If you use direct mail, don't give up after the first mail-out. Instead, boost
your hit rate by mailing to the same people more than once.

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If you use direct mail, don't give up after the first mail-out. Instead, boost your hit rate by mailing to the same people more than once. By sending out a slightly different message at intervals, some direct mailers report a doubling of response rate.

This works on the same principle as 'persistence' selling. According to the Sales and Marketing magazine:

  • 48% of all sales people give up after the 1st 'no'
  • 20% stop after the 2nd 'no'
  • 7% abandon the prospect after the 3rd 'no'
  • 5% walk away after the 4th 'no'
  • 4% cross the prospect off the list after the 5th 'no'
But in fact 70% of all new business is gained after the 5th contact!

Similar results come from repeated direct mailing. For example:

  • 5% respond to your 1st mailing (high? yes, but it's a good mailer!)
  • 3% come back to you after the 2nd mail drop
  • 1% answer to the 3rd mailout
  • 1% give in to your persistence after the 4th mailing
Just example figures, of course, but they are proved in practice.

A word of caution, though - if you are renting a mailing list, make sure that you have permission to use it more than once. Some mailing list brokers allow you to buy their list outright to use indefinitely. Others will charge you extra if you want to use their list for repeat mailings.


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