Saturation can occur when you mail the same sales copy/package to the same group of prospects over and over. A saturated market isn’t a profitable one, so you want to avoid putting yourself in that position.
There are a number of ways you can saturate your mailings. One of the most common ways is failing to run sales piece tests in your direct mail campaigns.
Sales Piece Testing is the process in which you are mailing a sales piece with something NEW added into it. Something different that may help increase response. You are comparing one sales piece that you’ve mailed before, and have results on, with another piece that is similar BUT has a new variable included.
If you are not including sales piece tests in your mail campaigns, you may quickly hit a saturation point … a time when the list is no longer responsive to your offer because you abused it. It is not uncommon for any marketing message to eventually saturate, BUT you can delay reaching the point of saturation by constantly testing.
Last year a dentist hired me to review his direct mail campaigns. He told me direct mail no longer worked for him and he wanted me to help him get back on track. He told me his list was not responsive. When I received his package of information with his results, mail piece, etc., I was able to quickly and easily diagnose his problem.
He had been mailing the exact same piece over and over and over to the exact same list. He had saturated his sales piece. The mailing list wasn’t the problem – it was a great list of customers and qualified prospects. The problem was using the same sales piece over and over.
I had him change his sales package and the results quickly jumped back up to where they once were. I followed up with him a few weeks ago and he told me that after a year of mailings, testing, and using a variety of sales pieces, his mailings are still doing extremely well (to the same list I might add…).
If the dentist had tested sales pieces in each mailing in the first place, he would have prevented saturating his sales piece and suffering through a season of terrible response rates.
Testing in direct mail can focus on literally thousands of different variables. Changing out one sentence or an entire paragraph can impact your response rate. You can change the format, headline, font, color, pictures, offer, price point, testimonials, response device, call to action, lists, etc. With each test you are looking to see if it increased or decreased your response rate.
Unknown, Untested, Variables can Significantly Reduce Your Future Profits!
You must constantly test. It’s one of the most important things you must do in order to be successful with direct mail. Each test can help increase your mailing response rates, even if it’s only a minor increase.
For example, let’s say your average response rate is 1% and you test the following variables – each giving you a slight lift in response:
- New Opening Headline – Increase response by 0.07%
- Changed Main Color of Sales Piece – Increased response by 0.05%
- Added 2 New Testimonials – Increased response by 0.04%
- New Bonus Added In – Increased Response by 0.06%
- Added Personalization – Increased response by 0.05%
Each test only gave a small lift in response, but add them all together and you’ve increased your response by 0.27% – over a quarter of a percent.
Original Sale Package
10,000 Pieces Mailed
x 1% Response
= 100 Orders
Sales Package With New Variables
10,000 Pieces Mailed
x 1.27% Response
= 127 Orders
This example only takes into account small incremental gains, BUT every once in a while, you’ll fund a HUGE gain. It is impossible to know in advance which variable will lead to the huge gain, so you must test all variables.
Finding variables that help increase your response rate can add up to thousands of extra dollars in each campaign AND help keep you from saturating your list.
If you want to use direct mail marketing to promote your business, then you need to run a test in every campaign. This will keep your message from saturating your target market and keep your profits up.