Taking Risks, Increasing Response
Another tactic will be to suppress certain ZIP codes. "We have some codes where we do no business at all, but we've been mailing there," says Hawkins. "We found that most of our customer base is in areas outside of cities that aren't densely populated. There are a number of larger cities where we don't do much business, and we'll try suppressing those ZIP codes."
For a company that helps its customers mitigate risk, Assurity Direct certainly has done its share of risk-taking with its direct marketing. "Steve has taken many risks over the last year and a half," says Hennerberg. "He took in someone from the outside to test a package, used a different list broker, let me use my own designer, and used a different printer and mailer. There were risks all over the place—and it made last year a banner year."
Linda Formichelli is a freelance writer who has published articles in national business, consumer and trade magazines. She can be reached at email@example.com.