Did you know that you could spend less on a direct mail campaign and actually see better results? It’s true. It’s not about marketing less. It’s about marketing smarter.
Let’s take a look at a real campaign produced for a travel company. Let’s call it Club Travel. In the past, Club Travel mailed static 30- to 72-page catalogs to hundreds of thousands of people. All of the catalogs were the same regardless of age, income or whether the person had purchased a travel package in the past. Recognizing the inefficiency of this approach, the company decided to try something new.
Club Travel selected 20,000 high-value targets (chosen based on age demographic, income, home ownership and other factors) and created personalized mailers based on customer status (active member, dormant member, prospect). It created custom messaging based on customer segment and layered on personalization by prospect or customer name.
To boost effectiveness, it used a series of personalized e-mails to prime the pump for the offer and nudge non-responders into action.
The results? Although the mailing was 80% smaller than in the past, by precisely matching the messaging to reach a prospect’s demographic profile, the campaign was far more relevant and more effective for each recipient. In fact, it generated a return of more than 10 times Club Travel’s initial investment in just the first month’s sales.
The cost? The personalized self-mailer boasted a lower cost per piece than that of Club Travel’s typical catalog of trip options.
In the end, this savvy marketer’s campaign was more effective, less expensive per piece and—as a nice side benefit—“greener” because the reduction in paper, energy use and solid waste resulted in a lower impact on the environment.
Many marketers might say, “But I don’t have the depth of database this company had.” Not to worry. You can purchase highly qualified lists or append your database with key variables, such as income, homeowner status and even specific interests (fly-fishing, golf, antiques) for a nominal additional cost.
If you invest in the right qualifiers, your return can be spectacular. Yet the total investment in the campaign can be less than you would have spent on a traditional direct mail campaign.
Maximize Your Marketing Dollars with This Simple Tip
It’s a standard rule of thumb in marketing. It costs 10 times less to keep the customers you have than to generate new ones. This means one of the best uses of your marketing dollars is to maintain customer loyalty. One of the easiest ways to do that is to use customer surveys.
What makes customer surveys so effective?
- They make customers feel valued.
- They provide an opportunity to learn about customer habits and purchasing patterns.
- If there is a problem with the customer relationship, they open the door to correct it.
How often should you survey? Some marketers survey their customers on an as-needed basis. Their goal might be to understand different customer behaviors, such as a drop in sales or a shift in purchasing patterns, or to get to know their customers better in order to drive 1:1 personalization programs. Others have an ongoing commitment to customer surveys, such as sending annual questionnaires “just because” or follow-ups after each sale to monitor customer satisfaction.
Regardless of which approach works best for you, customer surveys are a valuable tool for maintaining the loyalty of those customers who help your bottom line the most.
Need to send a customer survey? Ask us! We can help.
One of the most effective ways to boost your response rates is sending strategic, multi-touch campaigns. This approach uses multiple contacts with the same or different media to build your message over time.
Often, these contacts are layered in three stages:
1. Priming the pump (“Watch for our exciting offer!”)
2. Presentation of the message
3. Follow-up or reminder to respond
This is not a formula that you should apply rigidly, and not all programs will utilize the same elements. But it’s a good, general rule of thumb that has proven very successful.
Take the example of a private school that wanted increase its donations. It developed a multi-touch campaign that stretched over several weeks. The program included:
- General awareness letter to introduce the campaign and its financial goal
- First, second, and third appeal letters, with personalized data based on child, grade level, teacher, recipient’s past giving history, and progress toward the goal
- Postcard alerting families to an upcoming Phone-A-Thon
- Phone-A-Thon follow-up card
- Final appeal letter
Using this approach, the school reached its financial goal three months early, and overall, achieved new records for revenue and participation.
Not all multi-touch, multi-channel campaigns have this many elements, but this campaign shows the power that repeated, reinforced communications have to boost revenue, combined with the trust that many organizations, especially nonprofits, have in this approach.
Want to boost revenues using a multi-touch campaign? Give us a call!
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