion can be used by anybody , it is recommended that you use a saturation list.
- Restaurants —Two for One Entree
- Fitness Club — One Free Trial Membership
- Wireless Store — Free gas card with new phone contract
- Church — Christmas Festival
What is a targeted mailing list?
Please review video #4 of the bulk mail boot camp.
When to use a targeted mailing list?
Can your product or promotion only be used by certain people? If a day care was offering 50% new memberships would everyone on your street be a potential client? The answer is no. Only the people with children on your street are potential clients. Use a targeted mailing list when
If the product or promotion can be used only by certain people, it is recommended that you use a targeted list.
- Restaurants — Kids eat free (homes must have children to be applicable)
- Pet Supply Store — $10 off $50 purchase of dog food (homes must have dogs to be applicable)
- Pool Service — $20 off first cleaning (homes must have a pool to be applicable)
- Church — Vacation Bible School (homes must have children to be applicable)
Understanding Mail Carrier Routes
A carrier route is the actual route walked by a postman.
Every zip code is broken down into carrier routes, also known as a postal route.
Please review video number three of our Bulk Mail Boot Camp below before we go any further.
A postal carrier route is the group of addresses to which the USPS assigns the same code to aid in mail delivery. These codes are 9 digits – 5 numbers for the ZIP Code, one letter for the carrier route type (explained below), and 3 numbers for the carrier route code. For example “05055R003″ or “12508C007.”
A carrier route map consists of two parts; (A) The geographical map of the area and (B) the demographical information of the individual routes.
The (A) map will break each zip code(s) into the individual route that a mail carrier delivers the mail to every day.
Each different route has a colored polygon defining its geographical area and an abbreviated label.
The demographical report of the carrier route map will let you know how many deliverable addresses are in each route. It also displays the average age, income, and home value for each route.
It also breaks down the number of homes and apartment in each route. Please keep in mind that there are additional postage rates when you do not mail to an entire route (ie, mailing to only apartments).
So how do the map and demographics correlate?
On the map, the labels are abbreviated by taking the last two digits of the zip code and the route.
Notice the green polygon located on the left of the map? It is labeled with 40C12.
The last two digits of the zip code are 40. So the zip code would be 44140. And the Route would be C12.
So, on the (A) map 40C12 is the abbreviation of 44140C012.
As you can see, 444140C012 (40C12) has 252 homes and 3 apartments for a total of 255 residential deliveries. The average income is $106,701, the average age is 60, and the average home value $204,851.
Postal routes are the basis for all saturation mailings.
Bulk mail advertising is a proven method for increasing sales for just about any type of business. The goal of all advertising is to deliver results that justify the cost. That’s the tricky part. Advertising is often a “trial and error” process that can be expensive. Here’s a tip that can help improve the results of your bulk mail advertising campaign: Target Neighborhoods NOT Zip Codes.
Carrier route mailings are sometimes referred to as saturation mailings because they include every address within the boundary of the route. The list is complied by the USPS and is updated every two months, so it is very accurate. Carrier route mailing lists are usually presorted in the sequence that the carrier walks his route, and therefore can be mailed at the lowest postage rate available.
Of course a good mailing list is just one of three important elements of a successful bulk mail advertising campaign. The product or service being offered and postcard design are the other two considerations. Each is vital. Try using mail carrier routes and target neighborhoods not entire zip codes and save money on postage in the process!
We have put together a video that summarizes the key points of this article. Feel free to check it out at