Using direct mail affectively is crucial to the success of your business. Understanding how frequent your mailers should be sent is an integral part of this success.
The owner of a mid-size business in a regional market wrote in with
this question about direct mail strategy for introducing a new product:
“If you had a choice of mailing to several communities one time
(possibly twice) as opposed to mailing to a few communities two (maybe
three or four) times, what would you recommend?”
In all but a few situations, our answer to this type of question is
going to be “go with frequency.” It’s essential that your mailer be
there during the critical time frame in which the customer is
interested in your product. And you don’t know when that will be.
For instance, you may have the best deal on dishwashers in the state,
but your offer will barely register as people sort their mail…until
the month comes when they notice their old machine is starting to
leak, or they’re getting ready to sit down with their contractor and
spec out the kitchen remodel. If you’ve been mailing on a steady
basis, your offer will likely get their consideration. If you’ve
mailed only once, they’ve probably forgotten about it.
Of course while frequency is a key, it won’t do you any good to mail
frequently to the wrong lists or to the wrong list segments. That’s
where mail list testing comes in.
You might consider doing an initial, broad mailing to several list
segments and carefully tracking response to that initial mailing.
(Make sure your employees know to ask customers who call or come in to
your store how they heard about the new product.) If particular
segments of the initial mailing perform better than others, and your
mailing budget is limited, we’d recommend following up with a program
of frequent mailings to those top-performing segments rather than only
one additional mailing to the broader list.
Segmenting and testing lists is an art, and much of it is influenced
by how well you — and your list broker — know the lists you are using.
It’s important to have direct marketing consultants who pride
themselves in helping clients tailor the right lists to find the right
Marigold Technologies’ (www.marigoldtech.com ) industry-specific
expertise and competitive insight transform marketing lists from a
simple commodity into high-value strategic assets in the battle for
market share. Direct Marketing Blog: www.marigoldtech.com/blog/