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Time and time again, we’ve been told that the expected response rate of direct marketing is 1-2%. Even if that were true, it’s better than email response rate of 0.12%, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2012 report. In a fast-moving world of social media and other digital marketing, direct mail stands out with a total 4.4% response rate.

Direct mail, when it’s personalized, is actually less cluttered than seeing an advertisement on the side of your screen, your thousands of junk emails, or your Facebook feed. There’s all sorts of articles about how social media feed algorithms work, but the nice thing about direct mail is that the algorithm is very clear: use intelligent profiling to find your exact customer. The old days of spray and pray are over. For the best response rate, you should utilize our intelligent profiling and variable data printing services. Intelligent profiling will identify the precise customer list, and personalizing each piece of mail will increase the chance of a customer reading it. Of course, there is still the ultimate customer decision to be made: is this mail junk or not?

Your direct marketing piece needs to immediately show a customer why they should respond to it. Including a Personalized URL, or PURL is intriguing to a customer because it shows that your company really designed this mail for them; their name is even included in the URL. However, the tried and true way to get a customer response is to give them something free. Some people still use physical coupons, but it’s much more likely to get a customer to follow you on social media, or get feedback from them on a recent experience. Effective promotions can range anywhere from a $5 Starbucks card to a two-night stay in the Bahamas – all for responding to your survey online.

A customer’s response is invaluable. Just one response to a survey can tell you if there’s something major that needs to be changed in your marketing plan, or if there are problems with your product. One response can lead to a huge sale for your company, or at the very least, can help you model future campaigns based on the profiling. Companies that have open discourse with their customers are the ones that have the best reputation.

By: Chase Kirkwood, President