Is direct mail still relevant in the digital age? Absolutely.
When done right, direct mail averages a 15-17% return on investment. Even better, the average response rate for direct mail is 3.7% with an in-house list and 1% when mailing new leads.
It doesn’t matter if your industry is real estate, insurance, mortgages, or HVAC services. Direct mail can help you reach out to homeowners two months before their policies expire. Direct mail can also connect you to HVAC customers in the spring or fall, right before the extreme weather hits.
With a little bit of intelligent planning, and the right drop date, direct mail can be one of the most effective ways to reach out to clients and leads alike. So let’s talk about what you should expect when you get started.
Getting Started with Direct Mail
Who Receives Your Mail?
You should start off with two basic lists: your In-House list and your New Leads list. In-house lists will naturally receive a higher response rate than fresh leads, especially in real estate. But new leads are crucial when you’re looking to build good word of mouth and find the next generation of long-term customers.
It’s important to build and cultivate both lists, but finding different groups of people will require different methods. For instance, if you wanted to find homeowners who might be interested in selling, you could use information databases to find a list of recent divorces and inheritances.
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Choose an Eye-Catching Format.
If you want your mailing to stand out, you can’t use a traditional envelope. Investing the extra money in an unusual paper stock or format can really make a difference. Oversized or unusual envelopes garner the highest response rate at 5.0%. Postcards elicit a 4.25% response rate and catalogs enjoy a 3.9% response rate. But traditional sized envelopes only get a 3.5% response rate.
Know when to Mail.
Some direct mail campaigns will only send out one piece of a mail per month, while others are successful on a quarterly schedule. If you track how each mailing does, you’ll get a better indication of what kind of schedule you need. But be sure to check and update your records before each mailing. Clients who bought a service from you last month won’t need a postcard this week.
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