How to determine your direct marketing program’s response rate…

will keep you very busy and the envy of all your employees!

Imagine a crystal ball that predicts your direct marketing and digital marketing response rate. Talk about real job security!

Unfortunately, when it comes to direct and digital marketing, there is no such thing as “guaranteed response rate.” The crystal balls we’ve seen are not that dependable.

Predicting any type of response rate is difficult. The number of variables that come into play are enormous:

  • Price.
  • Uniqueness of the product or service.
  • Your competitor’s price.
  • What the direct and indirect competitors are doing, and how they are marketing.
  • Your list of contacts and “how clean” is the list.
  • Your creative approach.
  • The seasonality of your product or offer.
  • The image or brand you project in your marketing materials.
  • The offer.
  • The weather.

So, what do you do?

Naturally, you need some indication up front to help you plan before the next marketing project. In the prehistoric era of direct marketing mail, someone thought of the “breakeven point” as a way of validating the likelihood that you can sell what you need to sell.

Here’s a simple breakeven point used by many direct mail marketers.

If an item retails for $100 and costs you $50 to buy or build, that leaves $50 of margin to cover promotion, production, postal rates, and so on.

Next, assume that your direct marketing program, including all list of contacts (customers and prospects), printing, production, such as an offer, creative, postal costs and mail processing using a variety of channels in addition to mail, email, landing pages, website and social media costs you $400 per 1000 messages delivered.

Divide $400 by the $50 from the promotion side of your retail pricing. The answer is eight – eight units per 1000 messages. These eight units represent the number of sales you need to have to breakeven from the 1000 messages you sent.

Is it truly a breakeven point?

So, based on what you know about your company, the industry, the product, the time of year (if seasonal), and so on, does the closing ration seem realistic and attainable? Can you sell eight units out of one-thousand messages sent?

If you lean in the direction of “Yes,” you’re moving in the right direction. Next, determine an initial test of your marketing messages to get a glimpse of what your response rate percentage will be. If you lean in the direction of “No,” rethink your offer, the direct marketing channels used, your cost of goods and sales, and each point within your direct marketing program that may be questionable.


If you are new to direct marketing, there are other tactical tools, you can add with the various methods above. The more you use can eventually lead you to the goals you have in getting a higher response. Here are a few additional articles you can use to help you develop your own ways to measure and get a better response rate.


10 Ways to Catch Big Game… while correctly building a database that works!

It’s a Jungle Out There!

In a jungle of leads, finding the right lead to an eventual sale, takes your lead out of the jungle and into to your database, or what we call Camp Profit.”

It’s a well-known fact that companies that bind the power of client information using data management, improve their direct marketing performance and increase their chances for long-term profitability.

Here’s why.


Email service providers can provide many measurement tools that are extremely helpful in your response goal. 

Looking for A Lead Generating System? That lives up to your first-rate expectations? ​

Email marketing, when used with direct mail, can be your lead magnet. ​

The first question that we ask a client was regarding the condition of their email list. The second question, how old is your email list?

Even when using a customer-contact management program or a CRM with an email list, without a strong policy to verify that the email address is updated, is iffy at best. If this is the case, send an email requesting to update contact information. Some people will answer, but your email provider will send you:

  • did not open,
  • forwarded,
  • bounces,
  • spam reports and
  • unsubscribed.

Click to read the article…


Easy Testing Tools for Your Direct Marketing Tactics…

For use in email, social, direct mail or any other channels of choice.

One of the reasons direct marketing is recommended to use with today’s many communication channels is the ability to test. Testing allows adjustments to be made creating an increase in your marketing dollars.

While there is a lot of creativity that goes into writing and designing communications, testing should be a careful and disciplined process. Here are a few ideas to ensure that you are testing properly and reaping the rewards of more effective and efficient direct marketing tactics.

Click here for Part One

Click here for Part Two


The Heart of Any Direct or Digital Marketing is More Than a List of Names…

It’s a major element for your marketing success.

Lists grow. Some by duplicate records. Sometimes they grow one record at a time. At other times, they grow because your customers are growing. Maybe you decided on bringing two list together and combining them into one.

When two lists are combined, they bring with them the phenomenon of duplicate records. The costs of two letters or mail pieces going to the same recipient and twice the postage is wasted.

No sooner than the time it takes to reach your mailbox, all digital skeptics reached for their can of “All-get-out traditional advertising” to rid them of all bad marketing thoughts. Am I this naive to assume the digital crowd has lists of buyers, customers and prospects? How do they communicate with their customers?

OK digital geeks, I will not tell on you, so keep reading to learn how to make your lists produce better marketing results.

Click here to read more.


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Thanks for reading.

Mike Deuerling. aka: MarketingDoc


Don’t procrastinate, eValuate.

At times, some of the smallest changes in your small biz marketing, have the greatest impact.



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It’s All About Copywriting Attracting Customers

About MarketingDoc 398 Articles
30+ years in marketing. 30+ years as a small business owner. Love music, photography, gardening and just about anything outdoors!

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