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Topic: Advertising/PR

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Direct Mail Response Rates Using Postcards

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
I am a marketing coordinator for a postcard printing company. I would like to know what the response rate is for postcard advertising by industry. I am particularly interesed in the real estate, photography, retail industries. However, I would truely appreciate knowledge of any industry or any link that might have these stats.

  • Posted by stlubahn on Member
    todd,

    I concur with the others on response rates, and often you need a compelling offer to get much of a response at all.

    I do find advantages to postcard over other methods in two cases 1) for name recognition and branding, especially for new companies or products and 2) to use the postcard to drive people to your website.

    I have experienced rates higher than 5% with a well directed postcard to send people to the web. You need to make it compelling, and a colorful card with a different shape or intriguing call to action that drives people to the web for more info can work. People are more likely to do this than pick up the phone, especially if they have only a mild interest.

    Make sure you have a clear call to action and way for them to contact you on the landing page of your website do you don't waste an opportunity once you get them to your site.

    All that being said, postcards may do the job for a mass mailing to cost effectively cover a list, but is it hard to bet a customized business letter signed by sales rep or company exec for opening doors if you have a targeted prospect list. Makr sure to follow it up with a phone call and visit. People will still open and read a personal letter most of the time.

    Steve
  • Posted on Member
    if you arrange for postage paid and there is benefit to replying (additional 2 bucks on your prepaid acct for replying) goes up to 8%.
    this was in telecoms industry
    jas
  • Posted by darcy.moen on Accepted
    A lot depends on to whom the postcard is directed, the offer, and the business making the offer. I've advised clients about postcard marketing for years, and find response rates all over the map.

    Here are two examples:

    Client A calls, complaining that he had 4 postcards returned from a 1,2000 postcard direct mail campaign he's done. As it turns out, it's the first postcard campaign he has ever done. The list he's rented had 200 postcards returned due to bad or outdated addresses. He's rented a list of householders with an income of more than 150,000 per year. His offer is a flat five dollars free cleaning. My advice, you should target customers with 40K to 120K annual income and increase your mailing to 4,000 households, and place four different offers on the postcard, use full color printing, rent a list from a reputable list rental company that has a deliverability guarantee, and you should do such a campaign at least three times before juding success or failure. Client says: 60 cents per card is way to expensive and it's too much to risk for his pocket book. :-(

    Client B: Does short run tests to create an effective offer and determine which letter carrier routes are most responsive/receptive to direct mail advertising. Over a period of a year, the offer and postcard design is tweaked until it produces a 14 percent response rate. Client rolls out the program and doesn't change it one bit for 16 years. Oh yes, the program continued to generate 14 percent response rates when sent to the entire marketplace.

    Moral of my story: Its not the wand, its the magician!
    Bad carpenters always blame their tools...and some carpenters can pick up a hammer and build the Taj Mahal. Other carpenters can pick up the same hammer, and only hit their thumb.

    To sum up: results will vary. It's not always the media, the messenger, or the message; its a combination of all three that result in a response rate. Only isolating and testing each variable will determine where or what is effecting response rates.

    Thus endith my lesson.

    Darcy Moen
    Customer Loyalty Network

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