There are several ways to look at response rates for your direct mail postcard. You can add up the number of people who respond to your postcard, you can add up your total sales from each postcard campaign or you can compute your overall return on investment. To get a complete picture of how your postcard is performing, you want to look at all three metrics.

The first metric – sheer volume – tells you if your message and offer were tempting and motivating enough to cause recipients to take action. From that, you can figure out what percentage of recipients followed up.

The second metric – total sales – tells you how much new revenue you brought in as a result of your mailing. Did it meet (or, preferably, exceed) your expectations for that direct mail postcard campaign?

The third metric – ROI – is the moment of truth, because it compares revenue generated to costs associated with your postcard marketing. Getting lots of responses and making lots of sales (or fewer high-dollar sales) are good, but only if they bring in considerably more than you spent. The greater your ROI, the more successful your postcard campaign really was.

You can take these 6 steps to increase your response rates:

  1. Compare campaign results. Which offers drive the most traffic to your phone, your office or your website?
  2. Think about timing. Short-term direct mail postcard campaigns are a proven way to boost slower periods, and that can make a significant difference in your year-end numbers. You can use seasonal campaigns to attract new customers or patients or to upsell your existing clientele.
  3. Review timing of the mailings in each campaign. If your goal is to attract an ongoing supply of new people, are you consistently mailing to your audience every month? For short-term campaigns, are you sending at least two or three mailings spaced a week or so apart, so recipients get timely reminders? You’ll get more recipients to follow up if you remember to follow up with repeat mailings.
  4. How many respondents are you actually converting? A direct mail expert can help you set up an easy way to track response calls. You can even record the calls and use them to learn how you can improve your sales conversion skills.
  5. Are you targeting the households or businesses most likely to be interested in your dental practice, cleaning service, restaurant, salon, shop or school? Are you sure? There are many ways to tailor mailing lists, and again, a direct mail expert can help you choose the right criteria. You can’t expect a great response if you’re marketing to people who don’t care.
  6. Arrange a consultation with an expert. This is especially important if you’ve been trying to handle your direct mail postcard marketing on your own, because it’s easy to make mistakes that add up to weak response. Someone who’s knowledgeable about direct mail and experienced working with businesses like yours can easily pinpoint areas where you can improve. And they can help you make the best possible improvements.

Postcards are natural “sellers.” People love to receive them, in part because they know your postcard is delivering something special – an offer they hope will be just what they need or want. So you can expect to automatically get a certain amount of attention. But you can’t just sit back and hope that postcards will generate an outstanding response on their own. You have to make them irresistibly captivating, motivating and urgent to get the highest response rates.

Your postcard expert can help you refine every key element – your headline, images, support text, offer, call to action and contact information. When all these elements are properly crafted and assembled into a great visual design, your direct mail postcard will become top performers. More responses, more sales, higher ROI.