As the song says, “one is the loneliest number.” In direct marketing, we often think in terms of big numbers. Typically, direct marketing success is "the more responses to a campaign the merrier." However, in some instances one sale can pay for an entire direct campaign. 

A response rate of just one may seem like a disaster, but when you are promoting high-end merchandise with a high profit margin, it can easily offset the cost of the entire campaign. These products include luxury cars, high-end real estate and upscale yachts.

The key to these campaigns is to identify the best audience. You can target owners of lower value, similar products with the hope they are willing to trade up to more luxury. Alternatively, you can identify prospects based upon net worth or income. It is also helpful to profile existing owners of these services to identify common characteristics. Just like the general population, the high net worth segment has its own unique needs and desires. Some live lavish lifestyles while others live like middle class citizens. If you miss your target audience, you could quite possibly get no response at all.

When creating your direct mail piece consider your audience. Reading the best seller, The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas Stanley and William Danko, can provide you with insight into the high net worth audience. Use caution with the design of the outside of your piece so that it does not compromise the privacy of the recipient by denoting their high net worth or income status. The overall design and copy should appeal to their intelligence and sophistication as well as their need for exclusivity. Your design should not look like a direct mail solicitation or it will be thrown away before it is even opened.

Today, there are 8.99 million U.S. households that have a net worth of at least $1 million (Spectrem Group, March 2013). If you target the correct audience and design a great direct mail piece, you can reach that “one singular sensation” to achieve a positive return on your investment with only one response.