Many organizations are familiar with agility strategy, but have you considered how you can create agile direct mail campaigns? Why should we even consider this for direct mail, because agile means we can quickly adapt to changing circumstances to stay ahead of the competition? Are you ready to see how you can create an agile direct mail campaign?
- Roadmap: First you need to build your roadmap. This will consist of three to four direct mail deployments and tracking. Each mailing will highlight a new benefit of your product or service, along with a new offer. After each mailing, check reporting to see what is working and what needs to be changed. It all comes down to the four basics of agility: Thoughts/ideas, Questions, Decisions and Actions.
- Mailing 1: Design and mail your first drop. Be sure to include multiple ways to respond and track your responses.
- Mailing 2: Look at the responses from the first mailing. What worked? Keep that. What needs improvement? Make changes to design and the offer, then mail your second drop with the ability to track your responses.
- Mailing 3: Check responses, not only from Mailing No. 2, but also in comparison to the first one. You should see an improvement. Again, you will need to make changes that help to improve your responses.
- Mailing 4: You should now see a clear pattern emerging that you can then use to make changes to enhance this mailing’s appeal and, thereby, response.
The key to direct mail agility is consistent mailing over time, with constant vigilance on what is working and what needs improvement. There are no excuses for not tracking your responses; if you have no idea if something is working, you have no reason to send another one. You are just wasting your money. You and your team need to constantly be having conversations; not just about what you are doing, but about what the competition is doing, too. What new ideas are you coming up with? Where can you find inspiration? Constantly feeding the conversation about your direct mail campaigns will keep agile thinking top of mind.
One key thing to be careful of, especially if you have been doing direct mail for a long time, is assumptions. What are your assumptions about direct mail? How are they blocking you from seeing a better way? You can try listing all of the facts you think of about direct mail, and then challenge someone else on your team to provide facts that contradict what you thought. This is very enlightening and can help you see beyond your own assumptions to ideas you never thought possible. There are many opportunities with direct mail that you may not have considered before.
Many times, marketers are afraid to fail. Agile direct mail says even if you don’t get the first result you thought you would, it’s not a failure but an experience to build a better mail piece the next time around. Every direct mail piece you send tells you something. Use that information to build better and better campaigns. Agility will get you to success much faster than you have before. Are you ready to get started?
This article originally appeared in Target Marketing.