Despite what some digital marketers might tell you, there’s no doubt that direct mail works. Effective direct reply postcards engage your audience and compel them to take action. Continue reading to learn how to increase your average response rate for direct mail postcards and other print marketing efforts to increase sales and your return on investment.
Response Rate Definition
Before we discuss ways to increase your average response rate for direct mail postcards, it’s crucial to understand the definition of “response rate.” In mail marketing, the response rate is the number, in percentage, of people who respond to your mail marketing campaign.
Calculating mail response rate is simple. All you have to do is find the total number of responses and divide the total by the number of postcards mailed out. Take, for example, this scenario:
- Your mail campaign sends out 1,000 pieces of mail
- 20 potential customers follow your prompts or use your offer
- 20/1,000 = 2% response rate
What Is a Good Direct Mail Response Rate?
According to recent research, the average response rate for direct mail postcards send to house lists is 9% and 4.9% for prospect lists.While that may seem unimpressive to those unfamiliar with marketing, it’s significantly better than email and other digital strategies. Outperforming the average direct mail response, even by fractions of a percent, can drive more sales and improve your ROI. In fact, recent data shows that direct mail delivers a 29% return on investment.
As technology improves and datasets become more refined you can also expect to see these response rates continue to trend up, as they have over the last few years.
Ways To Increase the Average Response Rate for Direct Mail Postcards
Now that you have a better grasp of response rate’s definition and the goal of your marketing strategies, let’s examine ideas for postcards that increase responses.
Targeted Mailing Lists
In some instances, like a new coffee shop opening, blanket mailers to everyone in a specific area may be effective. However, in most situations, the more targeted your mailing list is, the greater response quality and rate will be.
Professional direct mail service providers develop mailing lists that aim toward specific demographics, locations, income levels, previous customers, and many other factors. When you send offers and notifications to those most likely to respond, you’re sure to notice a boost in the average response rate for direct mail postcards you send.
More General Targeting
Suppose you have a specific area you want to target, but not individuals. In that case, the United States Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program enables you to reach everyone on a carrier’s route. EDDM is a cost-effective, high ROI strategy that provides a flexible range of sizing and formats for messaging.
Consumers receive multiple pieces of mail daily. If your mailer doesn’t stand out in a crowded mailbox, there’s a realistic chance that it won’t grab a consumer’s attention and entice them to respond. A creative and appealing design is one of the most effective ways to ensure the product or service you’re promoting is noticed and acted upon.
Critical elements of an effective direct reply postcard include:
- Messaging size and placement: Whether you’re announcing a new menu item or offering a discount, the messaging on your mailer must be strategically placed, clear, and concise. Don’t let your driving call to action get lost in busy imagery or buried in large blocks of text.
- Colors that pop: Bright, vibrant colors with high contrast more easily grab readers’ attention than muted, similar colors. But don’t make the mistake of using too many colors. Direct mail works best when it’s attention-grabbing, not distracting, and hard to read.
- Shape and size: Another great way to improve the average response rate for direct mail postcards is to deviate from the standard shape and size. Collateral that’s slightly larger or uncommonly shaped stands out, so much so that it has the highest response rate of any other mailers at 5%.
Think of your own experiences opening mail. Which are you more likely to read—a postcard addressed to “current resident” or one with your name and something specific to you? If you have data about a recent purchase a customer made, or they abandoned items in their e-cart, focus content around their particular needs.
Examples of effective direct reply postcard personalization include, “Hey James, our records show your Civic is due for an oil change,” or “You didn’t forget about those shoes, did you, Claire?” This type of focused messaging draws a reader in, but it also gives them a reason to follow up on your offer.
Direct mail works even better when you combine personalization and multichannel marketing efforts into a postcard. URLs, discount codes, and many other elements incorporating a target’s name help establish a relationship. Even if they don’t act immediately, you’ve taken steps toward gaining their trust and recognition for future needs and attempts. Developing a connection with your potential customers is a great way to grow your business and improve your average response rate for direct mail postcard campaigns.
Direct mail works with, not against, other marketing strategies. Incorporating multichannel marketing efforts into your mail campaign enhances average response rates for direct mail postcards.
Adding things like QR codes that link to personalized landing pages, social media handles, email addresses, and phone numbers make it easier for your audience to follow up and work their way through the sales cycle.
If You Want Direct Mail That Works, Partner With Presort Inc.
For over 30 years, Presort Inc. has helped our clients experience superior average response rates for direct mail postcards. We use cutting-edge software, innovative techniques, and detailed data to build mail marketing campaigns that reach specific audiences and meet objectives.
Our in-house team of creative design experts crafts noticeable mailers that ensure your postcard gets noticed. And our mailing list expertise makes sure your postcards end up in the right hands. Reach out to Presort Inc. today to discuss your next mail marketing ideas.