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Do direct mail well, and it can be one of the most effective and profitable ways to market your business, product or service.
Do it badly, and you can get through cash quicker than you would by throwing banknotes out of a moving vehicle.
The risk/reward element of direct mail means that – unlike other types of marketing – your margin for error is not particularly wide.
Get one fundamental element wrong, and you may as well have not bothered, which means that thinking each element through before pressing the ‘go’ button is extremely important.
And one element that a lot of direct mail marketers ignore is WHEN to mail.
They focus a lot on the data – and rightly so – and they’ll also think very carefully about WHAT they’re mailing, but then it just goes out, with very little thought over whether it’s the right time or not.
And generally speaking, there is a “right time” for most industries.
Most companies who send out direct mail have a pretty good idea of when’s good to send stuff – promotional stuff for specific holidays is pretty self-explanatory – but what they don’t think about is when the WRONG time to mail is.
Now, I’m afraid to say that I can’t give you the answer, because it is inextricably linked to the market you serve.
But what I will say is that you do need to think these things through, because it can be the difference between getting a load of orders and seeing tumbleweed.
For example, if you’re selling to retailers, the very worst time to send them a campaign is when they’re super busy themselves, as they simply won’t have time to digest your campaign, so Christmas and Easter aren’t great times to mailout.
I guess the big takeaway here is:
Who makes up your market? When will they be most receptive to your campaign?
And when are they most busy, and least likely to respond?