Marketing Professional in mumbai

direct mail

Some of the principles and rules referenced here also apply to other types of direct marketing, including ‘door-to-door’ distribution and telemarketing methods.

Direct mail is the process of sending your material (by itself or in a shared mailing with other items) direct to the address of the potential customer by post. The elements which make up the direct mail process are basically:

1. a mailing list of names and addresses (from your own data-base or names sourced elsewhere)
2. the item(s) to be mailed, and envelopes or packaging, if applicable
3. resource or facility to ‘stuff’ and address or label the envelopes/packaging (assuming you are putting the item in an envelope or packaging, which of course is not always the case)

4. and postal charges, which depend (in the UK) now on the size and shape as well as the weight of the item being mailed.

The last two stages are often called ‘fulfilment’.
The last two stages are often called ‘fulfilment’.

Direct Mail is generally used to generate a direct response from the recipient and will commonly incorporate a reply or response section within the mailed item.

Aside from the strength of your proposition, response rates vary according primarily to the quality of the list, notably:

the reliability of the list data (new clean lists obviously perform better than old out-of-date lists)
and how well ‘targeted’ the list is in terms of your offer (how relevant it is to the recipient).
and how well ‘targeted’ the list is in terms of your offer (how relevant it is to the recipient).
Direct mail is not a precise science. See the direct mail story for example. There are many things that can go wrong, and even more things that are unknown and unimagined by the campaign manager. Like the rest of advertising, whether a direct mail campaign works well or poorly it’s often very difficult to discover what elements need to be changed and how: the proposition, the mailing list, the reliability of the fulfilment, the day and time of delivery, the response mechanism, something else? For large ongoing campaigns it is appropriate and cost-effective to conduct follow-up surveys of respondents and non-responders, but for smaller initiatives it’s rarely cost-effective to attempt detailed analysis other than to look for obvious indications of success or failure.
Direct mail is not a precise science. See the direct mail story for example. There are many things that can go wrong, and even more things that are unknown and unimagined by the campaign manager. Like the rest of advertising, whether a direct mail campaign works well or poorly it’s often very difficult to discover what elements need to be changed and how: the proposition, the mailing list, the reliability of the fulfilment, the day and time of delivery, the response mechanism, something else? For large ongoing campaigns it is appropriate and cost-effective to conduct follow-up surveys of respondents and non-responders, but for smaller initiatives it’s rarely cost-effective to attempt detailed analysis other than to look for obvious indications of success or failure.

A direct mail campaign which produces more than a 2% response is normally considered very successful. Lower than 1% response is more usual. You then need to take into account the conversion rate (the conversion of responses into sales), assuming the campaign is designed to produce responses or enquiries and not sales directly. Aside from the quality of the responses, which is determined by the campaign, conversion rates also vary according to factors outside of and after the direct mail activities themselves, such as response handling, IT systems, sales follow-up, etc. It is therefore important to judge a direct mail campaign first on percentage and quality of response, and then separately to assess the overall results of the campaign including conversion statistics and sales values.

Inexperienced marketeers (and many experienced ones too) tend to over-estimate forecasted response rates for direct mail, so a planning tip is to be pessimistic (prudent, as accountants say), especially when calculating advertising viability and return on investment. When you first state your estimated response rate as part of the financial justification for the direct mail campaign, next reduce it by a factor of 10 (i.e., re-assess the campaign viability using on one-tenth of your initial response forecast). If the figures still show a positive return on investment then your campaign might well be successful. If not, then it’s sensible to re-think the whole thing.

Your own database of existing and past customers will typically produce a significantly higher response than that of a list sourced elsewhere. List prices vary enormously, from a few pounds up to several hundreds of pounds per 1,000 names and addresses, depending on volume, how specific the list is, and how selective your profiling criteria are. You can also choose whether to have the list on labels, or on a disk in a common spreadsheet or database format, the latter being most common now, and easy to import, if appropriate, into a CRM (customer relationship management) system.

and how well ‘targeted’ the list is in terms of your offer (how relevant it is to the recipient).

Mailing list prices also vary according to the terms of use, notably the number of times the list can be used (list rental), or whether unlimited use is permitted, or whether the list is being actually bought outright.

Direct Mail is generally used to generate a direct response from the recipient and will commonly incorporate a reply or response section within the mailed item.
Direct Mail is generally used to generate a direct response from the recipient and will commonly incorporate a reply or response section within the mailed item.

Aside from the strength of your proposition, response rates vary according primarily to the quality of the list, notably:

the reliability of the list data (new clean lists obviously perform better than old out-of-date lists)

A direct mail campaign which produces more than a 2% response is normally considered very successful. Lower than 1% response is more usual. You then need to take into account the conversion rate (the conversion of responses into sales), assuming the campaign is designed to produce responses or enquiries and not sales directly. Aside from the quality of the responses, which is determined by the campaign, conversion rates also vary according to factors outside of and after the direct mail activities themselves, such as response handling, IT systems, sales follow-up, etc. It is therefore important to judge a direct mail campaign first on percentage and quality of response, and then separately to assess the overall results of the campaign including conversion statistics and sales values.

Inexperienced marketeers (and many experienced ones too) tend to over-estimate forecasted response rates for direct mail, so a planning tip is to be pessimistic (prudent, as accountants say), especially when calculating advertising viability and return on investment. When you first state your estimated response rate as part of the financial justification for the direct mail campaign, next reduce it by a factor of 10 (i.e., re-assess the campaign viability using on one-tenth of your initial response forecast). If the figures still show a positive return on investment then your campaign might well be successful. If not, then it’s sensible to re-think the whole thing.

Your own database of existing and past customers will typically produce a significantly higher response than that of a list sourced elsewhere. List prices vary enormously, from a few pounds up to several hundreds of pounds per 1,000 names and addresses, depending on volume, how specific the list is, and how selective your profiling criteria are. You can also choose whether to have the list on labels, or on a disk in a common spreadsheet or database format, the latter being most common now, and easy to import, if appropriate, into a CRM (customer relationship management) system.

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