Top 10 Direct Marketing Tips to Improve ROI

Did you know that using multiple touchpoints can boost name and brand recognition and increase response rates up to 20%? Here at USADATA, we want to help you create more impactful marketing campaigns. We would like to share 10 direct marketing tips that can help improve your ROI.


1 Choose the right list
Whether you serve all households or businesses in an area or you serve a more specific market, an effective campaign targets those consumers or businesses that are most likely to be interested in your product or service. According to the 40/40/20 rule, up to 40% of direct mail success relies on choosing the correct list of prospects. Getting your message to your target audience generates higher-quality leads and increases your ROI.

2 Timing is important
You wouldn’t purchase groceries months before cooking, so why order a list well before your campaign is ready? Like food, information can spoil over time. Ordering a list when you’re ready to launch your campaign results in a higher percentage of deliverable mail because the list is fresh.

3 Define your campaign objective
Before starting, ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish with this campaign?” Some businesses launch a campaign to build their brand or to announce their presence; others aim to generate leads and orders. Determining your goal is the first and most important step in a direct marketing campaign because all other steps should then drive toward achieving the goal. Without a clear objective, it is impossible to determine success.

4 Include offer and call to action
To elicit responses, your campaign has to generate excitement. One of the top ten direct marketing mistakes is burying or not including a call to action. Programs such as discounts, free consultations, and buy-one-get-one-free offers, coupled with deadlines give the prospect an incentive to respond to your campaign quickly.

5 Give multiple ways to respond
Everyone is different! Some people prefer email communication, others prefer phone calls. Giving your customers multiple ways to contact you not only generates more responses but also shows a concern for your clients and their preferred method of communication.

6 Testimonials are powerful
Nothing is stronger than good references. Peers are the second most trusted source of information, with 77% of respondents of a recent Temkin Group survey indicating that customers would recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience. When your message comes from customers, it has greater influence due to their objectivity and independence from your company.

7 Test, test, test
Knowing your product or service and your market goes a long way toward success, but you never know exactly what will register with prospects until you do it. The best way to increase response is by focusing on A/B testing. When you test too many things at once you get results that are not definitive. If you can clearly show that A is better than B, you have learned something specific that can be applied to all of your other campaigns. By knowing and using what has already proven to be successful, future campaigns will be more efficient and will generate higher ROI.

8 Manage your expectations
It is important to be realistic when developing expectations for your campaign’s response rate. USADATA’s deliverability rates for consumer and business lists are 94% and 90%, respectively. According to a study done by Smallbizgenius, a good response rate for a mail marketing campaign would be 2% and a well-targeted direct mail campaign can have up to a 9% response rate. The disparity between delivery and response rate further illustrates the need to target prospects specifically and to use a proven method of reaching them.

9 Call to follow-up
Following up on a direct mail campaign with a phone call makes the campaign more personal and reinforces your brand. Calling prospects is a great way to quickly establish a relationship after your campaign has raised awareness of your brand.

10 Track results and calculate ROI
Monitoring the number of people who respond to your mailing and what characteristics they have in common is critical. This will reduce workload and increase profits for future campaigns, as you will have defined targets and will know what resonates with those prospects.


USADATA’s team of data and digital specialists have helped over 100,000 businesses, across all industries, find new customers and we want to do the same for you.

Direct mail can be used as part of a successful marketing campaign to generate leads with focus and tracking, so reach out to us to see how we can help you incorporate this into your strategy! We’re good at what we do, we care, and we’re here to help.

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