Just when I think, “I’ve had enough. I’m exhausted and bored with the redundancy of managing. I’m tired of all the other complications and drama that go along with a closely held small business. My friends are retiring and maybe I should too?”, I get a data report like this and it’s game on, full throttle ahead: FlagandBanner’s in-house publication, Brave Magazine has a response rate of 8.47% and a return rate of $24.96 per dollar. This is unheard of in the direct mail business!
The things our direct mail partnership company has told us about our customers is enlightening and reaffirming. Our customers are over 50, read the paper, own their own home, have a retirement account, eat out, buy electronics, shop online and love FlagandBanner.com’s Brave Magazine. This report validated all of our hard work.
For 4 years we have published Brave, more as a labor of love than a sales tool. The stories our editor writes come from her heart and are forever imprinted on her psyche. It’s a lot of work and a lot of money. And so with every issue, we wonder if it will be our last.
Being opportunists, this new information about Brave’s return instantly made us want to mail more. Currently, Brave is a bi-annual publication mailing in both April and October to our Arkansas customers and few other random states of our choosing. To mail monthly, our first thought was we need to produce 12 issues. Yikes! We don’t have the manpower to write 12 issues, so Marketing met to discuss. Listen to how creative my people can be.
They do plan to mail 12 months a year but not with 12 different issues, rather with the same 2 issues we are used to producing. The April issue, called Spring/Summer will mail 16,000 a month for 6 months, from April to September. And our Fall/Winter issue will mail October to March. Genius!
That’s a lot of mailers and a lot of money, but not a lot of extra work. Even though I do love Texas Hold‘em, I never thought of myself as a gambler until a recent employee called me one. This gamble has good odds. Even if our return rate drops to 3% I will be pleased. In the world of direct mail, anything over 1 % is a win.
It is this kind of exciting news and collaborative planning that fuels us entrepreneurs. It’s not all about the money. It’s also about the creative side of business that keeps us working till were 90+.