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What Kind of Response Can I Expect from a Direct Mail Campaign?



Realistically, you could get no response at all.  But more likely you’ll get some sort of response that’s below ½ of a percent.  And possibly, you could get 1%, 1.5%, 2.5% response.  Each time you mail, if you learn from the campaign, you can improve.

Realistically, your second campaign will show promising results if you pay attention.  The key point here is to perform your best guess on who to mail to and what to communicate to them on your first mailing.  And of course, be sure you have a way to measure your response.

Experienced companies who use direct mail do measure everything, and know quickly from their Intake Team, who’s responding, who’s ordering, who’s calling, and who’s not.  Many mailers systematize their marketing process to keep the investment efficient and cost effective.  They’ll typically spend timing honing in on the campaign, while simultaneously looking for new markets and marketing opportunities.  These companies will are those with both High Ticket Items, and quick redemption of their coupons.  They create excitement about a sale, event, promo, discount, low rate.  With high ticket items, you can sometimes sell just one and pay the campaign costs.  So, when the mailer gets 30 to 40 inbound calls, the campaign is largely profitable and often repeated.  Now, 40 calls out of 10,000 pieces mailed is .004, so not even 1/10th of 1%.

So, the question about expectations is a difficult one, and the answer to this is to test it properly.

Many mailers, who mail to the consumer population, shoot for 1% or even less, as a breakeven point.  If you cannot breakeven on your first mailer, you may wish to consider other forms of advertisement.

From the video, I gave a few examples to demonstrate that the higher the price point, and profitability of a product or serve, the less sales units are required to reach breakeven and beyond.

It’s really basic math.  If you spend $5,000 on a 10,000-piece direct mail campaign, and you know your gross profit for your average customer, you can determine how many new customers you’ll need to breakeven.  And surely you’re wanting to exceed breakeven. 

A return on your financial investment is very important, but to the busy entrepreneur, so is their time.  Finding your logo, thinking about the offer, planning on response measurement, trip to the printer/mailer, time on the phone with them, answering and sending emails, all take time.  Is your time better spent doing other, more demanding projects?