How to Determine the Ideal Frequency for your Ongoing Direct Mail Campaign

June 17, 2014 -

On the heels of our How to Increase Response Rates blog series, we’re going to shift topics from one regarding how to get the results you seek to the question of how often you should send marketing to clients and prospects.

There is a delicate balance that marketers must be aware of when it comes to determining how often to send mailings to their targets. Whether a marketer sends out too many things or sending too few, the results will both leave something to be desired.


To get your marketing efforts to hit that sweet spot, it’s important to understand what makes marketing frequencies that fall outside this range less than ideal.

Multiple mailings are the way to go. Repetition is vital because it often takes a few touchpoints before the message sticks with us. This means that often times a message that is only sent once has the same effect as a message that was never sent at all. The other side of the coin is risking aggravation and negative (or no) response from your targets by inundating them with too many mailings.

Now that we’ve established what happens when the porridge is either too hot or too cold, it’s time to share some wisdom from Business Growth Guru Chet Holmes about how to get it just right. In “The Ultimate Sales Machine”, Holmes states that you should direct mail to your best prospects 12 times in a year or less and that there is a “watershed” moment between the 7th-8th mailing where the highest number of buyers flood in as new sales.


Think of yourself—you often hear about a product or offer many times before you stop subconsciously tuning it in and start giving it serious consideration. The tricky part is that few, if any, people keep a tally of how many times they heard of Product X before checking it out. Even trickier is that although no tally is kept people definitely know when they are annoyed or aggravated by mailings that come too often.

If the list you’re using is full of prospects that match the attributes of your best buyers then you simply cannot ever stop marketing to them. There must be a timed strategy to ensure that these targets remember your company. At the same time, this strategy safeguards against sending mailings too often.

An additional benefit of adhering to the frequency strategy that Holmes advocates for is that it gives marketers latitude to send mailings with seasonal or holiday tie-ins that are harder to leverage if your company’s mailings arrive in mailboxes only once a year…or way too many times a year.

Holmes alludes to the importance of carefully marketing to your best buyers, noting that in comparison to over-saturating “For a lot less money, you could send a special direct mail effort to just the best neighborhoods where the best buyers live. The secret is to do it continuously so that you build top-of-mind awareness among those best buyers.”

Keep this in mind and practice it, and soon your ongoing direct mail campaigns will hit that sweet spot and deliver knock-it-out-of-the-park results.

How to Determine the Ideal Frequency for your Ongoing Direct Mail Campaign | Blog