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Delivering More For Less

Target with ArrowDid 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.

A targeted campaign is also“greener” because the reduction in paper, energy use and solid waste results in a lower impact on the environment.