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June 02, 2007

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Steve Morsa

Don,

Just for factual accuracy, that 3% mailing response rate the bulk mail company quoted you was a simplistic and misleading generality; and one which has unfortunately become something of a "business urban legend" over the many decades it's been bandied about...

In actuality, mail response rates can, hard as it may be to believe, range anywhere from 0% (where no one you mailed to wants what you've got for the price you want to sell it for) all the way up to 100% response (where everyone does; generally a lead-gen mailing to existing good customers which includes something of great [or at least perceived to be so] value in exchange for responding).

In many B2B product or service offerings; where sales prices are often $25,000-$250,000 and up; response rates as low as .01% may be wildly profitable...while lead generation mailings (and especially where at least one of the response options is to register at a web site) often produce rates of 10-30% or more.

So we see that the mailing marketplace is much like paid search: Knowing the response rate without tying it to the ROI rate is of little practical value.

Don Jones

Don,

I run a subscription database that tracks venture capital industry transactions.

8% of people who sign up for a free trial go on to pay for a subscription.

Glad it's better than 3%...

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