After executing a direct mail campaign, it’s always important to analyze your results and run a response analysis. This lets you see how effective your marketing is and who responded. When reviewing your results, be sure to look at where your responses are coming from. Are you getting responses from all of your targeted zip codes and neighborhoods? If not, you might be mailing to dead zones.
What is a dead zone?
A dead zone is an area you’ve been targeting that has yielded zero responses over a period of time. The period of time with no activity will look different for each industry. It will depend on what you are offering and how long your sales cycle is. We typically classify an area as a dead zone after it has shown no responses for 18-36 months.
Why should you look out for dead zones?
If an area isn’t responding to what you are sending, you could be wasting valuable marketing resources. Not every neighborhood or household will be a good fit for your offer. If they’re not interested, it doesn’t matter which channels are used or how many times the ad is delivered. Some people are never going to respond. We helped one of our clients identify dead zones on their mailing list, and they were able to save 250K on their mailings simply by removing the inactive zip codes off their list.
Not only does identifying dead zones help you reduce marketing waste, but it can also help you discover highly responsive areas. Once you know which zip codes and neighborhoods are high responders, you can invest more into those areas. With data modeling, you can locate look-a-like areas and expand into new territories. Getting your message in front of the right people, helps you increase your response rates and direct mail ROI.
You’ve identified a dead zone, now what?
Before you start cutting down your marketing list, take some time to investigate what’s going on. Start by analyzing who lives in the targeted areas. Do they line up with your ideal customer model? If not, then you should remove them from your list.
If the audience does match your customer profile, evaluate your offer and how it’s presented. Are you offering the right product or service to your target audience? Is the marketing designed with them in mind? Do you have an easy-to-understand offer and clear next steps? Try changing up your offer and design to see if it resonates with those in the dead zone. If they still don’t respond, then trim them from the list.
Remember marketing involves researching and testing. It also takes time to build momentum, so trying something once and getting less than ideal results doesn’t always mean it’s a failure. You might need to tweak something in order to achieve great results. However, if you are repeatedly getting zero responses, remove the dead zones from your mailing list. Learn what you can from the dead zones, apply it to your prospecting model, and invest your marketing spend in active zones.
If you would like help analyzing your marketing list to see if you are mailing to dead zones, give us a call.