Monday, February 28, 2011

Lure Customers With Repeat Mailings

This blog has previously discussed how a persuasive offer is essential when making any sales pitch. But in these challenging economic times, higher printing and postage costs ‘shouldn't stop you from mailing aggressively if you've got a well-targeted list and a compelling offer,’ writes Ivan Levinson in his recent article in Direct Marketing IQ.

But how often is too often to mail? And when do you stop?

Levinson says that mailing once and hoping for a response won’t get the job done. For repeated mailings, he makes four suggestions:

1. Send the original mailing to the same targeted list.
2. Send a different letter to clients and prospects which do not respond.
3. Limit the time that your offer will be available.
4. When you have given up on receiving a reply, send them a postcard describing that this is their final opportunity to respond to take advantage of the offer.

A recent case study of an offer sent to existing and prospective customers, by a printer in Kitchener, Ontario, revealed that “out 275 personalized postcard invitations [they] received 43 responses through the landing page, a 15.6 percent response rate.” The owner of the firm believed that “the campaign yielded an excellent return on investment.” The company used variable data printing in an integrated direct marketing plan. Certainly repeated mailings are in the works.

So when do you stop mailing? Well, that question reminds me of a feature in a catalog tracking software that I sold years ago. The question there was how much area on the page should be devoted to featuring a given product. The answer invariably was: increase the area of a good selling product until it stops making money. In that way the answer is the same as with a mailing, and in line with Mr. Levin’s conclusion: “Keep on mailing until you stop making money.”

Read more from Mr. Levinson’s article here.