3 Methods of Increasing Direct Mail Response Rates

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.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Your Job Search Is Like a Marketing Plan

The modern-day job search is not like it used to be. Long gone are the days of applying for jobs online and getting calls for interviews. Depending who you ask, there’s only a 2 to 4 percent response rate for posted positions. Yet, so many people start their job search this way because that is what they know. Essentially, what they are doing is marketing without a plan.

Job SearchA client recently came to me frustrated.  He had been applying for jobs for about a month and was not getting any traction/response. In the past he had never had a problem, and he couldn’t figure out what might be going wrong. From my experience, I know he is not alone in his thinking.

The modern-day job search is not like it used to be. Long gone are the days of applying for jobs online and getting calls for interviews. Depending who you ask, there’s only a 2 to 4 percent response rate for posted positions. Yet, so many people start their job search this way because that is what they know. Essentially, what they are doing is marketing without a plan.

When I first got introduced to direct mail 15-plus years ago, I was told, “Direct mail is like the salesman that lands in your mailbox.” Well, this scared the heck out of me, because I was coming from a graphic design job and knew nothing about sales. Yet, those words always resonate with me whenever I plan marketing campaigns. In job search, it’s really no different. Your LinkedIn profile, resume and cover letter are your sales team. And they are going to help your ideal employer find you.

So, you really need to run your job search like a marketing campaign. Let’s walk through the critical components of a campaign. Then I’ll show you how it translates to job search.

1. The Target = Your Ideal Company and Position
You would never go to market without knowing who your target audience is. So why would you launch a job search without knowing where you want to end up? Everyday I see people launch their job searches by updating their resumes and then blasting them everywhere. In reality, it pays to take the time to figure out where you want to be.

Just like you have buyer personas for your company’s products, you need a company persona for your job search. With your company persona in mind, it will be easier to write your career marketing materials. Answer questions like these when creating your company persona:

  • What industry?
  • What size company (staff and revenue)?
  • Agency or Corporate?
  • B-to-B or B-to-C?
  • What type of culture are you looking for?

Once you have your company persona, start researching companies that fit your description. Find out what their pains are and how you can solve those pains.

If you want to go a step further, write out your ideal job description. It can serve as a guide when you’re wondering if you should apply for a posted position.

  • What title do you want?
  • Who do you want to report to?
  • What type of projects do you want to work on?
  • Do you want to manage or be an individual contributor?

Now, you truly have your target defined. Then instead of searching for a job, you’ll search for companies with specific challenges you know you can solve!