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datadale's picture

What’s the Real Rate of Return on a Direct Mailing?


 Every day, people ask me about the average response from a direct mailing.

And, I typically answer this question the same way each time, explaining (patiently) that there is no average response – that everything depends on the mailing list, the creative, the offer and the timing of the mailer

They normally say to me next that they have heard they should get a 2% response on their mailing. Truth be told, ½ of a percent to 2 percent is a better guess. But we all know, there are a lot of variables out there that help us define success.

You can calculate the return for a direct-mail campaign by multiplying the four key elements: sale price, number of mailings, response rate and conversion rate.

The response rate is the number of people who respond to an ad; the conversion rate is the number of people who make a purchase. Both the response and the conversion are important indicators of a direct mail campaign success and help a mailer calculate their actual Return Rate and ROI.

There are sites on-line where a direct mailer can go to calculate Direct Mail ROI (just type that into Google and you’ll get a myriad of sites you can click into.) If you actually plug in your numbers, you can check the feasibility of a campaign before you even start. It’s a good place to start.

But let’s go back to the original question, which was “What’s the Real Rate of Return on a Direct Mailing?” Bottom line, that’s the wrong question. Instead, the question people should be asking themselves is “Did I make more money than I spent on this direct mail campaign and what did I learn from it?” 

That’s the Real Return.


datadale's picture

Planning Direct Mail Campaigns for Easy Mobile Response will Increase ROI


 I had a great Mail Moment the other day. I got a direct mail from an advertising specialties company that had my last name “Filhaber” direct printed on a golf shirt so it looked like it was already embroidered.

I was so excited about this mailer that I showed it to everyone in my office. To me, this 6” x 9” postcard hit all the high notes: it was unique, it was personalized, and it directed me to a website for easy on-line ordering. In fact, I actually ordered a shirt for my husband…so he now has a golf shirt that says Ed Filhaber, instead of Dataman Group.

Let’s face it, while direct mail marketing has been around for a long time, updating it to partner with new technology can make a huge difference in ROI.   

So, where to start? Marketers need to begin with the basic direct mail best practices that have proven successful for years. We call them best practices because they work and Marketers who follow these simple guidelines will keep their direct mail costs down and increase their ROI.

  • Targeted mail lists: Slice & dice to the max. Make sure you define your best prospects and work with your mailing list provider to pull the best possible prospects for your offer.
  • Mail tracking: Know when your mail delivered so that you can follow up.
  • Creative designs: Stand out in the mail box using die-cut postcards, colorful envelopes, eye-catching photos on envelopes.
  • Test-test-test: Really track results on what messaging and formats get the best response.
  • Personalization: Today’s technology makes it easy to do…and it really works.

Since many people now spend more time on their mobile devices, Marketers need to focus their direct mail to catch people on the go. In this day and age, we can empower our direct mail with technology to drive response.

Marketers whose direct mail utilizes the latest technology, let the recipient into the driver's seat of the marketing experience. Recipients can pick and choose the information they are interested in at that moment. By incorporating mobile marketing into a direct mail campaign, marketers give their prospects an easy gateway to find online information via their cell phone.

These are some of the newest trends in mobile marketing:

  • QR Codes: Directs them to a landing page with an offer, a way to buy or more information.
  • NFC: Near Field Communication: this a chip that can be embedded in direct mail (or brochures, product guides, etc.) and can be used to drive mobile devices where ever you want to with a tap or touch.
  • PURL: Unique and personalized landing page created especially for each recipient.

By adding these instant response methods, marketers increase the opportunity to catch someone in the moment as a hot lead, if not a sale. Exact Target says that direct mail influences 76 percent of internet users to buy a product or service online, so marketers need to make sure they are driving that online engagement with their direct mail campaigns.





Can someone please explain to me the proper procedures when dealing with a body that has had radiation. Is there only a particular kind of radiation that is the concern? Does it matter how long ago it was administered? Also, what about implanted pellets for prostate cancer?
Can the cremation still take place? Are there extra PPE that should be used?
Thank you!

Rick Platter's picture

Industry News 08.27.14


Robin Williams' ashes scattered in same place as his mother's remains (U.S.)

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Texas State Cemetery Shines Spotlight on Famous Texans - See more at:

Texas State Cemetery Shines Spotlight on Famous Texans - See more at:
Texas State Cemetery Shines Spotlight on Famous Texans - See more at:

Funeral Trade Fair Dead Busy In Tokyo (Japan)


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