Unsolicited Marketing – A Bust

Did you know that 94-99% of consumers reject direct marketing tactics that reach them (according to Tom Fishburne)? In my career I have heard over and over again that a company needs to send out direct mailers to 10,000+ homes and businesses so that they could potentially get a few good leads. However, what is the actual ROI on this?

Let’s think about this for a minute. Say you’re in the wireless industry and you sent out 10,000 mailers. Let’s just say for arguments sake that you want to send a 1 page, 4/1 color (meaning that one side of the postcard is color and the address side is black and white), large postcard size mailer, standard A (bulk) to these 10,000
recipients. You will likely spend between $5,900 and $6,500, depending on the company you choose to use. Now, say that you receive 5 actual customers from these 10,000 mailers (this is being generous), and say that each of these customers purchases a new phone with a new plan (approximately $300 in gross profit). You will make approximately $1,500 off of a $6,000 (average) marketing campaign. I’m no mathematician, but it doesn’t look like this would be truly effective.

So, why is the lead turnover rate so low on direct mailers? As Fishburne puts it, these are unwanted and unsolicited forms of marketing. Just because you somehow received an individual’s email address, physical mailing address, or phone number, doesn’t mean that you have the right to solicit them with marketing mailers, emails, calls, etc. Instead, a company should focus on how to receive these things directly from the consumers so that they are sending solicited marketing pieces that are reaching a more viable audience.

Do you receive unsolicited mail, email, or phone calls? Do you like it?  Why would you do that to your customers?

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