Background: A regional heating & air conditioning residential repair company had been mailing an entire prospect list, treating each name on the list equally. That’s because no clear pattern existed to warrant otherwise. They were all, for example, married, age 25-54 adults with children and incomes above $75,000.

Action: We matched the client mail file and customer file against our in-house 253 million U.S. Consumer file, then divided them into 10 equal segments. Segment 1 showed an historic 1.7% response rate and twice the lifetime spend compared to all new customers brought in by direct mail. This means Segment 1 had a lifetime value that is 3.4 times the average person brought in by direct mail.

Outcome: We chose to mail Segment 1 five times, Segment 2 three times and Segment 3 two times. While we sent out the same quantity of mailers as before, revenue was 67% higher.

Bonus Question: Why did we not just mail Segment 1 ten times?

Answer: Our analytics showed that 85% of those that EVER buy do so after being mailed no more than five times. The marginal benefit of mailing those qualified prospects another five times was minimal, without a proper rest period.

Discussion: Proper resting time for a record is another key component that differentiates our direct mail campaigns from others. If 85% buy after 5 mailings, why must the other 15% also be mailed more than five 5 times? In most cases, it is not an issue of reach tells, but frequency sells. It is almost always a case of circumstances change and someone previously mailed now becomes qualified due to a circumstance.