Direct Mail Drives Profits
Generate repeat business by selling in the direct mail arena.
With knowledge of the processes involved, distributors can successfully sell direct mail pieces to generate profits and repeat business.
Bob Nesbit, vice president of sales and marketing for CDCI in Dayton, Ohio, believes that one factor that contributes to the popularity of direct mail is that it can always be measured and tested.
"After establishing a control group that doesn't receive mail at all, different creative approaches and offers can be tested," noted Nesbit. "The idea is to try to continually beat the control group so that distributors may provide a package that creates the greatest return on investment."
He reminded that the package that beats the control group doesn't have to be the most expensive, as price doesn't necessarily determine effectiveness.
What really drives the direct mail process is the information contained in the database. While the basic information consists of the name and address, more in-depth data is usually involved.
"Many times, the database will include phone numbers for follow-up telemarketing," said Nesbit. "It also may include psychographics, purchase history and demographics."
This information, he explained, helps create a predictive model of the target audience from the responses that have been gathered in the past.
Bob Blohm, technical production manager for GBF Graphics in Skokie, Ill., noted that the benefit of having the information stored in the database is that customers won't have a lot of preprinted forms lying around for different versions of the direct mail piece.
"We print a basic shell, like a logo or some general rules," he said. "Then the pieces get customized by the information coming from the database."
GBF has done many pieces for the auto and insurance industries which have involved additional information from the database, Blohm noted.