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Every journey has one or more milestones, but only one destination.

Every journey has one or more milestones, but only one destination. Direct marketing is no different. Many direct marketers measure success by the number of responses from a given campaign. A campaign isn’t truly successful until the marketing communication sparks a conversation that eventually leads to a conversion.

Going from conversation to conversion requires a deeper understanding of the target audience. Focus beyond response rates, and measure success on the number and quality of conversions. This approach aims much higher than the traditional response rate model. Without responses, there would be no conversions. Not every response leads to a conversion. Every organization leveraging the services of a direct marketing company is interested in acquiring new customers while keeping the ones they already have.

This requires thinking beyond responses, and setting your sights on conversions.

Every communication, regardless the channel, begins with a conversation. The conversation should be a well-orchestrated channel-neutral communication blending the perfect message and creative strategies. If the conversation is interesting, it will trigger a response. If it is compelling, however, the response will become a conversion. Conversions make the cash register ring. Moreover, conversions are used to calculate ROI. Can it get any better than this? Yes, it can!

The goal is to go from conversation (marketing) to conversion (sales). Savvy direct marketers have raised the bar well beyond the reach of printers-turned-marketers and traditional letter shops, by measuring success on the quantity and quality of a conversion. The single-channel, one-dimensional approach of every high-volume direct mail company consistently falls short of the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) reported 4.4% average response rate. Increase the quantity of conversion rates by creating and developing relevant messaging that speaks to every individual in a personality-centric tone specific to their temperament.

The quality of a conversion correlates directly to an individual’s purchase. The more an individual spends—as the result of a marketing campaign—the higher the quality of the conversion. Many years of experience has taught marketers the importance of multi-channel marketing. Not every communication channel is appropriate in every situation. In fact, a channel-propensity model should be developed for every campaign. A channel-propensity model is used to determine every individual’s preferred method of communication. Do not inundate an individual with an Omni-channel approach. Instead, use the top two or three communication channels to present your products or services.

The SAS Institute in Cary, NC recently reported the effectiveness of multi-channel marketing. In their report, they leveraged information from hundreds of marketing campaigns to show the financial benefits of using multiple channels for your communication. Multichannel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers (Raj 2015). The quality of a multichannel customer far exceeds the quality of a single-channel customer.

Measure your campaign response milestones, but never lose focus on the destination–conversions.


Raj, W. 2015. Four multichannel marketing strategies that deliver exceptional customer experiences.