Double Your Direct Mail Results

By Travis Lee

I know you likely weren’t a math major, and I certainly wasn’t (though I did get an ‘A’ in Calculus at Washington State University), but stay with me on this one as we start a discussion on sequential marketing.

Sequential marketing is a sequence of marketing, with each one clearly referring to the previous one, all sent in a fairly condensed period of time, usually 4-6 weeks.  You’ll usually double your response with 3 touches.  This is where my math (though certainly not calculus) comes in handy.  Let me explain.

Let’s say we’re mailing out 500 bank bags as the first step in a sequence to our in-house list.  We get a 4% response rate, or 20 responses.  Now let’s say we send a postcard as our second step and the mini trash can as our third step.  When you do the math and calculate response and return on investment, you’ll almost always get 20 additional responses from steps 2 and 3 combined.  So my fuzzy math would mean:

Step 2 (postcard) + Step 3 (trash can) = The same response at Step 1 (bank bag)

The math may not hold exactly with each marketing sequence you do, but you’ll almost always be within a few percentage points either way.

This may sound a bit weird coming from the 3D Mail Guru, but you’ll always want to use multiple media, multiple different ways.  That means direct mail using 3D Mail and more traditional mail, email, faxes, phone calls, voice broadcasts, etc.

Here’s the reason.  Different people respond to different medias.  Some like email, others fax, still others direct mail.  You never want to rely on one sole way to get new or repeat clients to purchase.  As one of my mentors Bill Glazer says, “Diversity leads to stability.”

Second, you want to keep adding touches until it is no longer profitable or you can no longer make the offer.  For years we used a 3-step new client sequence, and that was it.  It worked exceptionally well for many years.  We decided to test a fourth step to see if we could again be profitable.  Guess, what?  It worked and for many more years we used a 4-step sequence.

Finally, if you read my emails, you know I’m against most Madison Avenue, brand building style marketing you see.  However, there is an accumulative effect of such exposure that creates additional customers over a long period of time.

Maybe they’re just not ready for what you got right now, or, after 3 letters, if finally hits them that maybe they have a friend or relative that could use what you’re offering.  Whatever it is, sequential marketing can and will have that affect on your customers.

Here’s a sample sequential marketing campaign, using a variety of methods.  Remember, diversity leads to stability:

Day 1: Send your free guide you advertised
Day 2: Send email confirmation that you mailed the Guide.
Day 5: Phone call to see they received the guide
Day 7: Follow up email to be sure they received the guide.
Day 10: Sales letter to sell your product/service
Day 20: Postcard to sell your product/Service
Day 27:  Last Chance offer via sales letter and email

Marketing Tip Readers Only Special

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To Your Direct Mail Success,

Travis Lee

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