The success of your business—of any business—is the ability to give customers what they need or want.

Continued success is the ability to continue to give customers what they need and want.

That means you have to survey.

Survey with Direct Mail

Before we get into the indications of when you need to do a direct mail survey, let’s answer the question, “Why direct mail?”

The answer is simple and well-documented: statistics prove it’s a far more effective way to communicate with customers than than email or other digital advertising methods:

  • 57% of people in a UK study said that direct mail created a more genuine relationship and made them feel more valued (than digital communications).
  • 60% of people in the same study said that direct mail created a more lasting impression.
  • A U.S. study found that direct mail generated a higher new customer rate—34% vs. 24% for email.
  • The Direct Marketing Association reports that direct mail averages a 3.4% response rate to existing customers, compared to 0.12% for email.

This is backed up by scientific evidence: a 2015 study using brain imaging and eye tracking arrived at similar conclusions as the U.S. and UK studies.

Now you know why to use direct mail. So let’s take a look at when.

Signs You Need to Survey

There are certain less-than-ideal circumstances that call for a survey. By being aware of them, you can move quickly to obtain the information from your customers to turn the situation around.

And know this: a survey is not always a questionnaire. You can survey with a postcard, like this and your customers won’t even know they are being surveyed.

Here are the four signs that you need to survey your customers:

  1. You have a lot of negative reviews. Sites like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and others have given consumers a way to publicly celebrate or condemn a business. The solution is a customer satisfaction survey, which gives your customers an opportunity to communicate directly to you rather than resorting to a third party platform that can damage your reputation.
  1. Your sales figures are slumping. Your reviews may be great but down-sliding numbers is a more important datum to take note of. Survey your customers. Tell them about your product or service. Ask them if they know about it, why they would/wouldn’t buy it, if there is a particular objection to it or how they think it could be improved.
  1. You’re guessing or assuming what customers want. You either know or you don’t and your “know” has to be based on current, reliable data—not information from a few years back, gathered from a sketchy source. So don’t go off and launch another Ford Edsel. (Google it if you don’t know what we’re referring to.) Survey first.
  1. Your customers are going to your competitor. You can largely prevent this from happening if you send customer satisfaction surveys. That way, you will quickly know if there is something your customers want that they are not getting. And you can provide it before they go off looking for someone else to do the job. 

The Wrap

When things are not going well, don’t freak out. Don’t cave in. Don’t quit. Don’t make rash decisions. Instead, survey. Then look at what you customers are telling you and act on it.

And do it with direct mail because it’s more appreciated and more effective than email.


At we regularly survey our customers, so we can provide the products and services they want, like a platform where you can design and mail postcards, right from your computer.

For customers who tell us they don’t have time or design skills, we say to call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109. They design bright, effective postcards and mail them to prospects who want what you’re selling.