The 4th Basic in Direct Mail Makeovers: Measuring Your Results

The Fourth Basic in Direct Mail Makeover: MEASURING YOUR RESULTS

In our final week of our Direct Mail Makeover, we are now ready to “measure your results.” As in the analogy of making chocolate chip cookies, you are now ready to sample the results! Hopefully, you have been following the directions for your “direct mail makeover” these last few weeks and have arrived at this final step successfully.

In this last step of the makeover, let’s determine whether your direct mail makeover campaign was a success or not. And, let’s also look at which offers work best for you. If you are confused about how to measure results, here are some tips to help you answer this question:

1. Knowing What Kind of Response to Expect. Some marketers are happy to receive a 3 percent response. Others are disappointed. For responses to a prospect list, 3 percent is very good; however, if your offer was to your customers, you probably should expect to do much better.

• Think about lifetime value – Most direct mail marketers have many products and services to sell. Often, you do not make a profit on the initial sale. You are giving up your profit in the hopes of your first-time customer, over a period of time, will continue to buy more products and service – from which you do earn a profit. So, what you are really interested in is the lifetime value of the customer or the total earnings from a customer. That number is what enables you to measure your return on investment (per customer).
Tip: A good predictor of lifetime value is a measurement called RFM – recency, frequency, and monetary value. When was the last time a customer made a purchase? How often does that customer make purchases? And, how much did they spend?
Use these measurements to decide which of your customers to mail to, how often, and what products or services to offer to them.

• Keep a database – You must study your customer’s buying behavior to know how best to apply these measurements for future direct mail campaigns. You don’t want to waste marketing dollars on people who become less and less likely to buy again.

Tip: Keep careful track of everyone who responds to your direct mail campaigns. Keep track of everything about that person, not just the name and address. What campaign and offer did they respond to? How often have they purchased? How much have they spent? When was the last purchase? Do they return a lot of things they buy?
All of this information will help you determine how profitable they are. And, that will help you find customers just like them.

2. Testing the Waters: Measuring Your Responses. One of the greatest benefits of direct mail is that it is measurable. You can find out what is working and what is not. And, you can also fix what is not working.

• You need to test everything – Test different offers, creativity, and lists. Be careful about how you structure your tests. You can only test one differentiator at a time, or you will not know what part of your direct mail campaign contributed to the results.

Tip: For a statistically valid test, you need to get 100 responses. Determine what your normal response rate is and then use that number to figure out how many pieces to mail.

Keep in mind that your lists need to be accurate when you are conducting your tests.

We hope you enjoyed and learned something new from this direct mail makeover blog series and are ready to begin your next direct mail campaign. However, if you still need some help, just give us a call. We’ll be glad to help. You can reach Jennifer Ashley at 708-345-1196 or at

Check back next week for our just in time for Valentine’s Day, Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

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