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Feb 19, 2009 6:17 pm

[quote=BondGuy][quote=MarketingStudy]The challenge I think w/ direct mail is that if you’re using it to generate appointments, the response will be so low, you’ll get crushed on the cost for ROI.  This is because in order to get an appointment set, you have to have TRUST first from that client and a mailer sent has no chance of generating trust.  This is why for the same reason you DO often get a decent response from DM for generating seminar responses, because customers don’t need trust to attend a seminar because it’s with the expectation of being public and it’s safe and non threatening.

Just my $0.02.[/quote]   More uninformed info from someone who hasn't done direct Mail?   The only area where the "wall of trust" is easier to scale is with referrals or friends. True a seminar gives the prospect a free look see. It's also two to three times more expensive to produce.  The cost per account is at least twice as high. This is why many, if not most advisors employing semiars narrow their auduence to 401k rollver prospects ie prospects over 55 years old, or present seminars or workshops on other high asset niches like estate planning.   My B/D covers the cost of evelopes and statioanry. My monetary investment is postage. So let's do the math:   2000 pieces @ .42    =  $840   reponse rate @ .5% =  10   Close rate @ 20%    =  2   Cost per account  = $420   Average gross per existing account = $2300   Two accounts should give me approx $4600 in gross at about a 45% payout = $2070 net to  pocket. Of course not every account gives me $2300. But it averages out over time which iswhy i play the averages. And even though the accounts are profitable in year one i wouldn't do this if that's as far as it went. It's the long term income derived from these accounts and the referral ops that really make it work.   Let's look at seminars:   2000 pieces @ .42     = $840   Cold callers to call the list = $891 ( 3 callers @ 11.00/hour  calling for three hours each three nights a week for the three weeks before the seminar. They call the entire list)   response rate @  2% = 40 respondees   No shows = 15 buying units   attendees = 25 buying units BU = husband and wife   Dinner cost @ 30/head = $1500   Total cost = $3231   New accounts @ 20% close rate = 5 new acounts   Cost per account = $646   Again profitable but much more expensive, and not a leveraged prospecting method. It's a primary prospecting method, lots of time consuming work to get it done.  Where-as direct mail, once it's set up, is a turn key. Have an assistant run the entire mailing, about an hour or two of work per month and just wait for the responses to come in. DM is a highly leverage propsecting technique versus other marketing channels. To get ten respondees to a called a call campaign( make that " cold call campaign")  would take 7 to 10 hours of calling. Results may vary but still a lot of work compared to no work for a set up DM program. So, the comparo is seminars at $646 cost per account with a boatload of work to pull it off versus direct mail at $420 with minimal effort to get it done. DM is a clear winner here, leverage being the key.   However, that's not my final answer. What ever you are doing now- keep doing it. Add direct mail as secondary marketing channel. Or ramp up the mailing program to 10,000 pieces a month and make it your primary channel. regadless make a six month committment to it and tweak it to get improved results. Also know that product mailers do much better than the let me offer you my services/review you portfolio letters. Appeal to greed al ways works and these days appeal to fear. For example a well thought out CD campaign, while low gross, will really open the door and bring in the assets. As low as rates are brokered CDs almost always beat the local alternatives. Show how working with you works for them.  A year or two from now those CDs come due and it's time to cart the money to the bank. That's when you get paid. All that time to shower them with service and show them how much you care. This leads to a very high close rates on alternative biz reccos.   As for the "Wall of trust" nothing happens until you get over that wall. That process is the same regardless of how the intial contact was made.            [/quote]
Feb 19, 2009 7:06 pm

If you are going to mail 2,000+ pieces a month, should you apply for a bulk mail rate? It seems to me you pay the upfront cost(not sure what that is) and mail for 50% less than originial cost…

Feb 19, 2009 8:22 pm

I’ve never used bulk mail so i can’t comment as to its effectiveness. It could be done. Try it and report back to us.

Feb 19, 2009 8:45 pm

I have used it for my seminar mailings(the print shop that I use has a bulk mail rate pass, so first class is between $0.18-$0.25). I will report back once I find out a cost to obtain the pass…

Feb 21, 2009 11:10 pm

Bond guy has it down in terms of the costs/volume of effort.

It's not easy either way. I've done both, too and have also analyzed.

Here are the broad strokes:

1. I found response rate on just mailing without calling dismal. ZERO

2. I found follow up calling on mailing slightly better than zero.

3. I found that cold call, mail something, then call back best.

When you make the cold call and can't get anywhere, ask if you can MAIL something (if you list is any good, you already have the address). Then ask for the e-mail address. Then the subsequent email drip campaign is part of a distribution list you send to every few weeks or months.

Call, Mail, Call.

Call, Mail, Call.

Works like a charm.

Observations from today's cold calls in 1 hour of calling.  

50 calls residential, inviting people to a seminar I'm running with an affinity group.

Spoke to 4 people, of the 4, 3 expressed interest.

Those three will get invite by mail and follow up call.

Feb 23, 2009 2:14 am

Taking Names, this is good feedback.  A lot of your information has been very helpful…

Jun 8, 2011 4:41 am

A good direct mail layout postcard resolution is 300 pi. If you are not printing in 300dpi then images will look blurred and unprofessional. Don't use images off of the Internet because they will be blurry and they are also look like copyrighted.  

direct mail layout