5 Tips to Improve Direct Marketing ROI
A recent whitepaper from the mailing list and sales lead provider USADATA highlighted several tips direct marketers (i.e., catalogers) can implement to improve their return on investment (ROI). Here’s a sample of the whitepaper’s tips.
1. Ensure success with an accurate address. After spending the valuable time and money to create a catalog to help grow your business, don’t allow an incorrect address waste your efforts. Use the following tactics to get the best possible delivery service:
* ZIP + 4 Codes;
* standard street and 2-letter state abbreviations (e.g., Ave, NY)
* eliminate all punctuation; and
* capitalize everything in the address.
2. Track down the right lists. Effective campaigns target those consumers or businesses most likely to be interested in your product or service. Getting your message to your target audience generates higher quality leads and increases ROI. In addition to basic demographics such as age, income, home ownership and gender, be sure to ask about selections based on interests (e.g., golf, travel), propensity to respond to direct mail offers and purchase behavior. Business prospects can be targeted based on industry, company size, job title, headquarters vs. branch locations, number of years in business, among other criteria.
3. Wait to order your lists. Lists go out-of-date at a rate of 15 percent or more every year, the whitepaper notes. Ordering a list when you’re ready to launch a campaign results in a higher percentage of deliverable mail because the list is fresher. Also consider choosing a list based on some significant event in the recipient’s life. For example, new homeowners are known to spend five times more within the first few months of buying a new home.
4. Provide multiple ways for customers to respond to your offers. Giving your customers multiple ways to contact you not only generates more responses, it also shows a concern for your clients and their preferred method of communication, the whitepaper says. Some people prefer e-mail, others prefer to fill out a reply card, and many would rather call and speak to a customer service representative.
Another option is through personalized Web sites (URLs) or PURLs. This medium offers a powerful method for capturing more responses and further qualifying the respondents automatically. Each mailer contains a URL that typically ends in “/yourname,” so when the respondent goes to the site they can receive a personalized experience. They can respond to questions about their interests and you capture this information in a database. Response and conversion rates both increase as a result, which can lead to increased ROI if these improvements exceed the extra costs involved in setting up the PURLs, the whitepaper says.
5. Use testimonials. Consumers trust other consumers when it comes to product references because of their objectivity and independence from the company, the whitepaper says. Testimonials are most effective when they come from people similar to the recipient in some way. For example, a B-to-B mail campaign using a testimonial from someone within the same industry is more likely to lead the recipient to identify with the mail piece than using a testimonial from a company in a different field.
To view the entire whitepaper, click here.