When it comes to direct mail campaigns, it is vital that you do not overwhelm the recipients with too much information that makes it hard to read or process the message. In general, the number one factor that has an impact on the success of your direct mail campaign is your direct mail data. Keep in mind a successful marketing campaign is the result of the data you provide to your printer. If your direct mail lists are not created correctly, the printer will have extra steps to perform in order to fix the data sent to them and make it easy to understand.
If you don’t have experience creating direct mail lists, you might not be sure about the first steps you need to take in the campaign process. Take a look below for the ultimate printers guide regarding what your direct mail lists should look like in order to get the ROI you desire.
What Pieces of Direct Mail Data Should I Use?
The most important thing to remember about the lists used to create direct mail campaigns is to narrow them down. The inclusion of multiple columns and information might look impressive when you are creating the list but you need to be more precise with the information you send. Printers do not want, or need, massive files full of raw data. Use the data points to start narrowing your list so they only include the best matches for prospects for your business. In addition, you can use the following direct mail data to create personalized messaging that leads to better results:
- Presence of Children in the Household
- Marital Status
Focusing your list on these data pieces allows you to specifically target certain individuals as well as personalize the mail piece.
When Should I Update Direct Mail Lists?
Depending on the type of file in use, most people who compile a direct mail lists prefer to publish a new version to their databases once a month. There are some files in use, such as the New Mover and New Homeowner databases, that are referred to as “rolling hot-files”. These files are updated once a week and this task is usually done at the end of the week (on Friday).
Besides handling the updating task on your own, there are other ways to make sure your data list does not include records that are old, duplicates or incomplete:
- Address Change Services
This service provides you with a data file that contains changes in address (or other reasons for non-delivery of your mail) after a mailing campaign has been sent out. This service provides you up-to-date changes in addresses at a reduced cost per record.
- Ancillary Service Endorsements
Ancillary Service Endorsements, also known as ASE, is essentially a type of manual address correction that gives postal service options on how to properly proceed after the delivery of your mail is attempted (but not completed). As an example, your mail can include a printed “Return Service Requested” endorsement.
The examples above make it easier for both you and your printer since good data creates an efficient and effective direct mail campaign.
What Kind of Direct Mail Response Rate Should I Expect?
With accurate data and a clean and updated list, you can expect to see successful ROI. The DMA releases studies every year that detail industry standards in regards to multiple types of marketing campaigns. The direct mail response rate in a campaign is based on 90% of the total quantity mailed. In addition, the standard campaigns of 3-drops-over-6-weeks or 3-drops-over-9-weeks are considered multi-drop.
- Single-drop (1 mailer to 1 address 1 time) should deliver a response rate between 0.8% and 1.6%.
- Multi-drop (More than 1 mailer to 1 address) should provide a response rate between 1.2% and 2.6%.
As an example, if you mail 1000 pieces, your quantifier will be based on 900 pieces. A single-drop campaign should give you at least 6 or 7 responses while a multi-drop campaign should provide around 11 responses. Your ROI can be calculated according to the dollar amount of the responses that result in sales minus any initial investment.
If you are unsatisfied with your results, alter your list to include different demographics, headlines, photos, envelope sizes, or offers to see which one performs the best.
At Advertisers Printing, we use the power of direct mail enhancement software to increase the total engagement of direct mail campaigns. This allows us to routinely produce campaigns that receive an engagement level between 23%-46%! We can help you see the same results on your next campaign!