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Direct Mail Making Major Comeback

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Article by Ron Contorno, President of Full House Sports Marketing and Full House Direct

Direct mail is moving the sales needle for sports and entertainment organizations. There are several reasons why this old school medium is making a comeback for ticket sales departments:

1. Prospects are not receiving or responding to email. Emails are getting harder and harder to deliver. Even when you have a relationship with the intended party, your message might wind up in their spam folder or blocked by their server. Prospecting using email will produce very little, if any, success.

2. Lack of consumer phones: As consumers shut down their home phone and others add their number to the National Do Not Call Registry, there are less than 10% of households that you can call. You can mail to 100% of the prospects, including hot targets such as parents that have a child with an upcoming birthday, new movers, and sports fans.

3. Direct mail can be personalized. You can merge the company name and/or contact name onto the back of a jersey, locker, scoreboard, mascot sign, etc. This personalization gets the prospect’s attention and makes them more likely to respond to the offer. Relevant images that look like the prospect demographically can also be incorporated (families with young children see a picture that looks like them).

4. Personalized post cards targeting business owners, executives, and professionals can warm up calls for sales representatives. Direct mail will often generate enough response to pay for the campaign and there is the additional benefit of a timely sales call right after the post card hits. Each rep can have 100-200 post cards going out each week with their name, phone number, and email address along with the prospect’s contact/company name in several spots.

5. Return on Investment (ROI) Opportunity: You are mailing 5,000 personalized post cards to drive group and/or birthday party business. Let’s use $1.00 per mailer for printing, postage, and mailing list.
• Investment = $5,000
• Response Rate of 1% = 50 New Groups/Birthdays at $250 per new customer = $12,500/ROI = 2.5 to 1
• Response Rate of 2% = 100 New Groups/Birthdays at $250 per new customer = $25,000/ROI = 5 to 1

The time is now to add direct mail as a prospecting touch point. Many teams and organizations have given up on direct mail because it did not produce results in the past. With the printing technology advancing so each card can be personalized, the opportunities are limitless: business season tickets, group outings, birthday parties, new movers, special event invitations, and premium seating. We also feel it makes sense to mail to past customers in an effort to upsell, renew, and win-back lapsed accounts.

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