Planning and Organising Mailshots

Mailshots can best be described as a form of mass advertising that involves sending many letters, usually many tens of thousands, through the mail postal service to potential prospects for the promotion of a product or service. A mailshot can be described as warm or cold. The difference is whether the person receiving the promotional piece is targeted or not. If they are known to have a pre-existing interest in the subject being promoted, the mailshot is considered to be warm. If not, then it is considered to be cold.

Mailshots are also known as junk mail by some. This is often because the recipient is not targeted, and therefore not interested in the offer. They consider the mailshot an unwanted intrusion in their lives, and therefore junk mail, as they invariably throw the piece into the rubbish bin. However, not everyone will do this. A percentage of people will open the envelope and read the contents. Some of them will go on to purchase the product or service.

Most mailshots generate just 1 percent return, or even less. That is, one person in every 100 bothers to open and read the contents, then goes on to actually purchase the product or service. This of course also means that 99 people out of every 100 throw it away. That is not a very encouraging figure, yet mailshots continue to be extremely profitable for those who know how to do them the correct way. Those who do everything wrong lose a lot of money and remain convinced that mailshots don’t work.

A warm mailshot will obviously work best. This is when you send out an offer to a range of people who are known to have purchased something similar in the fairly recent past. This means they are likely to be much more receptive to the offer than those who are approached cold. If they also happen to be a previous customer who was happy with their previous purchase, they are even more likely to respond favourably. This means that the return rate is likely to rise. Two or three percent is possible, or even higher. This can make a substantial impact on the overall profitability of the mailshot.

Mailshots always involve an element of risk. However, that element of risk can be considerably reduced through careful planning prior to implementing. When the recipients of the mailshot are highly targeted or known buyers of similar offers, the return rate is likely to rise significantly above the “standard” of one percent return.

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