What the …. are direct-response mail-outs?
Direct response mail-out packages are a very cost-effective way of marketing your services and products. You know the ones, arriving uninvited in your mailbox, addressed “To the Householder” or something similar. Direct response mail-out is like the print version of the cold call telemarketers use, that we all love so much. Really selling it early, aren’t I? But that’s not the whole story, seriously, please read on.
Statistically, direct response mail-out is still on the top shelf of marketing media. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Factbook for 2015:
- 65% of consumers of all ages have made a purchase as a result of direct mail.
- 42% of recipients read or at least scan direct mail pieces.
- 14.1% of people aged 45-54 respond to direct mail pieces, making them the demographic most likely to respond.
- 50.9% of recipients find postcards useful, making them the favored type of direct mail piece by consumers.
- Individuals are far more likely to respond to direct mail if it comes from a company where they’ve been a customer. So it’s a great way to win back former customers. Which tells you it’s a good media to use with your client database.
And according to a recent survey conducted by Target Marketing magazine, the media that delivered the strongest ROI for customer acquisition for business to consumer (B2C) marketers was direct response mail-out. Direct mail also scored the highest among B2C marketers for customer contact and retention.
So in terms of response rate, cost-per-lead, customer retention and ROI, and despite the focus of many marketers moving towards the internet, direct response mail-outs are still holding their own, and deserve consideration in any marketing campaign.
The reasons for this are largely emotional. Consumers are often more comfortable receiving promotional material in the mail. They get to read it in the privacy of their own home, in their own time. They’re relaxed, there are no time pressures, they can re-read it and share the information with spouse or family, and have it at hand when it suits them to contact you and make the sale.
It’s far less invasive than phone marketing, or having flyers thrust into your hands at the shopping centre. There are also personal and tactile elements; of having received it in your mailbox, of being able to hold the offer in your hand, that connect on a different level than electronic media can hope to. In a survey conducted by by Millward Brown, a leading global research agency, they revealed that ”physical media–AKA direct response mail–left a ‘deeper footprint’ in the brain.”
There is a certain skill and a few tactics involved though, to overcome the cynicism I mentioned earlier, to grab the attention of readers before they throw it in the bin with the rest of the junk mail. It’s one of our specialties. With the aid of a lot of research about your product and your target market, we get down to pure copywriting, and delivering material that gets past the gatekeeper.
There are many formats you can choose from, and we can certainly offer suggestions on the most suitable for your campaign, but to give you a breakdown of the process, a basic mail-out package consists of:
- Development of the promotion. We’ll discuss with you the specific product or service you want to sell and how you see the market. We’ll do the research and the copywriting, the drafting and testing, and get it through design and proofing to give it the best chance of success.
- The mailing list. Unaddressed mail-outs are the generic option, but you can be more specific if you already have your own client list you want to focus on. Lists are also available from third parties, and can be very productive. These lists are populated by consumers who’ve already indicated their willingness to purchase products or services like yours, and while they elevate the cost, they also greatly improve your sales strike rate. We partner with Australia Post to do unaddressed bulk mail-outs to geographical areas and postcodes; this is a great budget option, perfect for businesses that operate within a local area, or who are considering expansion to a new area.
- Printing. Obviously volume and presentation are the guiding cost factors here, i.e. bulk discounts and your choices of paper stock and ink, but regardless of your choices, we partner with one of the major franchises to get the best value for money.
- Delivery. Australia Post costs begin at around 20c per mailbox.
We’d love a chance to discuss how direct mail-outs can work for you, so please contact us as soon as you can.