President Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (845) 255-5722 x100
Over the years, we have continually seen in our business at Cornerstone Services (www.crst.net) that, for unsolicited direct mail in particular, quality of information is more important than the mailing itself. Therefore, to maximum the value of your consumer or B2B mailings, here are some important points to ensure that you are not wasting your money.
Use Your Own List First:
Before purchasing a list, gauge the water temperature by sending a mail piece to the people who (in theory) already like you. If you have a big enough customer list, limit your mailing to those people with whom you have not connected in at least 12 months. [Bonus Tip: you don’t get a statistically acceptable result using a lapsed customer list without mailing to at least 1,000 people.]
Send a Probe Before the Motherlode:
If you have time, and you are still not certain, send a test mailing of 2,500 mail pieces. Similar to the above, with an unsolicited list, you don’t get a statistically acceptable result in less than 2,500 pieces.
[Bonus Tip: Do not “test” multiple mail piece designs unless you are sending out well over 100,000 pieces; your job is to be clear, concise and value-oriented; with an unsolicited mailing, you have perhaps 1 – 2 seconds to achieve this, so also drop the long copy.]
Know the Limits of Using Unsolicited (Non-Customer) Data:
(a) A response of 1 – 3% is considered good; a 5% response is considered outstanding and unique;
(b) “Good” to us means that a potential customer contacts you (via store walk-in, email or phone) within 90 days; it is your job – and not that of the mail piece – to seal the deal; and,
(c) In the data list rental world, most data lists actually start a little stale (consumer up to 10%, business data up to 5%) and get even more stale immediately, although less so than in decades before [US Census Bureau]. At CRST, we don’t generally re-use a consumer list after 18 months and business data after 30 months (and then only then with routine (National Change of Address (NCOA)/Move Update data hygiene scans).
Real Purpose of Unsolicited Data:
For most of you, you are trying to make non-customers customers and recurring customers where possible. In a way, oddly, the goal of an unsolicited mailing is therefore not to do any more unsolicited mailings. Given this, make the most of what happens when people contact you; i.e. who answers the email? Who picks up the phone? How do you manage follow-ups? What will it take to make this person a recurring customer or, a fan of your business so that he/she becomes a referral annuity?
My name is Sean Griffin and I give practical advice, from direct experience, to American businesses and non-profits about direct mail. My guidance is free and unfiltered. However, my kids also have to eat, so if my firm and my staff could be of assistance, please contact me at email@example.com or (845) 255-5722 ex. 100. Thank you.