Direct marketing is one tactic that you have in your marketing toolbox. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t maximize the power of direct mail or the power of a solid database. The following questions will help you overcome the top direct marketing campaign challenges.
1. Which Comes First, The Data or The Audience?
The first question to ask yourself for any direct marketing campaign is what are your goals? What part of the sales and marketing process are you striving to grow or improve? For example, if your goal is to get new leads then your audience will be people you haven’t previously reached.
Of course, you’ll have definitions, demographics and descriptions to describe those leads. If your goal is customer retention then your audience is your existing customers. Most campaigns are geared toward lead generation rather than customer retention, so starting with the right audience in mind will help you identify the data that you need to use.
2. Are You Solving the Right Pain?
Looking at your biggest buyers, and your customer profiles or personas, does your direct mail campaign address the problems your customers are actually facing? Segmentation and smaller mailings can help ensure that the message you create matches a specific customer profile. Your prospects and customers are not all facing the same problems, nor will they deal with them the same way. Make sure your message matches their pain.
3. Do You Have the Right Channel?
It’s important to make sure that the message you want to communicate matches the medium you’re using. While most people focus on email campaigns as their top marketing method, you can still get great results from direct mail, otherwise known as a traditional envelope, or the telephone.
While a print mailer may take more time and effort, the extra effort is generally worth the results. You may get 10 to 100 times the results of a standard email campaign.
4. Are You Connecting Often Enough?
Studies have proven that you have to connect with your prospect six to 11 times. Additionally, the more often you connect with your prospects and customers, the more likely you are to be called when they need you. Frequency creates top of mind awareness. Try to embrace variety and frequency in your direct mail campaigns.
5. Are You Split Testing?
Split test something on every single direct marketing campaign. Test the headline, test the call to action, test the offer, or the picture – test something but make sure you’re only testing one thing. For example, test one headline on half of your recipients and a different headline for the remaining 50 percent. Learn which headline works better. Split testing gives you knowledge. And knowledge is power.
6. How Old is Your List?
How many people on your list have moved and/or changed jobs? Check your customer data to make sure your list is accurate. Don’t spend time, energy, and money on dead names on your list. Review your list after each send and update and eliminate those names that are no longer valid.
7. How Easy is it for My Prospect to Respond?
What’s the call to action on your direct marketing piece? What steps does your prospect have to take? For example, do they have to visit a website? Can they reach you easily on a smart phone and is the web site or page mobile friendly? Do they need to fill out a form online or do they need to make a call?
Make it as easy as possible for prospects to take action on your piece. And, when possible, try to tie their action into a way to update your database. For example, if they fill out a form you can use that information to update your list.
The more up to date your list, the better your results. Think about it. What do you do with mail that you get when it has your name spelled incorrectly or your job title is wrong? You probably throw it away. Support your prospects that connect with you and update your list at the same time.
Direct marketing can be a powerful way to build your business. Use this as a checklist to make sure each campaign is as powerful as it can be.