Dec 05, 2011
Mailing List Success Stories: How 2 Businesses Used Mailing Lists to Bring in New Customers and Increase the Value of Existing Ones
Last month we featured an article on mailing lists: Do You Need a Mailing List? Why You Might, and How to Get One. Today let's take a look at two businesses that have successfully used mailing lists to improve engagement with current customers and to turn prospects into clients.
Mailing list success story #1: Building an in-house mailing list to improve customer engagement and boost revenue
It's said that your most valuable prospect is the customer you already have. Indeed, marketing to re-sell, cross-sell, and up-sell to existing customers should be much less expensive than marketing to acquire a new customer. Focusing on its highest-value existing customers is what a local children's consignment store did to increase revenue. Here's what they did, and why it worked:
• Every customer who sold something or made a purchase at the store was asked for their name, address, and phone number to start a customer record. Every sale or purchase that customer made was recorded in the system. (To note, the store doesn't have a fancy CRM system, just a regular spreadsheet.)
• The owner was almost always in the store, and really liked to get to know her regular (highest value) customers. After every conversation, she entered notes into the customer's record - children's names and ages, parents' occupation, comments about the store and the products, and everything else she learned about the customer.
• In that way the store owner built an incredibly detailed in-house mailing list that she could use to send personalized mailers to her customers. She sends customized birthday cards on the kids' birthdays, postcards with coupons for the customers' favorite brands, and newsletters that include local events. Customer engagement increased dramatically, and revenue followed.
Mailing list success story #2: Finding the diamond in the rough with demographics-based segmenting
The mid-sized, independently owned accounting firm started its direct mail campaign sending a series of letters and postcards to all physicians' offices in the Phoenix metro area (the accounting firm specialized in work with physicians). After one letter and one postcard, the overall campaign response rate was less than 1%. But after modifying their mailing list strategy, the accounting firm realized a response rate of 4%. Here's how they did it:
• Instead of blanketing the entire market of potential prospects (which led to a low response rate and low return on investment), the accounting firm decided to target very specifically only those prospects with characteristics similar to its highest value clients.
• After culling information from its in-house client database, the accounting firm determined that its highest value prospects were physicians' offices that had been in business at least 2 years, had between 10 and 100 employees, and generated $500,000-2 million in revenue a year. Those selection criteria meant that the mailing list was much smaller than it had been, but it also meant that the accounting firm's services - and its core messages - were highly suited to each recipient.
• The accounting firm redesigned its letters and reply mail postcards to speak directly to the highly targeted prospects. The firm featured testimonials from existing clients to show the mail recipient how others just like him were benefiting from the accounting firm's services. The response rate - and the firm's return on investment - increased dramatically.
At Click2Mail we've always said that the most effective direct mail is targeted. But truly targeting direct mail requires an intimate knowledge of who the recipient is. A mailing list will give you that insight - whether it's an in-house list or one purchased from Click2Mail based on a portrait of your highest-value customers. As always, we're here to help. Let's get started today.