The 5 Top Direct Response Marketing Myths

As direct response marketers, we strive for measurable results that help define success. But sometimes a sticky perceived misconception gets in the way and inhibits good planning.

We’ve got to debunk these myths and shed light on the truth, the facts, and the realities behind why we do what we do—and why it works.

So, please, don’t let these direct response marketing myths stop you from making your marketing the best it can be!

Myth: People hate “junk” mail.

Debunked: If they dislike it so much, then why does direct mail always outperform other direct marketing media? Consider these stats:

  • 73% of consumers actually prefer mail over other advertising methods (MarketingProfs)
  • Direct mail household response rate is 5.1%, compared to .6% for email, .6% for paid search, .2% for online display, and .4% for social media (DMA Response Rate Report)

Direct Mail is as effective as ever—in fact, there’s no stopping it. That’s because using the greater amounts of data available it’s becoming more targeted, more personalized, and more relevant to its recipients every day. And as this happens, less of this mail in people’s boxes will be perceived as junk because it’s actually connecting with them. So from postcards to letters to envelopes with multiple components, you can expect to keep seeing direct mail delivered, opened, and driving results.

Discover the 6 Most Effective and Time-Honored Direct Mail Creative Techniques.

Myth: The average direct mail response rate is 2%.

Debunked! There is no such thing as an average response. There. We’ve said it. Anyone who suggests there is an average is not a very enlightened direct marketer. The response you need is determined by what it will take to (at least) break even, and that’s highly dependent on not only your costs but the revenue each sale brings in.

For example, if you are selling life insurance policies with annual premiums generated for 20+ years, your average sale could be $20,000 or more. That means you can be very successful with a less than 1% response rate. On the opposite end, if you are mailing coupons to customers to drive traffic to retail stores, you might be looking for a 3-4% response/redemption rate before you pop the champagne.

After you mail several times, you’ll establish your own average response rate for your campaigns. Whether it’s .05% or 5%, you can use this as your benchmark and inspiration as you plan future campaigns and budget forecasts.

Keep your response rates up with clean mailing lists. Don’t miss these 3 Reasons To Clean Up Your Data Files Pronto.

Myth: Having a website is enough.

Debunked: Having a website is essential. A search engine-optimized website is even better, because people are online searching for the products, services, solutions, and thought leadership you provide. But people aren’t just searching and browsing all day. GlobalWebIndex breaks down how people actually spend their time online:

  • 33% – Social Media
  • 16% – Online TV & Streaming
  • 16% – Music Streaming
  • 13% – Online Press
  • 22% – Other

Organic search and direct visits bring customers to your site, but so can social media marketing, content marketing, paid search marketing, email marketing, video marketing, direct mail marketing, and so on. There’s a digital marketing universe out there, and your company’s constellation of touch points point back to your website. So consider your website as your company’s digital marketing Mother Ship!

Whether your approach is traditional or digital—for best results, use a combination of both!—you’ve got to reach out and touch customers with direct response marketing that uses your website. This day and age, it’s imperative.

A static digital existence doesn’t connect to marketing or sales goals. But promoting offers using direct mail, email, and social media—with calls-to-action that direct interested customers to dedicated landing pages on your site—is measurable and effective.

By all means, find out How to Improve your Google Rankings, but don’t fail to uncover The Secret to Direct Response Success Using Social Media.

Myth: Direct marketing, especially using the digital channel, is just a cost—it’s not a source of revenue.

Debunked: Sure, you can spend money on marketing and see no return. No argument here. But that’s why you’ve got to do it right. Direct response marketing involves several components that need to be carefully pulled together if you want a chance at a profitable campaign. These include your marketing contact lists, creative, offers, marketing channels, and even your lead management strategy.

With direct marketing, the real key is continually testing, tracking, measuring, and evaluating your efforts so you can earn more revenue with each optimized campaign. Over time, you’ll have the tools and insights you need to effectively approach your customers with sales-driving offers.

Ready to get tracking? Learn more in Measure Your Campaign Success With these 7 B2B Direct Marketing Metrics.

MYTH: My company is too small to do it right.

Debunked: Direct marketing is actually affordable—and the investment is inherently tied to return, with the right amount of time and testing, even if your budget is small, to begin with!

You can also run offer-driven social media campaigns without having to pay for extensive back-end support. The social platforms offer the basic campaign management tools you need.

When it’s time for some outside help or strategic guidance—when it’s time to grow!—the right direct response marketing agency will work with you to fit your budget. They know how to put your brand and message in front of a larger audience and bring industry vertical expertise to each project. Their goal is to drive ROI so your campaigns are self-sustaining and can keep bringing your efforts to the next level.

Explore this further in When is it Time to Hire a Direct Response Marketing Agency?

Contact us to learn more!