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Take a magazine publisher. It mails to 500,000 names, generates only a 1% response rate, yet considers mailing a success. But a stock. broker who targets wealthy doctors in Lower Manhattan has different expectations. His lead generation letter needs to generate a response rate of at least 25% because he only mails it to 100 doctors, and he only closes around one in every 25 doctors who responds. A one percent response rate, even if it is an average, is of no use to him.
Average response rates are useful when they are for your product or service and your target audience in particular. If you can discover response rates that your competitors are generating by mailing sales letters to same prospects that you are targeting, then, by all means, use those response rates as a yardstick against which you compare your results. You are talking specifics.
Some response rates for various industries. The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) calculated average response rates for a number of industries:
Fundraising: 5.35% Retail: 3.36% Businesses selling services to businesses 3.34% Manufacturing: 3.17% Personal and repair services 3.07% Travel 2.98% Computer/electronics: 2% Packaged goods: 2%
About the author
Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter who helps businesses attract customers using direct mail marketing. Sign up for free weekly tips like this at www.sharpecopy.com.