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Has any one here attempted using direct mail to drive ecommerce sales?
Was it successful?
What was your conversion rate (# of orders / total size of mailing)?
If you are planning on renting a list, you will spend a good deal of money before finding a good responding list.
The only time I have seen it work well for a smaller type company is starting out mailing to an inhouse list (to re-activate customers) and building slowly from there.
Be careful about investing in DM before you are ready and try to get someone who has done it many times before to help you through the process. It's quite different from tossing up a couple of PPC campaigns. ;)
b2b is very cheap to mail to a very targeted list because they are yellow pages derived. ie if you have a product for hardware stores, it is easy and cheap to get a us list of hardware stores.
b2c is way more complicated. say you are selling women's clothing - you'll want to buy a list of female buyers within the last 12 months from reputable catalogs - this will be expensive and it takes a lot of experience to get the right list and match it with the right offering - b2c= pros only!
Highly-personalized direct response campaigns will cost more per piece but will generate much better results. It smashes PPC campaigns. Check case studies at Xerox, printspot, on card, XM Pie, and digital printers.
Cross media campaigns (web, email, direct response, etc.) can be tracked. We use bar codes for print to retail store or promo codes on the direct response pieces so we know if people are curious about the "special offer" when they go online.
Try to get mailing lists that have some demographic data or use a house list which is ALWAYS the best.
[edited by: lorax at 3:10 pm (utc) on May 26, 2006]
[edit reason] no URLs please [/edit]
A lot of punters are happier with a printed catalog - make the choice sitting on the sofa with a coffee then go to the PC.
All my customers receive at least two mail outs in the 12 months after doing business. Cold mail shots (B2B) are targeted on small groups identified from journals and directories.