"We tried “mailers” once and we didn’t get anything from it"
Oh my, have I heard this one a couple of times. Let’s see…
I went to the gym one week and didn’t lose a pound...
I took a tennis class once and didn’t get any better so I stopped playing...
I once ate at a Mexican buffet and got sick so all Mexican food is bad...
Just like these arguments make no sense the same faulty logic applies when you use direct mail (or any other form of marketing) one time and get disappointed when it doesn’t produce anything or you are not happy with results.
Even if you have no marketing background you may have heard the "Rule of Seven" formulated by marketing expert Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Lant states that to penetrate the buyer’s consciousness and make significant penetration in a given market, you have to contact the prospect a minimum of seven times within an 18-month period.
This is often referred to as “impressions” where an impression is any means by which a consumer comes across your product or service.
They might drive by your store, hear your name on the radio, talk about you with someone, go to your business or your website, etc. All of those are considered impressions. Although psychologist and marketing professionals might not agree on whether seven is the magic number everyone agrees that effective marketing requires multiple points of contact.
A one time exposure is not enough.
The good news for you is that you don’t have send direct mail seven times to a consumer before they buy from you. But direct mail is a great way to get those exposures started or contribute to the number of impressions and "close the deal" by providing a call to action.
A direct mail piece can direct a consumer to your website, it can reinforce your message that they say in a billboard, radio, TV, newspaper, etc. All of these would help your marketing campaign into producing the desired result.
So however you achieve those impressions a key aspect of your direct marketing strategy needs to be repetition and frequency.
Your direct mail piece might have been great, it might have gone to the right audience, you might have sent out enough of them but for many reasons it did not produce.
There's a lot of reasons for this. Maybe you are a new business and they don't know you... or they didn’t need your service at the time...there's a lot of competition...time of the year...etc.
Something in that mailing did not work…right away...
However had you done a 2d or 3d mailing the overall results for the campaign could have been different. But because of the “one-time” mentality you will never know.
Now of course there is always the possibility that you do multiple mailings and still don’t get good results. But at least when this happens you know it wasn’t due to lack of frequency and repetition. So you have eliminated that variable from the equation. And that is very important because marketing is a mix of variables which you have to track and manage in order to find what works for your business.
When considering direct mail marketing make sure you commit yourself and create your budget based on the multiple mailing approach. If you are only going to do it one time then I recommend you save your money and don't do it at all.