Many marketers struggle with how to increase their direct mail response rates, year over year.
There can be many reasons for falling response, such as the offer, the creative or the list. Sometimes, it’s because the lead attribution is unclear. Because many customers travel through varying channels before purchase, it can be hard to know where they originated.
So with ever-increasing pressure to stay out in front of current marketing trends, it becomes very important to validate the use of direct mail.
Therefore, we need to find ways to continue to increase direct mail responses.
3 Ways to Increase Direct Mail Response Rates
- List — The first place to look to increase your responses is your list. This is your most valuable asset. Hopefully, you have maintained a good clean list that you can rely on to be accurate. If so, you are able to glean a lot of information about who your customers are and what offers will interest them. The most effective way to target offers to the right people is with variable data on your mail pieces. This will create unique pieces, with not only variable offers, but also corresponding images. It is not enough to personalize the piece with just a name; you need to target your messaging and offer to each person through the use of variable data.
- Offer — Your offer drives people to respond. When you get a lackluster response to a mail campaign, you need to look at what offers you used and who you sent them to. Start by looking at the wording of each offer. Are they too long or confusing? Did you provide a good incentive? Is the offer easy to find on the mail piece? You want your offer to be simple, concise and relevant to each person. Create some new offers on your next campaign to test which offers get the most response.
- Creative — Before anyone actually reads your mail piece, they make a decision on whether to read it or to throw it away. Your creative design matters. The images you choose are very important, as they convey your message before anyone reads what you have to say. The wrong images have a big impact on response. Have you made any changes to your creative design recently? What formats have you tried before? Sometimes, just changing from a postcard to a letter in an envelope can help you increase responses. You can test different formats at the same time. Create curiosity about your mail piece and do something different. You may be surprised by your results when you change things up.
These are by no means the only factors that contribute to direct mail response rates; they are, however, the three most important ones. Yes, timing matters; but in many cases, that is out of your control, anyway. So focus on what you can control and create the best direct mail pieces for each of your customers and prospects. Your mail service provider can look over what you have been sending and any new ideas you have in order to help you find the best fit for you and your customers/prospects.
Direct mail response attribution can be a challenge; but if your direct mail results really matter, you can find ways to track customers, even with omnichannel experiences. How, you ask? The easiest way is to provide different offers for different channels. You can then track exactly which offer was responded to and what channel they chose. Just keep in mind that most people who get direct mail pieces are going to make a purchase online. So be prepared. Are you ready to get started?