Bulk Mailing......does it work?
I recently joined the local chamber and they gave me all the chamber members info. I am thinking about doing a bulk mailing to them. Has this worked for anyone out there or am I just wasting my time.
Any good or bad stories would be grrrreat!
I stayed out on this one hoping to see what others had to say before I jumped in but it looks like the others here have answered this one enough times over the years that they've said to themselves: "I ain't touching this one, let's see what Boomie sez." ;o)
Direct mail works -- to a point...
It is not a panacea and is no substitute for attending Chamber of Commerce meetings, joining local service groups and other organisations which can help you meet the players in your area.
That said, you can traditionally get results of 1% when doing a raw first mailing. If the piece is targeted well enough and you are doing a follow-up mailing to the same group you mailed to before -- and you do it within 90 days -- the numbers go up to 2% to 3% for the subsequent piece. If you follow-up again in another 30 days for piece three, the number can jump again. But most pieces never perform this well as they are not created correctly and targeted with a message that truly connects with the audience for which they are intended.
An expert in direct mail can pull these kinds of numbers but most people get the basic 1% number and then have to try to close deals from among the 1% responding. Experts can work the numbers wherein they will pull between 3% to 5% if everything is done correctly AND they have a strong closer to follow-up on these leads.
I've done direct mail for an office supply company and for video production. The office supply mailings were a big success. Sent out a series of mailings to targeted businesses. Each mailing had some sort of special attached to it that expired at specific date. Our new customer numbers went up as well as our sales figures.
About five years ago, I started a small production company and used direct mail in the beginning. Got a few phone calls that I was not able to turn into sales. The direct mail partially worked (although not at the average 1% to 2% response rate). Heck, if I turned 10 sales from a few thousand pieces, it would of been a success. In the end, I determined it wasn't the mail. It was me and the product/service. To get someone to pay $49.99 for a well known office product is a little different than getting someone to pay a few hundred to thousands of dollars for a media project.
Use a series of mailings to get them to call you. Once you get that call, put on your salesperson cap and solve the potential client's need. I once read that it takes about 7 (I think that's the number)person to person contacts before making a sale.
Just as I said in my own responce, the return rate is based on how well you have targeted your pitch -- the more generic, the less effective it will be in drawing any responce. The fact that you gave a special offer with an expiration date also spurred sales when you were pitching office supplies.
The trouble comes in when people pitch their post production services, for example, they throw a "big net" (a general pitch) over a large audience. It actually works better in reverse: choose a smaller, more focused target and hone your pitch to a razor's edge; such as preparing commercials of a holiday theme. Now is a good time to begin pitching companies in your area who may want to prepare commercials for the upcoming holiday sales season. Set a date in which your "Holiday Special" expires.
On the other hand, just sending out postcards introducing your post production studio will get the phone ringing, alright -- with little old ladies wanting to know how much you'd charge them to make a copy of the DVD they rented from the video store last night.