Get Smart: Direct Mail ROI

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Direct mail is less expensive than broadcast advertising and is more easily measured for gauging return on investment.

Build a smarter campaign

Direct mail is a highly effective way to find sales leads and win business. It’s used by small businesses, such as your local pizza shop, and by large corporations, such as multi-state banks.

Direct mail is less expensive than broadcast advertising and is more easily measured for gauging return on investment.

But to achieve your Direct Mail ROI goals, you’ve got to cover all of the basics. That’s where a strong partner such as Bluegrass Integrated Communications can help. With 35 years of direct mail ROI experience, Bluegrass has the team and experience to launch a successful direct mail campaign.

The challenges in direct mail are numerous. Savvy consumers have learned to tune out pitches that are noisy and weak. Your direct mail marketing campaign must include a quick, simple, visually-appealing message with an attention-grabbing headline.

Simple Wins

You’ll need a solid offer and a clear call to action. What two or three benefits will the customer enjoy by taking that action? Another thing – be certain to talk more about the customer, not your company. Don’t brag too much. That’s a turn-off. Instead, explain why your product or service will help your customer.

Acquiring or assembling your own high-quality mailing list is a crucial campaign step. Those who supply mailing lists can divide them up numerous ways such as zip code, age, income, lifestyle and buying patterns using various demographic and psychographic data.

It’s smart to include a tracking discount code on the return card so you can analyze how well your list worked and what adjustments are needed for future mailings. Add an expiration date for the special offer or an easy-to-remember URL.

Some businesses initially use smaller lists to test their effectiveness. Small test mailings give you a feel for your baseline response rate. How big should the test mailing be? Too large a mailing can be a waste of money; too small a mailing may not be effective in accurately measuring response rate. A safe rule is to test about 1000-5000 pieces to start.

Now Rinse and Repeat

In future mailings, adjust the mailing list, experiment with different designs or modify the copy. When you’re reasonably confident your campaign strategy is solid, extend the campaign to larger groups with the confidence that your Direct Mail ROI will hit the target.

Do you want to generate leads? Close sales? Raise awareness? Drive traffic to your store or website? Direct mail may be what helps boost your ROI.


John Young

Director of Business Development

January 11, 2013

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