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What is Your Sweet Spot for Direct Mail?

chocolates-563386_1280When it comes to direct mail, it’s about great content. It’s also about timing and frequency. If you don’t mail enough, your results will go down. If you mail too much, your results will also go down. But if you find the sweet spot, your results will go up. How do you find that perfect middle ground?

When it comes to frequency, the number we see from business growth experts is generally 8–10 direct mailings per year. Depending on the type of mailing, the frequency can be as high as 12 times per year. (Ever wonder why Valpak sends out its familiar blue envelopes once per month?)

Marketing requires repetition. Few people will respond to an offer the first time it is presented. To be effective, the message needs to be repeated over and over. At the same time, you don’t want to annoy your audience or continue to present them with offers they aren’t interested in, either. To obtain great results, you need to find the right balance.

One of the ways you can strike this balance is to change the way you present the message. Here are four ideas:

TIE THE OFFER INTO THE CHANGE OF SEASONS, HOLIDAYS, OR SPECIAL EVENTS. How can your product or service help to celebrate a national holiday or special event? We see this approach on full display around the Super Bowl. Consumers are inundated with advertising on snacks, chips, and sodas as the way to really enjoy the big day. People eat snacks and chips at all times of year, of course, but marketers use the Super Bowl to showcase how their brands make the party perfect.

ANNOUNCE A NEW PRODUCT OR SERVICE OR RESPOND TO A MOVE BY THE COMPETITION. Upgrades to your products, as well as complementary cross-sells, provide the perfect excuse to touch base with a customer. “Hey, we’ve got something new!” Likewise, you can piggyback off promotions made by the competition. “You may have heard that Brand X is the longest lasting widget on the market. But you may not know that our product…” Use competitive moves to your advantage!

DRIP YOUR MARKETING. Another way to continually put yourself in front of the customer is to use drip marketing. Here you present different elements of your message over time.

  1. In the first touch, you might present your product in a problem-solution format.
  2. In the second touch, you might talk about how the product fits into the changing market structure.
  3. In the third touch, you might talk about how the product is positioned against competitive products.
  4. Finally, you might follow up with customer testimonials.

Although you are continually exposing your customer to the product, you are presenting fresh information each time.

CHANGE UP YOUR FORMATS. Mix in different mailing formats, too. Try postcards, tri-folds, envelopes with letters. Maybe use a mail kit or a dimensional mailer to really grab attention.