What is the best way to test postal mailing

Let’s imagine you want offer your new product or service to the head of history (or indeed any other teacher) in all 5000 secondary schools in the UK.  And let’s say that you want to do that by post.

The cost is going to be anything from £1500 upwards, and whether that is worthwhile or not depends totally on the number of sales you make.

Assuming you make on average £30 profit per sale (perhaps by selling one item, or because some schools will buy a number of items) that means you have to sell to 50 schools to break even.

Put another way if 1% of all the schools you mail buy from you, you break even.  Anything above that and you make a profit. If 2% of schools buy from you, you’ve got your £1500 investment back and made another £1500.

All well and good, but £1500 is a lot to gamble on one promotion working – so what many firms do is test out their mailing by sending the promotion to about 250 schools just to measure response rates.

Indeed what some firms do is send out two different versions of the promotion to see which one works best: 250 randomly selected schools get version A and another 250 get version B.  You keep a list of who got what and then choose the promotion that got the best result.

Of course, sending out just 250 items costs more per school that sending out 5000, because with small runs like this you can’t get the postal discounts available on larger runs.  But the investment in a small trial run can be really worthwhile if it helps you find the promotion that is really going to work.

If you are interested in undertaking a test postal mailing and would like to talk through the ins and outs, please do call 01604 770 927 or email Stephen@schools.co.uk

Meanwhile if you would like to know what other companies are doing about promoting to schools following the arrival of GDPR, we have a unique report available: “After the deluge: How companies that sell into the education market are adjusting their strategies to cope with GDPR.”

The report covers email, postal mailing, and the use of websites such as UK Education News as means of advertising to schools.

If you would like a copy of the report simply email Sam@schools.co.uk with a request for “After the Deluge” and we’ll get a copy to you straight away.

Tony Attwood

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