The obvious answer: Have a good list and a good mail package. Direct response mail, as it’s usually played, is a numbers game, in which just a small response percentage is often a success — send the mailing, count the responses, then add up the sales from those responses. Direct mailers know that many on their list don’t bother opening or reading what’s in the mailing. But that’s acceptable, because some do, and that’s often enough. What a mailer doesn’t know is how many more sales would have been made if only everybody read the message.
You can’t force people to pay attention to your direct mail. But what you can do is follow up your mailing with a phone call. In my experience, direct mail with phone call follow-up produces the most qualified leads and the most sales from a given list. “Did you receive the mailing I sent you?” gets a dialog started, whether the prospect has read the mailing or not. Quickly recap the major sales points, or offer to re-send the mailing piece. Engage the prospect, and get him/her on track for a sale.
This is a labor-intensive strategy. It involves many time-consuming calls. It’s not practical for use with a mailing list numbering tens of thousands of names. But it can be very productive if you have a small, well-targeted list. Stagger the mailings so you can stagger your calls; don’t let too much time elapse between the mail and the call.
You’ll get the leads generated by the mailing alone, plus the additional leads generated by your phone calls.