While company after company uses direct mail to advertise their products and services, often those mailings have very little effect. The reason for this is that the mailers are often sent out to addresses on a purchased list. In other words, the people on the list didn’t specifically ask for the mailer. Yet marketing companies call it a success if one to three percent of those mailers bring in a customer. In a small company ten to thirty new customers out of a thousand mailers may be something, but even those results are not guaranteed.
Even more often, those direct mailers are sent as part of a package with other companies. This minimizes the costs associated, but up to ninety-nine percent of those packaged mailers wind up in potential customer’s trash cans.
Requested or targeted mailers are still the best way to generate new customers. This can be done in several ways. The company can set up a website where potential customers can enter their physical or email address to receive new offers, or the company can add their company to a managed list with a marketing company. The second option is more costly in most cases, but customers can select the types of companies and offers they receive. Basically, if the customer is looking for electronics they won’t receive offers for used cars. This is more beneficial because customers are more prone to look at mailers they have requested.
What your company needs to do is weigh the costs associated with each option. Some marketing companies charge as much as seventy-five cents per mailer regardless of whether it’s an email or traditional package. While this is a tax write-off for large companies, small business owners find it cost prohibitive.
Be wary of any marketing company which promises more than a one hundred percent return on the cost of the package. Some companies “promise” up to a four hundred percent return on the cost. What this means is that for every hundred dollars spent, your company will get orders for up to four hundred dollars in products or services. The basic cost of those packages usually starts at over five hundred dollars.
Another aspect of direct mail marketing is the offers themselves. Most people look for large numbers like fifty to seventy-five percent off a product or service they need or might need soon. Anything less is just another piece of junk-mail to them. Five percent off a thousand dollar item might seem like a lot to your company, but an item priced that high usually isn’t one that people want or need immediately. If the offer is less than fifty percent off an item or product, give your potential customers whole numbers that they can see. If the regular price is one thousand dollars, put the twenty-five percent off sale price in large numbers right below it.
To sum up, don’t count on direct mailing to get new customers unless it is specifically requested by potential customers. Unless the cost is less than one cent per mailer, it probably isn’t worth the cost. Finally, gather lists for your company yourself. Sending direct mail to a purchased list of over ten thousand consumers might sound great, but it’s not worth it if you only gross fifty new customers – especially if the list cost your company over a thousand dollars.