What kind of response rate should I expect from my direct mailing project? One Percent? Two Percent? An Audacious Three Percent? I say, who cares what your number is!! The only thing that matters is your return on investment. Direct Mail is the original measurable form of advertising, people either respond or they don’t. Direct Mail doesn’t require inferring success from “gains in brand awareness” or “name recognition” or alike, that are typical of so many other forms of advertising. If the results of a direct mail campaign are disappointing, then the campaign didn’t resonate with your recipients – but how do you define “resonate”.
A campaign resonate’s with its recipients only if it returns a profit. If you need a 5% return to break even, then a 4.25% response rate stinks, even though conventional “street wisdom” tells us a 4.25% response rate is AWESOME! But if you need a .5% response rate to break even and you get a .75% response rate, it’s time to party like its 1999 (Sorry Prince).
Response rate’s are great to reminisce about over an adult beverage at the pool at the next marketing department retreat, but you will get burned (literally and figuratively) if you don’t throw off the old “response rate” way of thinking about your direct mail campaigns and put on the “ROI” way of thinking about your direct mail campaigns.
Happy Direct Mailing to you.