Should I Purchase A Direct Mail Marketing List?

dich-vu-thue-may-chu-mail-mail-serverIt all sounds so easy, just purchase a list of names to market to, and let the magic begin. Of course, nothing in life is quite as easy as that. The tough reality is that the mail response rates of those who do not already know your company are quite low. pegs it like this,

  • The typical response rate for direct mail is 1 to 2% for a purchased list (people who don’t know you).

  • Response rates are higher if you’re mailing to people who know you (your own customer and prospect list). The typical response rate for internal mailing lists is 5 to 10%.

How To Boost Response Rates

There are ways by which one may boost response rates to a direct mail marketing campaign. Experts say that it comes down to three critical factors. Those factors are mailing the information to relevant parties, including information those parties can use, and the design of the actual piece being mailed. Yes, even something as simple as the design of the piece can have an impact on if it gets opened or not.

Carefully consider all three factors. It is most important of all to mail pieces only to those might likely to respond in the first place. This means purchasing relevant mailing lists.

How To Mail Only The Right People

No marketing campaign has a 100% success rate. There are always some individuals who see marketing materials that they have absolutely no interest in. However, this should not stop marketers from attempting to narrow down which kinds of people are likely to respond to their pleas.

Demographics play a vital role in determining who will express interest in a product. Young people like certain things, senior citizens may like different things. The same is true for all races, religions, and genders. Figuring out which demographics match up with the products one wants to sell makes a big difference.

Should I Buy The List?

If a marketing list meets the above criteria, then it is worth purchasing. That would be a list that has narrowed down the people on it to only those most likely to express an interest in your products. Blanket lists that simply include everyone are rarely worth the paper they are printed on considering the extremely low response rates.

Contact us for more information about marketing lists and when they should or should not be purchased.

Why A Mail Call Still Has Such An Impact

canstockphoto20177883One might easily fall into the belief that mail would have little to no impact on the average consumer these days. This has easily been proven false. Rather, mail pieces have an out sized impact compared to their cost. It is certainly a method of marketing that is worth a second look.

Testing The Waters In A New Market

Perhaps the most appealing part of a direct mail marketing campaign is its reasonable cost. It makes it possible to test the waters so to speak in a new market before unrolling a larger marketing effort. explains the value of this method in this way,

Direct marketing provides you with a way to conduct a test of this market relatively quickly, at a reasonable cost, and with convincing certitude. You’ll know whether this is indeed the gold mine you hope it is.

A Quick Way To Market

Aside from cost, speed of marketing matters as well. The sooner that one gets a campaign moving, the sooner they can see results from that campaign. Direct mail marketing is among the quickest ways to spread a message. Bulk mailings make the process all the quicker and more uniform.

Statistics from bulk mailing campaigns come in almost immediately and show the effectiveness of a particular approach. If changes need to be made, this should show up in the numbers.

Mailing Lists Are Reusable

A mailing list that one purchases are reusable. The people on the list have some reason for being on that list. They have expressed an interest in the products you sell, or they at least meet demographic factors that make them a valuable target for marketing materials.

Tweaking the mailers can change the results seen from a mailing list. As a company sharpens its pitch, it often sees improved results even from the same target audience.

Contact us for more information in regards to direct mail marketing campaigns.

Direct Mail And the Importance of Getting The Basics Right

canstockphoto10545642If Direct Mail is dying, it’s hospital bills have to be through the roof by now. Reports of its demise have gone back to the early 1980s, and and the introduction of email marketing as the ‘newer, better version of direct mail’ surely sealed the death of their older, clumsier cousin.

Yet, it’s still here. Somehow, in our digital age of instant reach via social media, web and email, over $40 billion is still spent on direct mail each year, making it the largest single direct marketing expenditure today. How can direct mail, pronounced dead countless times by now, still be successful? By getting the basics right.

The Mailing List

A main concern with direct mail is how quickly consumers discard the pieces after checking their mailbox. Marketers are combating this issue with getting fancy – designing and creating unique, eye-catching pieces, sometimes even including physical objects, to pique their audience’s attention.

It’s easy to get swept up in creating these kinds of direct mail. Still, never forget what determines the success of direct mail: the mailing list. Each and every member of that list has a cost attached, and should have a realistic possibility of converting to a customer. It’s easy to buy a list of leads for your direct mail campaign, but how many of them will actually be interested in your piece? Doing so risks unnecessary expense with little chance of success.

On the flip side, a list created by you – with leads generated either via forms on your website or personal interactions – has a much higher chance of success. Don’t be afraid to spend considerable amounts of time targeting your list specifically to your offer – your budget and ROI will thank you.

The Value Proposition

Similarly, even the most elaborate and well-targeted piece of mail won’t be successful if it doesn’t offer your audience something of value. Your entire piece, whether it’s a postcard or a fold-out with a pen included – should focus on a singular benefit to the consumer. Ask yourself the question: what would convince your audience to take action and become customers? Once you’ve found an answer, don’t be afraid to design – and target – your entire piece of direct mail around it.

Fancy designs and visuals are great at directing your audience’s attention to your direct mail piece. But only getting the basics right – utilizing an effective list and value proposition – ensures that your direct mail ROI will be so successful, you’ll proclaim the entire industry healed on the spot. And we can help you get there! Contact us today to let us help you with your direct mail strategy.

Get Proven, Predictable Sales Results with Direct Mail

Who-Opens-Direct-Mail-AnymoreIf you have not thought about it lately, you may want to give old-fashioned Direct Mail some serious consideration. Direct mail, when properly developed and delivered, is one of the most effective sales tools in the history of business. Believe it or not, many businesses still rely on (snail mail) direct mail sales campaigns for a variety of reasons, so let’s take a look at some of these here:

With a targeted direct mail campaign, you pinpoint exactly who you want to sell to and reach them with a carefully worded message that is extremely effective when professionally crafted. When you advertise online, you are usually selling to a large audience of people who may or may not have any interest in your product or service. This can get very expensive, and is not as cost-effective as a great direct mail sales campaign.

With direct mail, you get a more personal approach available to reach your customers, and this also allows you to have more time for analysis by your potential customer as well (most online searches happen very quickly in comparison). This allows for a complete transmission of critical information and more of your message being delivered and considered. This results in a better chance of a sale, overall.

With an average effective direct mail campaign, you will have a minimum of a 1-3% response rate, and often times actually much more, up to 80% or greater. Finally, the overall cost of internet marketing usually far exceeds mailing costs for direct mail campaigns and is less predictable. You can stand a greater chance of proven success with direct mail, even in the modern internet world. Content marketing can backfire or miss entirely and is harder to predict.

Now that we have examined some of the reasons to invest in a direct mail strategy, you can rethink your sales strategy to contemplate time-honored, proven direct mail for your next campaign, or even add it to your sales arsenal. If you are looking for results you can count on in your next sales campaign, take a minute and contact us to inquire about what we can do for you.

Direct Mail: Avoiding The Junk Mail Feeling

canstockphoto0894036Unlike e-mail accounts or Facebook notifications, direct mail comes just once a day. Still, there are opportunities for marketers to impact the habits of consumers via this medium. However, all marketers must first ensure that they are not coming off in a “junk mail” way.

Defining Junk Mail

What is the difference between a legitimate piece of marketing material and junk mail? Simply put, one provides useful information to a consumer about a product they might like to buy. The other gives unsolicited information about something wholly irrelevant to the receiver. defines it this way,

In it’s worst form, organizations send unwanted mailings to people that are not interested in the products being promoted. Of course, unwanted mailings are also known as “junk” mail,…

No one wants to land in the junk mail category. Shaping direct marketing campaigns around avoiding this label is prudent.

How To Make A Helpful Direct Marketing Piece 

In order to make a piece that is not considered junk, it is first helpful to understand one’s audience. Different demographics are clearly more likely to have an interest in different products. A little market research (and sometimes just a little common sense) can show which target audiences appear the most receptive to a product.

As an audience becomes defined, messaging to them becomes the critical issue. Again, each audience is different and understands communication in different ways. Younger audiences may prefer a more casual tone that explains why they need the product and how specifically it will benefit them. An older generation audience is likely to want a deeper relationship with the product and the company they do business with.

Striking the right chord and balance is how a piece of mail goes from throw away garbage to something that calls someone to action.

Contact us for more information on direct mail pieces and how to avoid junk mail.


Why Use Direct Marketing Anymore? 

78397007It has become simple to blast out an e-mail or create an online targeted social media campaign. Why then would marketers worry at all about using direct marketing tactics of the past? The short answer is because a lot of them still work. However, a more detailed explanation can provide further insight.

Micro-Targeting Shrinks Mail Volume

Some look at the decreasing volumes of mail and think that this must mean the end of direct marketing. To the contrary, the decreases are largely attributed to better direct marketing techniques.

Micro-targeting has enabled marketers to better select their audiences and thus avoid the “mass mailings” of the past. spells it out quite nicely,

…However, the increased ability to micro-segment has resulted in a more targeted approach.   This “mirco-targetting” equates to an overall decrease in mail volume from the days of the “Mass Mailing” approach.

Even what appears as a problem for direct marketing is more or less a testament to the strength of it.

E-Mail Marketing Is Not As Personal

Marketing to someone’s e-mail account simply isn’t personal enough anymore. When e-mail was first widely available it was a treat for people to open each e-mail and see what was inside. Now, spam e-mails flood the inbox folders of most individuals, and e-mails as a whole are largely ignored.

The likelihood of direct mail being opened is high for those using strong marketing techniques. At the same time, it still requires a level of authenticity to get noticed. Design is a very important part of direct mail campaigns. Spend time focusing on that pays dividends.

Marketing Diversification Matters

At the very least, companies concern themselves with direct marketing for diversification purposes. Different customers prefer direct methods of communication. Some may actually enjoy receiving mail better than e-mails or other types of communication. Value exists in all customer types, and they all deserve marketing.

Contact us for more information about direct marketing and the reasons to continue to practice.


Three Environmentally Friendly Print Options

04-22-07_DaddyTree-777631Have you ever thought about how your latest print job will affect the planet? The printing industry is rolling out more and more green printing options, some of which (like soy-based ink) are well on their way to becoming mainstream. Here are three of the most environmentally friendly printing options you can ask for the next time you’re producing a batch of brochures or sales letters.

1. Eco-friendly paper

Using recycled paper is a good start, but “recycled” can mean any one of several different things. The “greenest” kind of recycled paper is 100% post-consumer recycled paper, because it’s composed entirely of used paper products saved from the landfill and given another life. Tree-free paper, often made of soybeans, cotton, or sugar cane straw, is another excellent tree saver.

2. Digital proofing

Using digital proofing can save time and materials. This means that it’s not only better for the environment, but better for your budget and productivity as well! If your printer offers this option, don’t be afraid to take it. If you’re not sure how it works, ask for a tutorial and your printer will be glad to explain it to you.

3. Efficient design

If you’re familiar with the printing materials and printing process, you can plan your designs efficiently in advance. If you’re not as familiar, ask your professional printer for help determining how to make the best use of each page and minimize waste. Two easy ways to make better use of each page are by leaving less room for margins (thus utilizing more of the available space) and by always printing on both sides of the page.

By using these three steps and planning each print job carefully, you can minimize the impact your printing has on the environment. Feel free to ask for more information, or even request a personalized quote, when you contact us today.

Why Direct Mail is the Original Form of Content Marketing

  • canstockphoto15035261Experts from all the most prominent online and offline marketing think tanks are recommending that business owners include online content marketing as part of their marketing campaigns. However, many business owners, especially local ones, have forgotten that direct mail campaigns offer the same benefits that online content marketing campaigns do — often for much larger groups of their potential customers.

    Interruption Marketing

    We are all familiar with interruption or interrupt marketing. Interrupt marketing forces you to pay attention to whatever product or service the business owner is promoting by interrupting what you’re doing.

    • It interrupts your attention during a TV show,
    • Interrupts your dinner with a phone call,
    • Snags your attention while you’re reading an article with distracting text or images, or
    • Snags your attention by forcing you to deal with an annoying pop-up or completely read another webpage when you accidentally click an unwanted link.

    Though interruption marketing is sometimes effective, many marketers and business owners find that content marketing converts more long-term customers and builds long-term relationships.

    According to Seth Godin of Yoyodyne Entertainment, (a permission-based marketing company that markets through games and other forms of online entertainment),

    “The interruption model is extremely effective when there’s not an overflow of interruptions, but there’s too much going on in our lives for us to enjoy being interrupted anymore.”

    Content Marketing

    Though many people feel that content marketing simply consists of social media, search engine optimization, and article promoting; direct mail advertisements were the first form of content marketing.


    • Direct mail markets to customers on their terms, therefore if the message is well-written, (uses effective sales copywriting), well-received, (delivered to a targeted customer base), and well-presented, (with an attractive, modern, clear, stylish design); it’s more likely that a customer will read it;
    • Direct mail is permission-based in that the customer reads it whenever he wants;
    • It improves a customer’s quality of life by giving him the info he needs to make an informed buying decision;
    • It utilizes effective marketing strategy, by attempting to sell to extremely targeted lists — based on customer interests, buying habits and specific permissions, (even before big data); and
    • It is acceptable and often respected by almost all customer groups. (Though the millennials are different, all other generations still respond to direct mail). Elderly people especially, still respond to it, and there are still people who don’t care to use computers and smartphones for anything other than communicating with friends and family members. Some people also inherently distrust online marketing.

    According to the CMO Council:

    “Direct mail — yes junk mail via snail mail — still reigns supreme, offering response rates of 1.1 to 1.4% versus 0.03% for email, 0.04% for Internet display ads, and 0.22% for paid search. May 2013 26”

    Contact us to get a gorgeous and effective direct mail marketing program going today! Let us walk you through the simple process!

Why Direct Mail is Still Your Best Option

78397007You may think that direct mail marketing has been usurped by the plethora of internet marketing strategies. This is far from the case – recently, Indiana State University’s community service is ranked first place – and the university chooses to utilize “a direct mail annual fundraising campaign letter for a local health and medical-related nonprofit organization.”

According to Ohio University, direct mail marketing is unique in that it’s able to reach market segments otherwise unreachable by other forms of marketing. One example of this are the older generations who don’t use the internet and are not computer-savvy. These consumers won’t see Facebook ads, or Tweets – your only access to them is direct mail and television advertisements. Given that television advertisements are expensive and not everyone watches TV – your best option is to go with direct mailing. Everyone has to check their mail – and that’s one of the best advantages of direct mail marketing.

The key to maximizing your success with direct mailing lies in having a great mailing list. The University of Kansas provides good pointers on how to go about doing this:

  • Buy or rent lists from brokers who specialize in compiling them via demographic surveys.
    • Make sure to check the references of these brokers to certify they are legitimate and successful.
  • Lists degrade by 7% in accuracy after they’re three-months old.
    • Use any list only two times, and retain only the consumers who have responded.
  • You can also use the NCOA by USPS to form your lists.
    • Audit these lists at least once per annum to filter frequent buyers and non-responders.
  • Public records are also key areas you can compile your lists from.
  • You can also buy or rent subscription lists from magazines which target your products’ demographics.

4CP, Inc. is here to help you with your direct mail marketing campaigns. We have been in the business for decades and have helped numerous business increase their profits exponentially. Contact us today to learn more!

Listen Up! Direct Mail Trends for 2015

ROIThe latest trends in marketing are campaigns that are personalized, mobilized, and automated. All three of these trends can be implemented in direct mail marketing for an increased consumer experience that will inevitably lead to increased business.

1. Personalize: Use Data to Truly Connect. Individualized marketing campaigns are not just a passing trend. Consumers expect personalized attention in the high-tech world that we live in today. A top priority for your direct mail campaign this year is establishing that unique connection with consumers. This requires extensive data mining and analyzing consumers’ needs and lifestyles, and an understanding of what drives them to make purchases.

2. Mobilize: Everyone is Mobile. According to eMarketer, by the year 2018 over one-third of consumers across the world will be using smartphones. Combining print media with mobile technology creates an exciting, engaging marketing campaign. The use of QR codes and NFC (near-field communication) tags are great ways to mobilize direct mail. Include QR codes on your mailings that engage consumers in something special they would not receive simply by visiting your website. Offer a special discount if consumers scan your QR code and provide an email address or become a follower on your social media channels. This increases the value of your direct mailings while also increasing traffic on your social media outlets.

3. Automate: Increase Efficiency. Ad guru Lester Wunderman states that the biggest challenge marketers face is understanding when to sell to consumers. Even if you understand the needs of your target audience and how to capture their attention, timing is everything. Cloud-based automaton tools can help deliver direct mail with precisely the right timing. These automation systems analyze real-time behavior data to develop personalized and timely direct mail.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss further trends and options for direct mail marketing.