Marketing Monday: Bad Results

Scott CostelloAll, Blog, Featured, Marketing 4 Comments

During November I started to experiment with the envelope that I was using to see if I could increase the number of responses I could get.  I was expecting at worst similar results to what I was getting with my white envelopes, which is about 10% response rate.   It’s been roughly 30 days since I started and I have my results.

Granted I could still get calls from the colored envelopes, but I believe I have enough to report on.

In total I sent out 188 colored envelopes in 5 different colors Red, Green, Yellow, Pink and Blue.  All of the letters were first time letters and were the same as with the white envelopes I send out.

  • Blue Envelope ( 1 )
  • Green Envelope ( 0 )
  • Orange Envelope ( 2 )
  • Pink Envelope ( 2 )
  • Yellow Envelope ( 0 )
That totals 5 responses and a 2.65% response rate.  Not very good compared to my usual return, so what could have gone wrong?
This isn’t an exact science and for sure my smallish sample size is probably note enough to positively call this a failure.  Here are some of the factors that might have caused my bad result..
  1. Time of Year:  This is the holiday season and people aren’t usually responsive to marketing like this.  In past years, my response rate has always gone down in late November and December.
  2. Area that I sent the letters too:  Some towns respond better to letters, some are postcard towns.  I’ve never sent letters to these towns before so you never know.
  3. Bright Colored envelopes turned them off:  I was figuring with the time of year, the bright colored envelopes would make the lead think it was a greeting card of some sort.  Heck maybe that was my problem and it turned them off.
It’s interesting to see how this all turned out.  Maybe I’ll be getting a slew of calls from these letters after the holidays.  Some time in January I’ll update the stats to see if anyone else has called.
Scott Costello
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Comments 4

  1. Interesting to hear about using different colored envelopes for your direct mail marketing campaign Scott, I’ve never done that! I think your numbers are just about right for direct mail marketing which usually generates a 1% response rate. If you’ve had better results in the past, that’s definitely a plus – thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Although all of the different factors probably have differing effects on response rate, I am of the opinion that who you are sending to carries the most weight. If they have specific circumstances that would cause motivation, they are more likely to respond. It drives me crazy sometimes to send out a ton of letters and postcards to absentee owners and to get a good response rate, but the majority of them tend to be tire kickers.

    I think you’ve said it before. Maybe it is more of an art than a science.

  3. If you plan on testing the envelope color again, I suggest testing a single color each time versus 5 colors in one mailing. You are correct in your comment about a small sample size. This would probably give you a better answer as to whether one color is better than the other.

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