Postcard Mailings: What Success Means in Direct Mail

Naomi Cooper August 30, 2012

Postcard Mailings: What Success Means in Direct MailIf you are a subscriber of our blog, you will know that we often talk about social media marketing. Social media is one of the biggest buzzwords to hit the marketing world in decades. However, it does not mean that traditional methods are no longer effective, or that they should be forgone. In fact, a strategic marketing plan should include both elements of traditional and new marketing.

Direct mail, also called postcard mailing, is one of those traditional tactics that can still be effective, when done correctly. However, we have many clients who say they’ve sent mailings out before but haven’t felt the effort was successful enough to integrate into their ongoing marketing plans. When we question them further as to what their definition of success is, what their expectations are, it becomes clear that they are focused on the wrong elements of the direct mail, leading them to believe that what they believed to be a waste was actually, in fact, a successful marketing event. And it all comes down to calculating the true ROI (return on investment).

Let’s say, as an example:

  • You want to mail a postcard to 1,000 homes in your community. This mailing is going to cost you $800.
  • Your average sale is $400.
  • A week after sending out the postcards, you’ve received 20 new customer leads.

This is where many business owners start thinking “20 calls from 1,000 postcards…that’s only a 2% response rate“. True, it is a 2% response rate, but if just 2 of those new calls convert into new patients, then the mailing has already paid for itself.

By simply calculating your ROI and determining what you need to achieve in order to deem a mailing “successful”, you will have a much truer idea of what marketing efforts are paying off for your business.

Have you tried postcard mailings for your small business? What did success mean to you?

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