Optimizing Direct Mail Frequency
Any direct mail campaign should include multiple drops to achieve the most efficient response and conversion rates. Just as digital ads, if you aren’t hitting your target customer multiple times, you’re wasting valuable impressions. The most agreed upon frequency of direct mail drops is 3 hits per customer with an average of 3 weeks between each mailing.
This frequency is not universal, as each product, brand, and target market are unique, but multiple impressions are the most obvious choice for increasing response and conversion rates.
How to Identify an Ideal Frequency
Before determining the most efficient direct mail frequency for your business, you must examine strategy you already have in place including budget, objective, and market size of the target area.
If your objective is building awareness, industry best practices support multiple audience touchpoints when using direct mail to reach both current and prospective customers. However, if you’re an e-commerce brand using direct mail to fuel mass customer acquisition, using a one touch approach is more efficient until it’s time to re-engage your audience.
Another scenario is when your market is competitive and crowded such as healthcare, insurance, and even restaurants in crowed areas. Mass appeal business like these should launch multi-touch campaigns as to stay top of mind whenever your product or service is desired over a competitor.
Having your mailers pre-printed all at once is one way to increase the cost-effectiveness of direct mail marketing and helps offset initial costs.
Run a Test
Testing any marketing strategy helps safeguard your budget against possible losses if your plans don’t work out. Establish two groups, a control group, and a variable group. Both groups should receive the same piece containing exact creative, offer, copy, and list source. The only difference would be the frequency of mail each group receives.
Your test size will largely depend upon budget but conducting at least a small test is beneficial to finding the best cadence of your mailers. If possible, test using multiple sample sizes as to increase the validity of your results.
Effects of Frequency
You’ve identified your current strategy, defined a budget, and found an ideal direct mail frequency after testing. What happens next you may be asking. Settling on your frequency allows you to now shift focus to testing creative strategy as to determine if your audience should be receiving the same piece each time or a variety of pieces, maybe with separate CTA’s, with each mailing which might yield higher response rates.
Also consider including digital elements such as paid ads and email marketing into your test campaigns. These could identify a necessary precursor to direct mail response compared to a mail only group.