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The Beauty of Consistency

Everyone always seems to be searching for the next “big thing” in marketing. An approach that will bring them instant gratification in marketing their product or service. A veritable cure-all to inconsistent return rates and lulls in their lead flow.

Unfortunately, there is no miracle remedy out there. Certainly no panacea that will out-perform the one marketing method that has stood the test of time. A method that, when done with consistency will provide you with continuous prospects requesting you to contact them.

I’m talking about direct mail. Now, I know that you’ve probably tried many direct mail approaches in the past and may have even had a bad experience or two along the way. However, when you do a mailing with a reputable company who is willing to listen to what your marketing goals are, and do their best to design a mail piece that best suits your needs, your results will be more successful.

There is a very important aspect of direct marketing that you need to know about. In order to achieve real success with your direct mail, you have to do it with dedicated consistency. I realize that if you receive a response rate that you don’t consider to be phenomenal, your initial response isn’t going to be “I’m going to try this again in another 3-4 weeks.” However, if you’ve used a reputable direct mailer who has a proven track record and provides you with proof of your mailing, such as a Postal Statement showing that your program was mailed in it’s entirety, you need to give your direct mail another try.

Even if you choose to mail a different mail piece from what you used the first time around, having something in the mail on a consistent basis is going to prove to be a very valuable marketing tool. You would be amazed at the number of clients that I have who prefer to mail to a select group of zip codes or counties and just by rotating between those areas in a consistent cycle, their response rates improve over time. For example, I have a client who has a core group of 15 zip codes that he prefers to work in. He mails about 10,000 pieces per month for his agents. We have a scheduled set-up that enables him to mail 3 or 4 of those zip codes each month to make up his 10,000 quantity. What we’ve found is, by the time we get to back to the beginning of our rotation of those first zip codes, the areas that we initially mailed have pulled better the second or third time around. Prospects that didn’t respond the first time were more apt to send in the reply card the second or even third time. I think that part of the reason that this approach works so well is because, “timing is everything”. I’m sure that those who are more apprehensive feel a little more comfortable when they’ve seen the same card with the same reply address a couple of times.

I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m advising you to beat an unsuccessful mailing program into the ground. If you’ve mailed the same direct mail piece more than two or three times to different areas and you haven’t been pleased with the response you’re getting, let your direct mailer know. Actually, by that point, your direct mailer should have contacted you with some ideas on how to improve your response rate. They should be monitoring your programs success, not just playing the role of an order-taker. A good marketing company will have consultants that know their business well and will have innovative advice for you if your program is not meeting up to your expectations.

In conclusion: First and foremost, finding a reputable direct mail company with flexibility and a proven track record is the first step in a successful marketing program. Then, once you’ve done that, work with them on finding the best letter for your particular product. If they’re the right company for you, they should offer a wide variety of mail pieces to choose from. Then, go for it! Confirm that they will be mailing your drop in a timely manner…a good rule of thumb is 3-4 business days after you place your order. Then it should be about 2-3 weeks until you start to see leads coming in.

Make sure you’re provided with all of the applicable paperwork verifying that your mailing was done to your specifications and in the time frame you were expecting.

Finally, track your response rate and, remember, consistency is key to your successful program. You won’t always get the big responses on your first time out, so prepare to stick with it. With the right guidance…It will come.