How Often Should You Mail Prospects?

One of my favorite quotes comes from John D. Rockefeller. It’s on my wall and reminds me to keep planning my work and working my plan.

Rockefeller wrote: “I do not think there is any quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost anything, even nature.”

Over the years, successful direct mailers have learned this lesson well. They know that they can’t mail just once and pray for great results. They have to create multiple-mailings that make money over time.

A perfect example: magazine subscription campaigns. As you know from personal experience, these folks just never quit.

It seems as if the day you subscribe, the subscription renewal campaign begins.

Never mind that they’re seemingly decimating forests in the process … they go on and on, begging, hounding, cajoling, until the 86th letter that says, “OK We give up. You’ll never hear from us again.” (At which point, of course, a lot of the renewals flow in!)

Now, I’m not suggesting that you go to extremes (the way the magazine publishers do), but for goodness sakes, don’t throw in the towel after you mail just once!

Why don’t companies keep those cards and letters coming? Because printing costs are high and postage these days is murder. But that shouldn’t stop you from mailing aggressively if you’ve got a well-targeted list and a compelling offer.

OK. So you’ve bought into the idea of mailing prospects or customers more than once. How should you go about handling your remailing efforts? Here are just four ideas for you to consider:

1. Remail the original package to the same target audience.
There’s no reason why you can’t do this. Timing is everything. You never know when your mailing will catch prospects just when they need your product or service. A simple, cost-effective remailing is well worth trying.

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  • http://CynthiaClotzman Cynthia Clotzman

    I was fortunate enough to be able to conduct a long term mailing frequency test to our house file some years ago. We had about 5 tiers of customers that were mailed at different frequencies depending on where their breakeven point was, and we were concerned that we were overmailing the top end of the file. The test approach was as follows:

    1. Control: normal frequency
    2. Test 1: Mail each tier as if one tier up (added a few test tiers at the top)
    3. Test 2: Mail each tier as if one tier down (bottom tier received fewer mailings, but incorporated some of the components into the remaining mailings instead of deleting them altogether)

    There were many learnings, but the main one is that even if your gut tells you that you are are overmailing the top customers, you probably are not and they may be able to support even more mailings and bring you LOTS more profit. Don’t underestimate how much your best customers love you!