Ready, Aim, Fire!
your company is about to launch a new direct mail campaign. You’ve exhausted all of your creative energy by designing eye-catching, persuasive mailers to elicit interest from recipients. However, your efforts won’t matter much if you aren’t mailing to the appropriate lists.
“There is a formula well known among the direct marketing specialist. The mailing list provides 40 percent of the success of a campaign, the message provides another 40 percent and finally, the creativity provides the additional 20 percent,” noted Jim Spicuzza, executive vice president of marketing and vendor relations, The Shamrock Companies, Westlake, Ohio.
The average success rate of direct mail is 2 percent for business-to-business, 2 percent for business-to-consumer and 1 percent to 2 percent for non-profit, according to Spicuzza. Therefore, when originating a direct mail campaign, don’t underestimate the role of mailing lists.
Starting from Scratch
There are many opportunities to generate a successful mailing list. Perhaps, the most obvious way for companies to begin the process is to evaluate their current customers. Customers have already purchased products in the past, and if their buying experience was positive, they will likely be repeat customers.
Performing a zip code search on customers provides insight to demographics. If particular zip codes appear more frequently than others during a search, then further investigate that geographic market. The Census Bureau and other data suppliers can offer additional demographic data based on zip codes.
Market research studies, particularly those involving focus groups, are another option businesses can use to better understand their target audience. By having an accurate profile of their intended recipients, businesses can weed out inappropriate mailing lists. Still, it is important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. The success rate can increase when a test mailing to a portion of the list occurs, and the returns are analyzed.