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Are direct mail response rates on the skids?

A couple of days ago I was listening to a colleague talk about the history of direct mail. He mentioned that direct mail response rates weren't what they used to be twenty or thirty years ago. Do you agree? - by SalesCoach
I don't know how response rates couldn't be on the slide compared to 20-30 years ago when mail was such an important facet of everyday life. - by AZBroker
I am pretty sure that most people immediately disregard diret mail now. People used to at least read a section before tossing a mailing but know I think everything is dumpled unless it is clearly personal mail. That's why people are resorting to having faux hand-written addressing on the envelop of enclosing small checks etc - by theglyphon
Great. First it was door to door, then it was telemarketing, and now direct mail. How is a person suppose to prospect for new business? :dun - by Thomas
Buy finding a way to target people actually interested in or needing the product and so receptive to the message? - by theglyphon
Buy finding a way to target people actually interested in or needing the product and so receptive to the message?
That's the ticket! ;wi - by SalesCoach
Buy finding a way to target people actually interested in or needing the product and so receptive to the message?
Words of wisdom. If you were to send an effective direct mail piece to this select crowd I think you'd be suprised at the response rate. ;wi - by Jolly Roger
In terms of specific suggestions. Dropping leaflets in designated areas, school zones or poorly serviced areas--even on certain types of cars. Years back I was dropping leaflets for car detailing and customers were asked the color of their leaflet to see whose they got. Rather than put them under every windsheild wiper I put them on expensive but grubby cars ;) I had a great conversion rate.

Most products, I know, are a little harder to target and more high volume. Like when I was doing kelp diet products I could exactly walk up to all the overweight people in the mall ;) - by theglyphon
I'm much more likely to read a direct mail advertisement if it is a flyer or a postcard. I will take a glance at those and if it's something I'm interested in I save it a few days at least. I think delivering brochures or flyers to doors works pretty well too. - by ozzie
I think inserts are the worst, I tend to dump them immediately. (Of course I may be biassed because the worst job I ever had involved placing inserts *manually* into magazines). My feeling is that the most effective flyers are those hand delivered or placed on local businesses counters or public areas. - by theglyphon
Words of wisdom. If you were to send an effective direct mail piece to this select crowd I think you'd be suprised at the response rate. ;wi
This hasn't ever changed. The better the list the better the response rate. I would submit that direct mail is taking a back seat to other media such as email. - by BossMan
Email customer lists are great for reminding your regulars to drop in and see new stock. Especially if you add a few little bribes, make a notice of newsletter with a little content in it and don't bother them too often. - by theglyphon
Altho the volumes overall are down, the response rates are still very good. this came out today:

(Weymouth, MA) January 23, 2007 According to a study published recently by InfoTrends, consumers continue to have a high preference for direct mail over other forms of direct marketing. 61% of consumers surveyed stated a preference for direct mail, which is nearly triple the number that preferred receiving ads via e-mail. These findings can be attributed to the manageable and minimally intrusive nature of paper based communications - by TommyMac5
A couple of days ago I was listening to a colleague talk about the history of direct mail. He mentioned that direct mail response rates weren't what they used to be twenty or thirty years ago. Do you agree?

training said that marriage mail is opened 52% with a national 3% response rate.

YP ROI is 13.3:1
DM ROI is 12:1

these 2 dominate ROI in the advertising sector! ;st - by ilovesuperpages.com
training said that marriage mail is opened 52% with a national 3% response rate.

YP ROI is 13.3:1
DM ROI is 12:1

these 2 dominate ROI in the advertising sector! ;st
ilovesuperpages.com do you have ROI numbers for other channels in the advertising sector? - by SpeedRacer
ilovesuperpages.com do you have ROI numbers for others in the advertising sector?
take a trip to YPIMA's website..... I will look for it.. no time right now though.:bl - by ilovesuperpages.com
Words of wisdom. If you were to send an effective direct mail piece to this select crowd I think you'd be suprised at the response rate. ;wi
Amen. I do this on a weekly basis and my response rate is equal to what was considered "an excellent return" as recently as 1980. thmbp2; - by bluenote
Perhaps your envelope supplier could add additional design features to your mail piece (creative opening devices) designs, etc. to improve the "opening" of your direct mail - thus generate additional returns. - by bok6104
A couple of days ago I was listening to a colleague talk about the history of direct mail. He mentioned that direct mail response rates weren't what they used to be twenty or thirty years ago. Do you agree?
I think this has a lot to do with the area also. I know California is overly saturated with mail right now. I have a recycle bin between my mailbox and front door.

You can also see this if you go to a post office.

Response rate in Califorina is 0.5 percent, so for every two mailers you get one response, not a purchase, just a response. So at $.45 per mailer it costs 90 bucks to make some say hello. Plus postage rates are going up in less than a month http://www.usps.com/ratecase/
I would rather knock on doors, it is funny how the "no soliciting" sign looks like a "no smoking" sign at a glance. LOL But hey I need the exercise too. - by Jorel
Direct Mail response rates are certainly dropping in the 'mail plenty to get a few' type of mentality. Is this any surprise after the mass mailing in recent years from certain industry sectors ie Financial Services. Do not mail lists are now as common as do not call lists. Here in the UK last year we even had 2 of the most popular daily newspapers running campaigns to encourage people to register with MPS (do not mail).

By and large we as an industry (The Direct Mail Industry) have done very little to change peoples perceptions of 'junk mail'.

Fortunately more and more people are now waking up to the fact that highly personalised, highly relevant, highly targeted, one 2 one communications are pushing campaign ROI to previously unheard of levels thmbp2; - by Corona
while it can be argued that direct mail response rates are on the skids (caused by the significant amount of competition in direct mail) it has been proven that marriage mail is more effective.

Couple reasons:

1.) usually includes local restaurant bargains
2.) gives consumers multiple reasons to open the deck
3.) majority of household mail is opened up by women
4.) women do most of the "grocery shopping" for households
5.) marriage mail has a longer shelf life vs. solo mail.

I can keep going...but you catch the drift.

One of the weaknesses of marriage mail is the inundation of business types. This is one reason why exclusivity is an important decision factor. - by ilovesuperpages.com
while it can be argued that direct mail response rates are on the skids (caused by the significant amount of competition in direct mail) it has been proven that marriage mail is more effective.
I'm interested in this statement, not merely to be confrontational but because direct marketing trends in the UK are often 12-24 months behind the USA. Couple of questions if you don't mind:

a) Proven how? Statistics? and if so where can I view them?
b) Proven more effective in what way? higher response rates? better campaign ROI? etc
c) How do you compile your statistics for marriage mail? By that I mean if you mail a deck of 20 postcards and somebody responds to one offer/ad in the deck is that classed as 'hit' for the pack, a 1/20th hit for the pack or is each postcard viewed in isolation so you get varying response rates within a deck? - by Corona
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