Freelance copywriting – Mini direct mail test campaign

Freelance copywriting direct marketing test campaign, July 2011

Rummaging around in the musty underbelly of my blog, I discover I haven’t tested direct mail for four years. Blimey.

It just shows you how powerful DIY SEO can be if you plug away for years on end. I’ve been on page one of Google for my top three key phrases for a long time now. At least two years. But it’s dangerous to be complacent. It’s about time I broadened my marketing reach. And tested my direct marketing skills to make sure I’m still hitting the ROI mark.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • thought about my offer – and decided on a very straightforward, integrated approach. Just a simple message and contact details against a background that echoes my website headers. Plus, because I’m selling ‘me’, a photo
  • designed, written and artworked an A6 postcard, full colour both sides, using Adobe InDesign
  • ordered 100 cards online – digital print, thick card, matt finish, £90 including VAT from Solopress
  • set up a spreadsheet to collect segmented email addresses and make a note of response / conversion / ROI
  • thought about quantities – last time I did DM I was snowed under so I’m going to mail out really small quantities, probably ten at a time
  • thought about my target market – I think I’ll go for web design, development, SEO and creative agencies in central Brighton. I might also send my card to a load of cool, small Brighton businesses that don’t already use a copywriter (I’ll be able to tell by the state of their websites)
  • thought about timing – it’s the end of July and everyone goes away in August. It’s a daft time to do DM. So I’m aiming to post my first batch of cards in week 2 September, to drop on doormats on Friday 9th when everyone’s in jolly, generous weekend mood
  • decided to hand write each card’s address because the more personal you can make it, the better. Best writing at the ready
  • reminded myself the quantities are so small I won’t be able to draw statistically valid conclusions about ROI performance. If get a 50% response and 80% conversion on my first batch of ten (which is what my last effort generated) it doesn’t mean I’ll get the same for the remaining 90 cards
  • kept a note of the costs so far, including my time, so I can calculate ROI accurately