What are the three most common mistakes companies make when it comes to direct mail and CRM?

A continuation of the discussion on direct mail.

1. Thinking that huge lists are necessary to produce results. It’s not the number of people who are on the list, but who is there and what you know about them. Again, tracking the results can make future campaigns much more effective.

2. Undervaluing the importance of the right CRM system. One size does not fit all. It is worth investing in the right tool or vendor to reach marketing goals. A specialist may be a better choice than widely used software. Really using the tool to acquire specific data is the next crucial step.

3.  Timing is everything. Having the offer in the right hands at the right time is critical. Direct mail campaigns fail, even with qualified lists when they are launched at the wrong time.

A Case Study

A small, custom salad and sandwich shop was opening in an upscale neighborhood of a medium size Central Texas city along a busy highway, with heavy traffic going 60 miles an hour. There were almost no walk in  customers.   The challenge was to reach people who lived in the area and as with all start ups, the marketing budget was tight.

Looking at the three zip codes adjacent to the location, the numbers of addresses exceeded the budget for the project.  In addition to the cost, there were several geographic challenges to operating a successful delivery business.  The plan for the direct mail involved an announcement with an attractive offer sent to a modest list of 5,000 homes in the neighborhoods and subdivisions only within two miles of the restaurant. After the post card dropped, business picked up significantly bringing 150 new customers into the location in the first two days, post cards in hand.  On line and fax orders were also up. Over the next two weeks, new patrons continued to show up with the post cards. It was a great introduction to the neighborhood.  We added information about these new customers to our database and prepared a comeback offer.

The right offer to the right list.  Append, append, append.

Takeaways – Direct mail shouldn’t be  a shot gun approach.  Be strategic. Know your customers and tailor your campaigns to your audience for the best results.

What success stories can you share? Have you had a direct mail failure?

(Parts of this post originally appeared as an e-tip on bronsonma.com. Reprinted with permission)

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2 Responses to What are the three most common mistakes companies make when it comes to direct mail and CRM?

  1. mmccray March 10, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    These examples are from real marketing campaigns I have worked on.

  2. mmccray April 11, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    We have added an RSS feature.

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© Marilyn McCray 2013