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Direct Mail - Why Less is Sometimes More

When planning a direct mail marketing campaign, the natural inclination is often to "spray and pray" - send out as many mail pieces as possible in the hopes that some will take root and deliver results. However, experienced marketers know that a better approach is to...

"Plant fewer seeds, and water them more frequently."

What does this gardening analogy mean in the context of direct mail? It means being more selective and targeted in your mail campaigns and following up persistently with that defined audience over a period of time. Let's explore the benefits of this approach:

Improved Targeting

Rather than blasting your mail piece out to just anyone, take the time to carefully define and narrow your target audience. Use demographic data, past purchase history, etc. to zero in on the prospects most likely to actually need and want your product/service. This selective targeting avoids wasted mail spent on recipients unlikely to respond.

Bigger Mail Piece Budget

By mailing to a smaller list, you can reallocate those postage savings towards producing a bigger, better mail piece. A more premium, substantial piece will make a bigger impact and be less likely to get tossed aside.

Multi-Touch Campaign Strategy

The real magic happens when you turn your mailer into a multi-drop campaign hitting that same select audience multiple times. Research shows it often takes 6-8 "touches" before a prospect decides to engage. By committing to a sustained campaign sequence, you can move the needle through repeated impressions and nurturing over time.

Higher ROI

At the end of the day, planting fewer (but more potent) seeds that you nurture allows you to concentrate your marketing efforts. This results in higher conversion rates and better return on your direct mail investment.

So, while there's a natural temptation to start sending mail pieces far and wide, resist that urge. Plant fewer (but more targeted) seeds, then nurture them diligently. Apply that discipline to your direct mail strategy, and you'll start seeing better results.

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