How Many Mailings is Enough?

By: admin on: June 1st, 2010 6 Comments

We talked about creating an offer in the last post and the thinking and factors that needs to go into them in order to gain a high response.

Now here are some idea starters… just a quick list of possible offers for all sorts of businesses. Hopefully some will spark some good ideas for you.

Insurance – a free review of your coverage. A free home safety booklet just for setting an appointment. A booklet of ten free car washes when we write your auto insurance. Guaranteed handling of your accident claim in five days or a 10% cash bonus on the settlement.

Real Estate – a free home appraisal. One hundred heavy duty moving cartons and boxes free when we list your home for sale. Buy your home from us and we’ll get its carpets steamed cleaned free before you move in.

Automobile Dealers – glove box sized first aid kit free with every test drive. A free loaner car with warranty service for one year. Instant financing approvals this Saturday. The banker is right here in the showroom. Buy and drive the same day.

Clothing Stores – A free necktie with any suit or sport coat purchase. A red tag sale. A frequent buyer program. Three new suits in a 12-month period and you get a sport coat free.

Furniture Store – a free decorating plan for your home or any room in your home. A huge lamp sale – two for one on all lamps in the store. Free delivery with purchases. A free portable television set given away every half hour all weekend long. Enter the drawing when you come in to browse and be present to win.

Now here’s an interesting secret about direct marketing used to acquire new customers – no matter how good the offer is a single exposure to a given group of prospective customers will have minimal effect. But multiple repeated exposures will have a positive effect disproportionate to the number of exposures.

Let me say this again…it is just that important!

A single exposure equals minimal impact but repeated exposures will have positive impact, disproportionate to the number of exposures.

Here’s one example – say you’re doing a neighborhood mailing of 5,000 people. From one type mailing you might pull anywhere from as low as one quarter of 1% to 1% response. Maybe twelve to sixty responses. The variants between the twelve and the sixty may depend on the effectiveness of the offer.

But if you’ll mail to those same 5,000 prospects six times over a four month period your overall response might be 3% to as high as 20%, 150 to 1,000 people. That’s about twelve times the response from the single mailing not just six times.

See the multiple context doesn’t just increase response proportionately they increase it disproportionately. Is this always true? No. Sometimes there’s something else wrong such as the list selection, the offer, the company’s credibility, whatever and no amount of mailing will overcome it but presuming the list has been chosen with reasonable care and intelligence, the offer is good, the mail piece is good then this kind of effect should be achieved.


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6 Responses

  1. It’s also good to know that your competitors are likely to give up after just one exposure–seeing how little attention the single exposure received.

  2. Yes, there is no such thing as “one time marketing”.

    Multiple mailings and potentially in different formats (letter, postcard, lumpy mail, grabbers) do work. Plus I know Dan is a big advocate of the “dunning mailer method”.

    I like the ideas for Insurance, Real Estate etc – very thought provoking.


  3. Rob Anspach says:

    Sequencial mailings to your lists will always have a better roi than a one time mailing.

  4. Charles Ra says:

    multiple repeated exposures will have a positive effect disproportionate to the number of exposures. great true. thank you

  5. Jim Rowe says:

    I’ve found that when I do get a response…a sale, I follow that quickly with another offer and get a really high response rate from that fresh new customer and help create a faster relationship.

  6. Susan says:

    That’s a great stat regarding multiple mailings. Do you have a source for that, or any reference to a study that resulted in those stats?

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