Direct Mail Response Rates Improved by 24.86%

WDM reviewed and revised direct marketing campaigns for one of the UK’s leading PPI recovery companies.

We were asked to improve direct mail response rates for one of the UK’s leading PPI recovery companies. The client’s USP is that they will never use telesales, email, door-to-door, or high-pressure selling in any way, and they limit themselves to direct mail for prospecting, and communication by telephone, direct mail, and email.  The client had an issue with their marketing and were facing decreasing response rates and a very real search for viable prospecting data. This was at a time when the legal deadline for the closure of PPI refund claims was only 18 months away, and the window for business was starting to close.

The objective

We were asked to consider how we could review and revise the direct mail marketing campaigns to maximise response rates and prioritise data, as well as improving the search engine optimisation (SEO) and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) on their website. We had a deadline of the second week in December to inform the client what campaigns needed to be put in place for January 2018.

Our solution

We began by reviewing and rating the client’s existing direct mail marketing. Not many UK direct mail companies offer this service because it requires an experienced in-house marketing resource, but we have our own marketing manager who handles all marketing consultancy work.

We created a testing schedule based on 10 waves of 110,000 each over 10 weeks, with 11 different tests per wave. Amongst these tests were diverse types of copy, numerous envelope sizes, colours, pre-data-filled and un-filled response forms, different drop-days, and postcards versus envelopes versus one-piece mailers. We had to bear in mind that the data had been contacted once already. This posed no issue, however, as for every use of the same data, the client should expect a halving of the response rate. Although minor, it’s this sort of knowledge that really makes the difference, and we were able to set a suitable target for the campaign as a benchmark.

Because we were able to use the full range of our in-house direct mail services rather than outsourcing, we could maximise efficiencies and hit deadlines, all whilst scaling up our shift-system to handle our biggest project over the shortest timescales to that date. Within two months, we had quadrupled the roll out for the client, to four million direct mail pieces over four weeks.

We also had to ensure each mail piece married together both letters and pre-data-filled forms and was accurately fulfilled — the easiest part of the test campaign. WDM has 2D barcode and weight measurement technology installed on its machinery which enables us to guarantee the right person gets the right direct mail pieces. We received all the responses from the business reply envelopes (BREs) and the returned mail, then sorted, scanned, and provided these to the client daily.

The outcome

  • 23 test campaigns
  • 9 million direct marketing pieces
  • 54% better than the target response rate
  • 86% better than the original control direct mail response rate.

The client requested a further six additional waves of tests and the roll-out of a four-million-piece campaign as well as a ‘Best of Tests’ amalgamation.

5.9 million

direct marketing pieces


increase in response rate


separate test campaigns

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