Is Direct Mail Worth $1.5 Million?

For our clients at Miller and Smith it sure was! Together we worked on a direct mail piece advertising Belmont Bay, a 55+ new construction townhome community in Woodbridge, VA. The main message was about their grand opening and decorated model unveiling. Erica Bell, Marketing Manager for Miller and Smith, let us know how the piece performed. “Just a note that our direct mail for Belmont Bay was a great success. We had 14 people attend the event from it and a few extra call after the event. We moved two people to contract and there is one more for this week.” With a total direct mail spend of $8,717 for 11,470 pieces of mail and homes starting in the low $600s, that is nearly a 20,000% return on  investment! Yes, it seems too good to be true, but there’s a method behind that mad math.

What Makes a Direct Mail Campaign Successful?

It all starts with the ability to target. With Equal Housing Laws becoming more stringent in relation to digital marketing, it is increasingly difficult to get your marketing seen by your ideal consumer. When it comes to direct mail, however, you have the ability to target your potential customers in a much more thoughtful way. DBM owns and maintains detailed mailing list.. They also have 30 years of experience sourcing data and know what is the best data for each client. No matter what strategy and what mailing list are best for your specific needs, DBM knows what works to get your well designed marketing in the right hands.

DBM was able to work with Miller and Smith to identify the ideal buyer and they agreed on targeting households with demographics of an age of 54+, length of residency of 15+ years, and a household income of $90,000+. Once the targets were determined DBM was able to use their proprietary mailing lists to pinpoint the appropriate zip codes for this buyer archetype and begin building a list of addresses to send to.  It is not possible to control who sees your ads online, but by sending a postcard they were able to effectively target the most likely buyers.

Retargeting, lookalike and affinity audiences are very powerful tools that have allowed digital ads to improve precision in recent years. However, the average needed investment on a recurring basis often exceeds $10K for a few hundred to a thousand leads after several months, while direct mail allows similarly precise targeting for a fraction of the cost. Miller & Smith were able to see direct conversions from just a one-time spend of $8,717. Additionally, website traffic that comes from a piece of mail is more valuable than an impression on a digital ad because visitors from this kind of marketing show more intent – they had to find your website on their own, rather than being invited to click! This tends to lead to longer time on site and a higher rate of conversion.

How can you track the success of your campaign?

Direct mail combines tradition and technology. Best practice is to feature a vanity URL that is set up with website tracking that will show in your website’s analytics. You also have the availability to use a tracking phone number.

Additionally, the popularity of QR codes has grown in recent years and are a great way to track users to your site. They can be created for free, are mobile-friendly, and can be linked  to a URL that will track the website traffic just like a vanity URL would. All this and there is no need for users to type in anything.

With proper targeting and the expertise of DBM, direct mail remains one of the best ways to receive a great marketing ROI, reach customers, and compliment your digital marketing. To discuss how DBM can enhance your marketing campaigns please contact us.