Let’s all mail on January 1 and July 1 and go on vacation 90 days later. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, you can forget that idea now. Good timing is important, and only constant testing will show you the best mailing times. You need to mail prior to when your customers will need to buy your products or services. Don’t set up your lemonade stand outside when it’s 10 degrees; there won’t be any customer traffic. And anyway, your lemonade will freeze, and so will you.
Get on your competitors’ mailing lists and find out when they send their direct mail. Then you can decide whether you want to start before or after them. If you’re just not sure when the timing is best, do half of your mailing on one date and the other half 30 days later. Your response will give you the answer for the future.
Are your products seasonal, and have you tested previous mailings to determine how early to mail? Can you do off-season promotional or clearance-sale mailings? Maybe your products can easily be sold year round by direct mail with good response. If that’s the case, and you’re on a limited budget, then split your mailings into six or eight parts and spread the cost while profiting from previous mailings.
If your products sell better in warm or cold weather, then divide your list by ZIP code to separate the northern and southern parts of the country. Mail to one part of the country prior to potential customer needs and wait on the other half until the weather is close to changing.
Timing helps you use your resources to their best advantage and get sales when customers are most apt to buy. Watch what your competitors are doing and keep testing, monitoring, and adjusting your timing.