Although there’s no panacea for direct mail’s attribution problem, Simpson says that he shores up his data by matching a list of recent buyers with consumers from the campaign’s direct mail list. This method is more inductive than deductive, in that he cannot be entirely sure the direct mail led to the purchase, but it allows him to have an idea of how effective a direct mail campaign has been.
Are you really willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Even if you find the light after purchasing or renting email lists and decide to only email those who have opted in with your company, it'll take you months (or maybe years) to get your Sender Score up and rebuild the reputation of your IP.
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Now, for a lot of people, this may sound like spam, and while there are some similarities, there are also some important differences. An effective email blast/newsletter will actually attempt to offer value to the reader, whereas spam is essentially junk. Additionally, spam is sent randomly to a mass of email addresses with no particular rhyme or reason behind who they send it to; with a business email blast, the whole idea is to target people that, for one reason or another, are assumed to be interested in the topic. Sticking to the fundamental rules for email blasts can help keep them distinguished them from spam as much as possible.
The best time to send an email blast depends a little on the best time you think your recipients would like to receive it. Most business contacts receive an average of 75 emails per day. To make sure they have the time to review (and hopefully, read) your email, try to have your email blast arrive on Tuesday Mornings between 8am and 11am. Mondays (especially after holidays) is typically a day where most contacts are catching up on email from the weekend. Fridays are difficult, as most contacts are wrapping up work from the week and may not have the time to look at your message. Even if they do find time to read it, they may have forgotten about you, and your message, by the next Monday. If Monday is a holiday, time your email blast to arrive on a Wednesday Morning after the holiday. Mornings are best as most people are planning or finalizing their day in the mornings. This gives them more time to react to your email message that same day. Afternoons and evenings are typically too late in the workday to encourage immediate action.
This ties into the first 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – even if you have what you feel is a great and well-defined target list, you won’t truly know how great it is until you test it. If you operate a business in a smaller community, this won’t be as critical – but if you’re in a medium or large city, it can be crucial. Using the example above, even if you know that the Life Alert bracelet offer is meant for seniors, in a city like San Francisco or New York, you wouldn’t want to send it to everyone over the age of 55 citywide. Instead, select one (or in a very large city, several) small area to test the market out. Start small and measure the effectiveness and ROI along every step of the way.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences. Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.
It's practically impossible to overstate the importance of direct mailing lists to the success of your direct mail program. The correct mailing list will contain your most valuable prospects. The more careful you are in analyzing and selecting direct mailing lists, the better your chances for success. There are several different categories of mailing lists available on the market today ranging in cost and appropriateness for your market. When you are considering what type of mailing list to buy consider the following three types: