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A BRIEF PRIMER ON MAIL
ORDER RESPONSE RATES
By Jay Lindsay
© 2016, National Business Reports
Beginners in the world of mail order or direct marketing have a tendency
to be overly optimistic in their expectations of the response rates from
As an example a direct mailing piece directed to a non-customer mailing
list of 100 people will NOT bring you 5, 10 or 20 customers.
As a general rule one should expect, at best, less than a 3 percent
If you are mailing to your own client or customer mailing list with a
super offer you might do slightly better but somewhere around a 3% order
rate is about tops.
To be successful with a direct mail campaign you must have a product
or service that is priced high enough to offset your mailing costs. Do not
expect to make a profit by attempting to sell a $5 item.
Because of the low rate of return, many wise marketers obtain new customers
using the two-step method which is much more effective.
They advertise using small display or classified ads that offer FREE
additional information to those that reply.
Depending on the offer one might expect 5/1000 of 1 percent return. This
means that a magazine with a true 100,000 circulation could bring only 50
inquiries for more information.
They then send their sales literature to these 50 who appear to be truly
interested in the product or service. This is the point that one might expect
a 5 to 20 percent converstion ratio from prospect to buying customer.
The most important thing to know is that each offer you make is different
and will have different results. Some will be winners, some will be losers
and that why it is highly recommended that you test your offers before rolling
out the big advertising bucks.
Also keep in mind that it can be smart to actually lose money in the beginning
in order to gain a customer. This is true only if you can entice that customer
to buy from you time and time again over many years.
About The Author: Jay Lindsay is the owner of National
Business Reports which he founded in 1980. He has over 35 years in
the Mail Order and Internet Marketing Business.
National Business Reports • PO Box 99 • Spring
Branch, TX 78070
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