Direct mail best practices: how often should you send direct mail campaigns?
“Randy, how often should I send direct mail campaigns and should I send the same mail piece, or should I change the design and the content of my mailer?”
Sending a well-designed, perfectly targeted and timely direct mail piece sometimes is just not enough! In reality, it takes much more than that!
Direct marketing research has revealed over time that for a direct mail campaign to be truly successful and effective it takes at least three subsequent mailings to the same prospect list. That’s right, everything depends on consistency!
Repeated mailing to the same list multiple times is a widely used strategy based on the fact that we need to hear about a product or an offer many times before giving it serious consideration.
There are many important factors to consider when running a direct mail campaign and we tend to pay a lot of attention to physical, visual elements such as copy or design. But we often overlook critical elements like timing and the frequency of mailing. Read on to find out the best practices for frequent direct mail campaigns.
The benefits of frequent mailing
There are two frequencies to be aware of: how often your business sends out direct mail campaigns, and how frequently you send out the same campaign. Understanding frequent mailing and its benefits, along with the process of repeated mailing is crucial for getting the most out of your marketing efforts.
One of the most important benefits of subsequent and repeated mailing is building strong brand recognition. Your prospects will be ready to make a purchase only after they’ve been exposed to your brand more than once. One of the benefits that come with brand recognition is how quickly your brand will come to mind when a customer is ready to buy.
On the other hand, it’s well known that you will have up to 50% degradation in the response to a direct mail piece each time you send it out. That means that if your first mailing generated a 2% response rate, your second mailing might result in a 1%, and your third mailing can get no more than a 0.5% response rate.
Even though the responses you are getting will be lower and lower, it is still important to put your product in front of people as much as possible, before they will make the decision to contact you.
How often should I send my direct mail campaign?
The question that arises is “How often should I send the mail and should I send the same mail piece, or should I change the design and the content of my mailer?”
In most cases, there is no golden ratio or perfect frequency for mailing. It’s more about finding a balance that marketers should be aware of: sending out too often vs not sending enough, the results will both leave something to be desired.
For a subsequent mailing to be successful each mailing should have a unique, updated design, and call to action. Keep in mind that you’ll have to try multiple approaches before you’ll find the best tactic for your specific industry or audience.
Nevertheless, the effectiveness of sending out the exact same mailer multiple times has been already proven. Sending the same mail piece definitely has its advantages as building consistency and instant brand recognition.
A good rule of thumb is to track and measure the success of each mailing campaign and then adjust the frequency and number of times you send your campaign out accordingly.
Start by sending your mail once every quarter, so that it is frequent but not overwhelming for your recipients. Based on your response rates it is then easy to increase or reduce your mail frequency and record your success.
Simply put, direct mail is not a one-time affair. You have to send more than one mailing campaign in order to get better results, and you should send the same mail piece multiple times or try a different approach. Learn from your own experience, by testing your mailing thoroughly or ask experts what works best for your type of products and industry.