Direct mail, like most forms of marketing, performs best when it has time to mature.
Digital marketing tactics like email and social media have trained marketers to demand instant results, but when you look at marketing as a whole, success is best measured when you look at it over a longer period of time.
Oftentimes, marketers will mail to their prospect list one time and only measure the immediate impact (i.e., sales from the first week or month from the mailing date.) Unfortunately, doing so does not give a holistic view of the results.
People don’t always respond immediately. If this is the first time they are being introduced to your brand, they may need more information before they are ready to make a decision. They may look to your website or online reviews of your product or services first to help build authority and trust in your brand.
Your prospects may wait several weeks before responding, so if you have already measured the immediate results, you might not count this in the sales associated to your campaign. This is why consistency is key.
It can take 18-20 times to reach a prospect for the first time, so mailing one time and using that to measure the immediate success or failure of a campaign will frankly never get you anywhere. Instead, you will want to consider mailing your prospects on a monthly or even weekly schedule with messages that build on one another to provide your prospects the info they need to make a decision.
What that schedule looks like really depends on how often your audience likes to be communicated with. You will learn these preference over time. For best results, you will want to tie your direct mail to your digital efforts.
As we mentioned earlier, people may first look to your website for more information, so it is important to make sure there is a cookie code associated to the web page so no matter where they go after they leave your website, they will always be reminded of your brand.
This, along with consistent mail that builds a story for them, will help increase brand impressions and recognition and work to break through the clutter so your customers can easily find you and recall your brand later.
The Bottom Line
Mailing one time is not an effective way to determine if this channel works or not. A consistent mailing schedule is the key to prospecting success.