How To Test Direct Mail
You are a debt settlement company interested in growing your business. You decide it’s time to buy some leads, but which do you try first? The cheapest right? You decide to call that kid that has been blowing up your phones for the last month and ask him about those aged internet leads. The kid tells you he can get you 30 day old “aged internet leads” for pennies. He says they have only been sold 3 times and you will close a good percentage from them. You buy some leads and realize that you should have just burned the money because the leads suck!
Now you decide to ask a friend for some wisdom and find out that this friend has been doing direct mail for lead generation the last 5 years. He tells you how he loves direct mail and feels that nothing else even compares to a high quality debt direct mailer. Now you’re thinking, “Maybe I should do some direct mail.”
Some questions you need to answer before starting Direct Mail Marketing
- What is the next step when starting a debt settlement direct mail campaign?
- Does it make sense to do a direct mail campaign?
- Can you afford it?
The biggest downfall to a direct mail test is you can’t really test a direct mail campaign. Far too many times clients have come to me saying they have never done direct mail but want to try it out. They have a limited budget and expect to measure the complete success of direct mail off 1 drop.
Important components of a high response Direct Mail Piece
- High quality data – too many times companies will try to reuse old data or try to sell you what they think is true credit data. It’s not. Don’t skimp on the data.
- Mail piece design – is your marketing company designing their own pieces with a tailored message targeting the debt settlement prospect or are they plagiarizing a custom designed mail piece from another company? Often times when companies decide to cut the corner and plagiarize another mailer it lowers your response rate and you are not happy. The copy they mail should grab the prospects attention, giving them a call to action. Make sure your direct mail company is designing their own pieces!
- Tracking – What happens if you send a mailer out, expect a response, and get no response? How do you know? Did you track your mail? Did your direct mail company offer to track your mail for you? Standard components to a high quality debt direct mail piece are 800 call tracking and real time mail tracking. Track your mailers from the post office to the mail box and track when and where your calls are coming from.
It is important that when you test direct mail you don’t measure the results of that test off 1 mail drop. A true test should be spread over the course of a month to 3 months. Average cost per calls tend to be a little higher in the beginning of a direct mail campaign. You will never truly realize your actual cpc until you have had some consistency on drops. Make sure your direct mail company has the experience and expertise to make your custom direct mail campaign perform to the best of its ability and the capability to track your response to the exact cpc, cpa and conversion percentage.