STEPHANIE: Hello. And welcome to the Lobcast Podcast, Mixers and Marketing. I'm Stephanie Donelson, your hostess with the marketing mostess, and I'm the senior content marketing manager here at Lob. I'm thrilled to be joined by Julia Lovett, senior customer success manager. Julia, do you mind introducing yourself to our listeners?
JULIA: Yeah. Of course. As she said, I'm Julia Lovett. I work at Lob. I've been here for almost a year, which is incredible, I have an extensive background in direct mail. I worked at various Omnicom agencies from 2010 to 2022, when I moved over to the SaaS space to work with Lob. I have a deep understanding of direct mail, it is my passion, and so, Lob, the software itself just thrills me, and I'm super happy to be here. So thank you for having me join your podcast.
STEPHANIE: Well, thank you for joining us. It's such a pleasure. And listeners, if you wanna make the complementary cocktail that goes with this episode, which is a mai tai, you're going to need one and a half ounces of white rum, half an ounce of dark rum, half an ounce of orange liqueur, half an ounce of orgeat syrup, three fourth ounce of lime juice, and then a lime wedge or cocktail cherry for garnish, if you wish, I opted to skip that in mind, but you're gonna add the white rum, the orange liqueur, lime juice, and orgeat syrup in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake, and then straight into a glass, top with the dark rum, and the garnish if desired, so cheers, and welcome to the show, Julia.
JULIA: Mhmm. Thank you, delicious mixture.
STEPHANIE: Alright, so today we're gonna be talking about a topic that can give some marketers some anxiety: ROI. We all know that we're tasked with doing more with less and driving more revenue for our organizations. Luckily, direct mail has a proven channel for many marketing teams. According to our own 2023 State of Direct Mail, seventy four percent of marketers agree that direct mail delivers the best ROI, response rate, and conversion rate than all other channels used. But before we get to the results, let's talk reverse ROI and start with the I part, the investment. Direct mail is not a free channel. But it does have a high ROI when done well. So, Julia, in your experience, what are some of the benefits of investing in direct mail?
JULIA: Yeah, so I think that the best benefit is exactly what you just stated, is that it's proven to provide marketers with the seventy four percent better ROI than most media channels. I've actually seen that about 62% of consumers say that they take due to a direct mail that was sent directly to them by a brand that they've been engaging with. What I have found as well is that direct mail does deliver the highest LTV or lifetime value of any other responders. I think this is because of people that actually respond to direct mail pieces have a higher propensity to convert. And therefore, actually stay with the brand. You're gonna see a little bit more loyalty. Obviously, I never wanna put down like digital spaces, but if you'll notice that the people that respond to you on a social campaign or play campaign or an even email campaign. It might be a little bit harder to actually get to them. But they respond to you via a direct mail piece, especially if it's a telephone number, also known as a TFN, you're gonna have a a customer for a very long time.
STEPHANIE: Oh, and I definitely agree, you know, we're not in the space to put down digital channels, they all need to work together. I mean, we preach about omnichannel marketing because only way to guarantee that you're gonna have the right touch point at the right time with the right customer, but I also think we do have that digital fatigue. I don't need you following in your own on Facebook. I don't need your ads popping up every third Instagram post that I see. I don't need you creeping on a third party like ad on the new website that I'm on, like, I know I'm gonna come back and buy that purse. You don't need to follow me around. I will get to it, I promise. My car for a reason. You're so right, because getting that direct mail piece typically is what kind of pushes people over the edge to make that conversion because it's Okay, I've got something physical in my hand, I can see that coupon code or that phone number that I need to call, I'm gonna take action right now, whereas I feel like when you're on your computer, it's so easy to just don't see you.
JULIA: Yeah, absolutely.
STEPHANIE: Alright, let's talk about budgeting, budgeting for this channel. Julia, in your experience, how much should marketers plan to allocate for direct mail marketing?
JULIA: Oh, I'm gonna give the answer that nobody ever wants to hear. And it depends on what the client's forecast is for the gear. And what that means is that the only way that I can truly answer this question is understand what their overall goals are for the year, see their media plan, what does it include, and see the results. From the other media channels as well as direct mail to see where does direct mail on that budget fit into those goals, those numbers I need to hit. So, typically, what I'll do back in the day when I would actually build forecasts and media plans for clients, I would plug in all the numbers for the year based on what I know historically to be true as far as response rates, lead rate, and sales rate. And then I would say, okay, client, your number you're about twenty percent off. So you need to increase your budget, which is not what they wanna hear, because as we talked about earlier, do more with less. Or you need to move budget over here. But either way, in your media plan, you have to adjust your budget based on the response rates the lead rate in the sales rate that you wanna get, which we will talk about a little bit later. And again, that's not the answer everybody wants to hear because it's not a definite answer, but it's the truth.
STEPHANIE: I mean, Summer's been on the podcast before, and she always says that there's no golden ticket, and it's true because every organization has different goals, every organization has a different customer set that reacts to different marketing messages in different ways. So, you can't just say, like, Okay, this is the mix that's gonna work universally because not possible, that does not exist.
JULIA: Does not exist.
STEPHANIE: Alright, let's keep talking about budget for a second. Is there anything that marketers can do to help lower direct mail costs, like changing the form factor, using address verification, or even choosing a different postage class?
JULIA: Oh, absolutely. So, form factor, that's a huge one. And then also like understanding Ogilvy's forty, forty, twenty rule when deciding on what you're going to be sending. So, forty percent of what you send, it's going to be based on the segment that you are sending it to is the audience exactly who you know will be responding to your marketing piece. Is it an offer that's rich enough to drive them two hundred to to actually engage you forty percent, forty percent And then twenty percent is actually your creative. So I wouldn't spend as much time on the form factor and spend as much money on it as some people want to. I would actually evaluate taking it down a little bit, not go opting out for the very, very thick nice paper unless you're a luxury brand like Land Rover, or Mercedes, American Express Platinum sending out things to people. Typically, you can go for a cheaper or a smaller weight size. A different form factor size, like what is the length? Are you doing an eight and a half by eleven? Or are you doing an eight and a half by fourteen? Where can you save money there? Address Verification is incredibly important. What it does whenever you're using Lob as it ensures that you are not sending direct mail to an address that has not been verified to be receivable via the USPS. So you're saving money by not sending mail that is not going to reach the recipient and possibly be returned to you. Another thing you mentioned that I think is very important is postage. And to be honest, I've had about fifteen years experience in direct mail. And I've never seen in my life, standard mail, get in home as fast as it does with Lob. So yes, postage class should absolutely be considered. I highly recommend that if you are not obligated to send first class, whether it be to compliance, regulations, PII data, highly recommend doing an A/B test of standard versus First Class to see how quickly you get in home. And I think you'll save a lot of money and be very, very pleased with it by the end of the year.
STEPHANIE: Interesting. No, and I love that about the address verification too, because again, it comes down to wanting to make sure that you're targeting the right people, that principle you're talking earlier focusing on the right segment of your customers doesn't do you any good if the mail doesn't actually make it.
JULIA: Yeah. Absolutely. It just, you know, set your money on fire.
STEPHANIE: Right? Or send it to me. I'll take it.
STEPHANIE: Alright. So if a marketer was looking at starting out with direct mail, Let's talk about onboarding with a direct mail platform. What should marketers consider or ask in terms of getting the most out of their investment with a direct mail platform? Should they be looking for specific features, tracking capabilities, specific integrations into their martech stack? Any advice you can give Julia?
JULIA: Yeah. And, you know, to be honest, this question has well, at least my answer to this question has drastically changed since joining Lob. Okay. Lob has truly interrupted the direct mail industry. The capabilities that I would have never seen possibly before that you couldn't have considered with a traditional vendor, such as being able to view your mail analytics in the actual tracking event. Where is your mail? Not just in the batch, right? You would typically get from a traditional print vendor, but you're actually able to see mail at the individual level. Which was I've never seen before. Again, fifteen years, I've worked with probably twenty different print vendors. I've never seen this. So I think that taking into consideration that one, the visibility that I have into my direct mail program. Do I have partners that are there to strategically guide my hypotheses and my methodologies to ensure that I'm sending the best piece possible that fits within my life cycle marketing. And I would say, like, the ability to just track real time visitors within twenty four hours of somebody standing your QR code, you can do that now, actually see the attribution, what you haven't been able to do before. You know, you had to get a report downloaded and and have it sent to you, via analytics team from your marketing partner, but now you can actually go and see these in your dashboard with Lob. So I think that like taking into consideration the advancement that Lob has put onto the market for print production, definitely weigh out the pros and cons between using a traditional print vendor, and then assess a product like Lob, and I think that especially if you've used a traditional printer before, you will be pleasantly surprised and thrilled with the amount of information you can get.
STEPHANIE: Well, it's almost like basically as easy as sending an email, not only in terms of creation, excuse me, but then also that analysis, because I think that's why so many marketers love email because you get those results immediately, you can be like, Joe Smith clicked this link and like, "Oh, he went to the landing page!" And be like, "Oh, we get a conversion," and now if you can see that on direct mail because it kind of used to be like, "Well, we're gonna hope for the best, and hope that we see a lift, and like we can assume that was the direct mail piece, but we don't actually have that attribution." Whereas now you do.
STEPHANIE: All right, let's go back a little bit and talk about marketing lists, because I think that kinda works in both spaces, whereas email pretty frowned upon to be buying lists, but direct mail is pretty open, right? And we recently launched Lob Audience to help our customers get the right lists for their campaigns. What kind of conversations have you had with our customers to help them get the most out of their investment into lead or targeting lists?
JULIA: Yeah. I have to say too, like, Lob Audiences is the best thing since sliced bread. Because I have a background in data. So I absolutely love models, propensity models, the ability to track and gain information by a visitor to your website. So, this product itself has a sweet of items in it that I talk about from beginning to end with my clients, but more importantly, I wanna talk about with them why it's important to them? How is it going to support their direct mail campaigns and even their digital campaigns? No. What works best for them? So, like, I guess, I just, like, I have such a deep passion for data and segmentation, and I know how important it is for direct mail space it goes back to that forty, forty, twenty rule that I talked about earlier from Ogilvy. This particular product I am just thrilled, I should tell you how happy I am, that you're able to put a pixel on your site. You can then get people's email addresses. You can get their home address. It is yours to use as many times as you want. You can take that information. You can build propensity models. We can build, you know, get in market leads for you. It's thrilling to see what's going on right now with the Lob Audiences product. So, really my main goal is to have the conversations with clients to where it fits into their suite the best.
STEPHANIE: Yeah, no one I love that because you also think about, like you just mentioned, retargeting anonymous website visitors, at least by doing some kind of match back or getting the list that can fill in the gaps, you can start doing personalization on a smaller scale like kind of copying from email like, "Stephanie, we saw you looking at our website!" But at least it gives you something, and you're not just creating a very generic piece of mail and hoping for the best. Kinda going back to what we just talked about earlier, the spray and pray marketing and just, while someone will click on it, like at least you can start integrating those elements, you can understand what neighborhood they're in and like even right now someone could send me a piece of mail that's like, "Hey, we know this has been raining a lot in Denver, maybe you're staying inside, and you need this kind of, you know, book service or something to keep you busy," that'd be a great marketing campaign because it personalizes it to me. Based on what they already know about me.
JULIA: Yeah. And I I think that I love that a lot because, like, I know we're gonna talk about one to one personalization, but this product allows you to really bring in the merge variables that allows your recipient to know that you understand what pain point they have, that you can solve for them and how.
JULIA: They can solve by using your brand or your product.
STEPHANIE: Definitely. Okay, so we just talked about lead lists, which is most often used for customer acquisition, but direct mail can be used across the entire higher funnel or customer journey. In fact, our State of Direct Mail report shows that it's a pretty close race between customer retention and customer acquisition. But Julia, I'd love to know from your own, in the field experience, where you see our customers integrating or implementing direct mail into the customer journey the most.
JULIA: Yeah, so the three areas that I've found to be the most successful are win-back campaigns, referral programs, and handraisers. So also known as that in-market lead, which goes back to having that pixel on your site, that allowed you to see that somebody is searching for your products, somebody is searching your brand, somebody has raised their hand and and stated that they're interested in what you have to offer. Referral programs are a great way to actually run an acquisition program by using people that you know already engage and use your brand. You know, word-of-mouth is like the strongest way to get your brand or your product out to people, so highly recommend taking advantage the core group that you have. I consider them all low hanging fruits and highly recommend that every company implement a strategic approach to these three groups of people. And I would be happy to talk to anybody about it because I will geek out and it makes me so happy to engage in any kind of segmentation just discussion.
STEPHANIE: No. And I think I've talked a bit about on the podcast before about win back campaigns I mean, like, I was a subscriber to a makeup subscription service, and I quit it, and I've gotten so many emails from them of like, hey, come back and blah blah blah. They had my address. They have shipped things to my home. They know what I have rated highly in their system, and it's just amazing to me that they haven't tried to use direct mail because again, it's just something that I can look at in my hand, I would see the products that maybe I really love and haven't bought in a while since I quit my subscription with them, an easy way to win me back, and I think we have so many great examples on our website of our customers using direct mail as a win-back channel as especially after people unsubscribe from your emails. Yep. Absolutely. You can reach them.
Recommended reading: Customer success stories
JULIA: Unsubscribe list. Absolutely, low hanging fruit. Add that one. Four. Looks like with it. You need to definitely target.
STEPHANIE: Alright, Julia, what are your top three tips for marketers starting out with direct mail? Or optimizing the channel. Are there any specific customer behaviors or automation triggers, or types of campaigns that marketers should focus on first?
JULIA: Yeah. One, you need to understand your audience. Know your segmentation that you're going out to. You need to understand what offers they will respond to, and you need to understand the moment that is the most important to them, that they're going to receive your your communication, your direct mail communication. And they're gonna say, this is the right time. This is exactly what I need. We know that certain clients have seasonality. Some clients, you're gonna see higher, you know, with retail, during the the holiday months, whereas with, like, insurance companies, you're gonna see it higher in, like, January or July when policies tend to come. So again, just like knowing when to hit that person at the right time so that way they know it's it's time to respond. And with a rich enough offer, that entices them to respond. So I think that the best way to learn these things is probably the next thing is somebody that's gonna ask. It's like, okay, like, How do I find out what offers my audience will respond to? You can easily do that by doing a competitive deep dive be happy to help anybody with that. Understand what controls are being sent out. And competitors? Like, what are they sending? What do the offers look like? You know, what creative are they using?
JULIA: What does their CTA say? How are they getting people to respond? And even like through a competitive deep dive, you can understand what the volume is that they're sending of mail. So, like, where would you sit if you sent out mail during that time that they're sending it as well. Are they gonna be saturated in the market? How much you need to send to, you know, really get somebody to pay attention to you?Obviously is to sit in the entire omnichannel or multichannel approach, but knowing those things gives you an edge.
STEPHANIE: Yeah. Definitely, and I think one way that a lot of marketers look at maximizing their investment into any channel is by testing it. Right? Running A/B tests. So, Julia, what kind of A/B tests would you run that can help marketers improve future campaigns and drive better response rates?
JULIA: Well, my first rule is to always ensure that your test is set up clean. It doesn't matter what you're testing, but you need to understand why you're testing it, what do you wanna learn from it, and what do you wanna do with the information? Making sure the methodology is there. Or you're just burning money, which I highly recommend we don't Be sure they're not testing multiple elements. You need to be very concise. If you're gonna test an offer, the only thing that should change And that direct mail piece is the offer, and the coinciding copy that goes with that offer. Nothing else. No imagery. Don't change the o e. Don't add any kind of urgency messaging. Everything needs to be A/B to the control that you're sending out, apples to apples always. And don't be afraid to test. But do it intelligently. Like I said, understand your hypothesis. Know the methodology you're gonna use. What is the purpose and what are you gonna do with the information? It's taking companies that I've had, you know, a client four or five years. It can take them four or five, six years to find a new control to beat their end market control. So, Don't get weary, don't get exhausted, don't rush testing, just know it takes time because a control is a control for a reason, it works. You know? So don't be afraid to test, but do it intelligently.
STEPHANIE: No, I love that, and I especially love your advice about understanding what you're gonna do with the results. I mean, I've said on the podcast before, I've been on many marketing teams where we're like, yeah, we're gonna A/B test things. And then we don't take the time to actually analyze the results or it's like version A won, and it's like, but why, what are the insights like, how can I take the results of that A/B test and apply that to the social media campaigns that I'm running, were there certain words that worked, were there certain images that I need to test, are there certain like, again, call to action that I can replicate on different channels so we can make sure that it actually works across all of our marketing campaigns, or was that isolated to email? Like, what are we doing with the results? I think again, like you kinda said, a lot of people just run tests because they think they're supposed to and it's, okay, we ran an A/B test, but like, yeah, and and what?
JULIA: Why? What are we doing with it? I just want I I want people when they when they run any marketing campaign, whatever media channel it is, especially direct mail or, you know, anyone that's going to cost, you know, higher, you know, higher expense than other ones that just broadcast is another very expensive channel to go up to. Just know what you're doing while you're doing it and what the goal is and what you're gonna do with it, you know?
STEPHANIE: Yep, yeah, I agree. I think that's true across any marketing channel. You should always know what you're expecting to get out of it. Alright, let's talk a bit about personalization. Recently I had Summer on the podcast to talk about personalization in direct mail marketing, but do you think that that can have a major impact on ROI and campaign performance?
JULIA: Yeah. I do I've actually read some studies that adding personalization can bring as much as a forty percent increase in revenue. Compared to those who do not add personalization, it's very impressive. Definitely statistically significant. And and to be honest, like, in my career, one to one personalization within the direct mail space has not come easy for clients. Whether it be because the data that they have just isn't equipped at the level of personalization that they want to do, or the partners, they're not very easy. It's not easy for them to ingest the data and print the direct mailer without a large fee. So it hasn't come easy. Lob is the first company that I've worked with that is able to do one to one personalization on every single direct mail piece, whether you're sending five pieces or you're sending five million pieces. And I I'm just enthralled and thrilled with the ability that Lob gives, the ownership that Lob can give to clients who have the data that they can use to then truly personalize a piece of mail and make it feel relevant to me. I receive a piece of mail. There's a picture of somebody on there that looks like me, they may be in the same light stage as me. It's speaking directly about, you know, your driveway needs to be repaved. It does need to be repaved. How did you know this? I would say that's funny.
STEPHANIE: My Alexa is listening! Alright, so we talk a lot about, we talk a lot around Lob, that direct mail isn't a channel that should live on its own. I mean, we've already said that in this episode as well. It belongs with other marketing channels, they should be working in tandem and pulling their own weight. Referencing our 2023 State of Direct Mail report again, we found that in an omnichannel marketing strategy, seventy two percent of marketers said they pair direct mail with email, forty six percent pair it with paid social, forty five percent pair it with SMS or MMS, twenty five percent pair direct mail with a podcast, And twenty one percent pair it with organic social. I need my organic social media people to step it up here! But, Julia, in your experience working with our customers, Do those numbers ring pretty true?
JULIA: They do, yeah, and I very rarely ever recommend that somebody should send a direct mail campaign as a standalone campaign. I believe it works in unison with, especially SMS and email, seeing high success rates with that. To your point, I'm very interested to see it's, like, twenty one percent with organic social. The only instances where I've seen people only send direct mail, and that is they're only for a media that they're using, is they are saturating the market with direct mail. They're using every direct mail. They're using alternative of media. They have a very high cadence of direct mailers that are going to the same person at least twelve times per year. The greatest success I've seen is direct mail SMS, direct mail, and email, and I have I have use those strategies many, many times with clients. As a matter of fact, with email, I I won't even say it depends. I've seen, like, what I've seen pretty much ring true is that use an email. And then about a week later, they get a direct mail piece. A couple days later, they get another email. If they somewhat responded, fourteen days later, they get a direct mail piece again, responded hit him again with another email. And that cadence seems to work very well with multiple different industries that I've tested it in.
STEPHANIE: Interesting. Yeah, I've talked on the podcast before about one of my previous organizations. We had an email nurture stream and very top of funnel, people downloaded an ebook, and okay, we're trying to figure out more about you. And, you know, we would see certain drop offs after so many emails and it was, "Why aren't we introducing other channels here?" And it was like direct mail would've been a great fit because again, with QR codes, you can still send them to download an ebook, they're just gonna do it from their phone, and they're gonna have a break from that email, because after a while, even I'll say it, as the one who works in email marketing pretty closely, like, I get tired of seeing some of the same brand names pop up, pop up, pop, pop, because I'm like, I already know what you're offering me, this isn't a flash sale, you run the sale every two weeks, like take a break, take a breather, and refresh. Get me more excited to see your name show up in my mailbox or my inbox.
JULIA: Yeah, I do think that like limiting the amount of offers that you send to somebody, depending on the space.
JULIA: You will end up getting a higher response rate whenever you hold for a little bit. Like, I know that I had a client one time that has a very alluring TV package that every man wants during a certain time of year, You know? And so we knew that, like, we could hold, and then we could throw out that offer as soon as NFL comes up, and we our response rates were through the roof.
STEPHANIE: Right? Because again, you're serving the right message to the right customers at the right time, which is what marketing is all about. Alright. Lastly, let's talk about measuring the return on our investment into direct mail. Julia, what metrics should marketers pay attention to when it comes to ROI, especially in the direct mail space?
JULIA: So I found that there are three metrics that most of my clients pay attention to. And this goes back to understanding what your forecast is for the year. So knowing these numbers are really, really important, so that way you can understand the volume that you're going to send in order to hit your goals. So, the first one is response rates. Understanding how many people are going to respond based on the volume you've sent. Understanding, lead rate, how many of those responses will actually turn into a lead, something that's hot. They have a higher propensity to actually then sell. Then your sales rate out of those leads, how many actually follow through to a sell? If you understand these metrics, then you can always understand, you know, what is the volume that I need to send --
JULIA: In order to get this many sales. Because I know that I'm gonna get this many response rates out of this many response rates, these people are actually gonna become a hot lead, and then now these hot leads, these people are gonna become an actual sale. Again, this goes back to just, if you know these numbers, you're gonna be able to build a forecast, you're gonna know exactly how much budget to put in George into direct mail, and I cannot stress enough how important it is to have these metrics locked in.
STEPHANIE: Definitely, again, I think it just goes back to what we talked about earlier setting the right goals. Because you don't know if a channel is successful if you don't know what you were looking to get out of it.
JULIA: Exactly. Why are we doing this?
STEPHANIE: But if we are measuring those goals, where should marketers be looking for these metrics? Like are there any specific analytics or reports, let's say, even within Lob that you recommend to our customers, or should they just be looking in their own marketing automation platform for these results?
JULIA: Definitely looking in your own marketing automation tool, one hundred percent utilizing that. But as far as like looking at logs, you're able to see, what we talked about earlier, is your male analytics where is your mail in this stream? How quickly is it getting to the recipient? Knowing this information can help you trigger other media telecommunications. So that way, you're literally putting together a multichannel or multi touch approach to a campaign with real time information that you can respond to.
STEPHANIE: Yeah. Okay, so that kinda leads me up to my next question. We talked a little bit earlier about pairing direct mail with other marketing tactics. How can direct mail improve the results or ROI of other marketing channels?
JULIA: Yeah, I think direct mail when you when you pair it with search or display, social, email, and if it's sent at the right time, it can act as that final push. To your point, you continue to receive an email from a makeup company that you were previously buying, make it from an ongoing basis. Maybe if they send you a direct mailer with the product that you have shown the most interest in with maybe ten percent, fifteen percent discount, you'll you're you will be more likely to respond and therefore, they've won back that customer.
JULIA: So I think just, we know that direct mail is one of the most trusted forms of advertising. We know that email is considered spam. And again, it just goes back to knowing that the people that respond to direct mail have a longer lifetime value, and higher potential for cross sale as well.
JULIA: Yeah. Yep. And so making sure that you are sending direct mail at the right time in unison with these other media channels that you're using to pay as a final push you will see a higher ROI. So many acronyms!
STEPHANIE: Yeah. But I think that's a really fair point, you know, talking about almost that trust factor that comes with direct mail because it does require a bit more investment whereas anyone can spin up a Facebook ad. I mean, I've gotten weird ads from companies that I'm like, I don't know if I trust giving you my credit card information, if someone's going to send me a physical mailer that I know cost them a little bit more to come up with, create and get in the mail, I already have that trust factor established, I don't mind poking around their website and looking at all their products, and then making my purchase, especially if there's already a coupon code on that mailer, I'm gonna convert a lot faster, whereas some of these other ones, I'm gonna be like, "Is such and such website a scam, like reviews, like, what what is this? Like, what's going on through?"
JULIA: I agree. Definitely, I go back and read reviews of any product that's being pushed to me on social media. I wanna see people commenting. That's what I wanna see.
STEPHANIE: Yep. Yeah, I'll go to like their Instagram page and like look at comments on their post to see like "Why hasn't my thing shipped yet? Or like, why is this such garbage?"
JULIA: Yes! Yes. The quality is not what it would appear to be.
STEPHANIE: Yep! Alright, finally, let's talk about how much time marketers should give before measuring the performance of their campaigns. Again, Summer's been on the podcast before, and talked about the halo effect and direct mail and how it's very real. So, do you often tell our customers to give campaigns extra time before calculating the ROI of a direct mail campaign?
JULIA: Absolutely. The curve on direct mail campaigns is thirteen weeks. And the reason for this is that people will hold on to their direct mail for weeks at a time before even opening it. And once they open it, they tend to hold on to it, until it's necessary necessary to respond. So that could be driven by, like, a life event or maybe there's an urgency message that's been included on the direct mail piece I do highly recommend.
JULIA: I do say if you have a high enough volume and the statistical significance that you're using is is at least ninety five percent.
JULIA: I would say that it's acceptable to read results at nine weeks. Sometimes at six, I would still give it some time because I've seen volatility, and I've seen people react a little bit too quickly between that four and six-week mark, and they were very excited, thinking their direct mail campaign was doing very well, but they did not take into consideration is that their control had not had time to mature, therefore, the response rates with their test was still very volatile. So, they moved way too quickly, had told their executives and their board that it's doing very well, we can roll out with it against my advice, and then hit nine, you know, week nine, week thirteen, it was stat sig in the negative. So whenever we respond too early.
STEPHANIE: Fair. That's a great point about the urgency messaging because I actually was just perfect example of that. I got a piece of direct mail from Bath and Body Works, and it was, you know, coupons and it had the expiration date on it. It Now, there have been times where, yep, like you said earlier, I'll just put that in a pile somewhere, forget about it, and then when I'm cleaning, because someone's coming over, I find it and I'm like, oh, shoot, this sale already expire, but I'm gonna go check out their website because I can sign up for their emails to get fifteen percent off. Maybe they're running a different sale. But this mailer got me because it was gonna expire soon. I waited. I waited. I was gonna buy or make my purchase on the day the mailer expired, and then I got an email from them being like things you've seen are also on sale and I could combine coupon codes Yes. Me winning!
JULIA:: Love that.
STEPHANIE: They technically got me because of that mailer. I knew I had that coupon code sitting there. I was gonna make my purchase either way. That email just made me do it immediately instead of waiting until later that night.
JULIA: Yep. Absolutely. Love their tactic.
STEPHANIE: Right? Bath and Body Works, your marketing people are doing something, right?
JULIA: They are.
STEPHANIE: Alright, Julia, do you have any final thoughts that you wanna share or is there anything that we didn't get to today?
JULIA: No, I think we covered a lot, but what I want to say to people is don't be afraid to test. Test and test and test again until you find that winner that you're looking for. You find that sweet spot. You find the cadence. You find the right messaging. You understand your audience. And just remember how important segmentation is, offer the value proposition of that offer, and then creatives, it's that you're twenty percent of the real success of your campaign. I think those are very important things to remember when building out your direct mail campaigns. That's all I got.
STEPHANIE: Well, again, thank you so much for being on the podcast talk about ROI is very insightful, I'm sure it was very insightful for our listeners as well. And to our listeners, thank you so much for joining us for mixers and marketing. If you do wanna dive deeper into the topic of ROI, please download your complimentary copy of our ebook, the modern marketer's guide to crush ROI and budget goals with direct mail, at lobdemo.co/directmailroi, that's lobdemo.co/directmailroi. As always, you can browse our library of episodes over at lobdemo.co/lobcast. Otherwise, thanks for listening, and that's all folks.