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11 Questions That Make Direct Mail Pay for Itself

January 18, 2012 By Keith Goodman
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Just like any aspect of your business—whether it's financial, marketing, developing a new product or hiring a sales staff—your direct mail needs to have a plan. This especially holds true in marketing: You are investing your hard earned money (or the owner of your company's money), and you need to get a return on this investment.

Here are some of the things you need to look at to have the highest potential for success.

  1. What do you want to accomplish?
  2. What is a customer worth?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. Who are you targeting?
  5. How will you follow up?
  6. How will you track the results?
  7. What basis will you use to determine success?
  8. What is your offer?
  9. What format will you use?
  10. How will you communicate the program to your staff?
  11. What is the time frame for your program?

Let's look at each of these individually

1. What Do You Want To Accomplish?
This is your strategy! You might be trying to set up appointments to demonstrate a new software program or trying to get your existing customers to come back to your store for a special new product preview. Each approach would have its own unique messaging, offers and, most importantly, financial models.

2. What Is a Customer Worth?
What are you willing to pay for a new customer?

Before you spend any more money on advertising, you need to know this number.

Let's look at an example: If I were to bring a busload of customers to your business, how much would you be willing to give me for each one of those customers? The bus is fully loaded with 64 passengers, and every one of them was prequalified, ready to buy your product or service with cash, checks and credit cards in their pockets. How much would you be willing to pay me for each of those customers? $10, $100, $1,000? Or how about $10,000? Any one of those answers would be right depending on your business model. You need to know your number.

3. What Is Your Budget?
How many new customers do you need get this year and what are you willing to invest to get them? Not only do you have to get new customers to increase your revenues and grow your business, but you are going to lose customers that you are going to have to replace. No matter how good you are at running your business and how much people love working with you, you are going to lose customers that must be replaced. They are going to go to your competitors, they are going to relocate, and some will pass away.


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