Direct Mail campaigns can be more difficult to manage and deliver than many companies expect.
Even worse, when outsourcing a campaign businesses can often be underwhelmed because although some aspects of the campaign work others were not delivered as expected. In this article we explore the importance of quality, cost and speed and explore why they are all important to a successful outcome for your direct mail campaign.
The Eternal Sales Triangle
There is an old saying amongst salesman to customers called “the Eternal Sales Triangle”; this is also related to the Project Management Quality Triangle. Essentially this goes something along the lines of “You can have any two of the three you want – which two would you like out of quality, cost and speed?” This is essentially because the three criteria are contradicted, i.e. by delivering one the ability to deliver one of the others is reduced:
- Quality – The lower the price and the faster required then quality will suffer
- Cost – The higher the quality and speed required will cause the price to be higher
- Speed – The higher the quality and lower the cost will cause implications with the speed of delivery
Our advice at Baker Goodchild is not to allow a supplier to have this approach/attitude. Quality, cost and speed are all important to a successful direct mail campaign and customers need to insist on high-quality, low cost and speedily delivered campaigns. Customer flexibility is needed though to work with the provider and to ensure a win:win relationship.
Direct Mail Quality
Every campaign has to be of a high quality, otherwise what would be the point? Direct mail quality requires aspects such as: clear calls to action, consistency of branding, delivering to environmentally friendly goals, ease of measurement and analytics, integration with technology and other marketing channels, use of personalisation, visually appealing, etc.
Direct Mail Cost
The cost of a direct mail campaign is another criterion that’s important to consider. Negotiating a win:win contract with a direct mail campaign provider is the key to success where the provider makes a sensible and realistic profit and the customer pays a competitive price for the service offered. As a part of price negotiation, both parties should explore methods of reducing the cost of delivery without compromising on quality or speed. Techniques to use should include accurate estimating of print runs, carefully considering mail weight and size dimensions, data cleansing to remove waste, mailing only the best prospects and the use of bulk mail principles.
Direct Mail Speed
Speed is another important factor, particularly where a campaign is needed urgently. When working with a high-quality direct mail house speed should not cause issues with quality and cost. Direct mail campaigns are always best thoroughly considered and planned, so only deliver with high levels of speed when it is absolutely necessary, i.e. not just to test a provider and also not for the sake of it!
The following techniques can be used to improve direct mail campaign speed: ensuring creatives are in place, ensuring data is cleansed/ready, and having smooth contractual arrangements in place with the direct mail provider.