Direct Mail Marketing for Contractors & Remodelers

Ways to Increase Direct Mail Response Rates

A lot of direct mail pieces get thrown straight in the trash. Making your post card mailer stand out in the right way can help prevent that and improve your response rate.

Some of you will laugh at the very thought of direct mail, but we can assure you, it's a great source of connecting with prospects and existing customers alike. Particularly in our overly-junked-up-email world where people tend to pillage their inboxes and delete anything that doesn't require a personal response. People respond completely differently to direct mail that arrives on their doorstep, than they do many other forms of media. Direct mail can be as basic as a postcard or a letter on letterhead, or as complex as a full "shock and awe" box that has lots of stuff in it that gets your prospect really engaged like CDs, DVDs, MP3 players, books and just about anything you can fit in the box.

Here are ten proven ideas to boost your next direct mail campaign:

  1. Differentiate Your Direct Mail Letter or Post Card - If it looks like everything else, it'll get handled like everything else (put in the trash).

    • Put a Gold Seal on the mailer: "Ask Your Neighbor" or "Reply Requested". They will be eye catching and you will get attention - and orders.
    • Use an unusual format such as our unique short fold cover mailers which stand out from your average letters, brochures and postcards.
    gold seal sticker and trifold mailer

  2. Your Mailing Should Have a Single Purpose - Include a Clear "Call to Action".

    Don't ask your reader to do too much, they simply won't. If you ask them to download a report, then go to a different website, then call your 800 number, then … get the point? One thing. Really. One thing is all you should ask them to do. Don't just tell them all about your products and services, you've got to give them written instruction on what to do next.

    For example: Call us today for a free home consultation and a complimentary $50 gift card just for inquiring! Or something that tells them exactly what to do. If you don't tell your prospects what to do, they won't do anything and they'll move onto the next piece of mail in the pile.

  3. Provide Several Ways for Prospects to Respond - Give them every possible way you can think of to reach you.

    Phone, email, fax, text, website – whatever it takes! The worst thing that can happen is that your mailing piece gets your prospect all excited and interested, but at the time they want to respond, they can't. For instance, what if they are reading your mailing piece but have to run out the door to a meeting. If you only give them a website, then they'll have to wait until they return (which will probably never happen). If you give them a phone number to call, they'll have the opportunity to call you while they're running out the door on their way to their next meeting. Seriously think this through, mailing is expensive, you don't want to miss any opportunity you get for someone to respond.

  4. Measure the right metrics – ROI (return on investment) is all that matters.

    It doesn't matter what percentage of people respond, or how much the mailing cost you to send out. The only thing that matters is if you made money in the end or got new leads to work (whatever your goal from the piece is). One solid lead that results in new business may more than cover the cost of your mailing.

  5. Test, Test, Test, Test … – you get the picture. Simple things like how many people are in a photo, whether they are male or female, old or young can change the response of a piece. There is no magic answer, just test.

  6. One Post Card Mailing is NOT Marketing – one mailing is a test. On average it will take you 7-9 times to get a prospect's attention. Don't mail the first piece, get no response and then give up. Whatever the response on your first piece, it will usually increase exponentially on each additional piece. Multiple touches and repetition are the KEYS to good responses. It is not a one hit wonder.

  7. Keep a Recognizable Design to All Your Direct Mail – if you're going to all the trouble to mail people multiple times, make it known that you're the same person or company that's been trying to reach them, and that you continue to try. If you send out 7 – 9 pieces that don't have a common element, you will not have as good of a chance at being recognized. Think about it, wouldn't it peak your interest if you saw the same logo, photo or slogan in your mail box 5 or 6 times in a short period of time?

  8. Personalization – How many mailing pieces do you read that say "Dear Valued Prospect/Customer/Client." Right, none. Don't be lazy, don't be cheap, personalize as much as you can. You can certainly personalize direct mail letters, and now even graphic postcards are becoming easy to personalize.

  9. List – We can't stress enough how valuable a good mailing list is to the success of your direct mail marketing. Are you targeting new home buyers, senior citizens, high wealth individuals, a specific neighborhood area? Make sure the list you use matches the audience you want to reach and the design of the postcard mailer matches as well. You wouldn't target senior citizens with a postcard that features a young family with children. Creating the direct mail piece relevant to the audience will increase your response rates and give you more qualified leads.