As a longtime Chicago Bears fan, it was tough to see my favorite team miss the NFL playoffs this year. But like any football fan, I’ve moved on as the excitement of Super Bowl XLVII continues to build heading into this weekend’s matchup.
What’s interesting about the big game is the two very different roads the teams took to get there. The path each team embraced to find success provides an important lesson that can be applied to successful direct mail campaigns:
Baltimore Ravens: Commitment is Key
The Ravens have been a model of consistency both this season and over the course of their franchise because they have remained committed to their primary strength…defense. Of course, they’ve also worked to be a more well-rounded team by improving their offense, but at the end of the day Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the Ravens defense are what powers their success.
To be successful in direct marketing, we believe – and our customers attest – direct mail should be the heart of your game plan. You can’t neglect other areas, but marketers who stay committed to direct mail and use it to power their direct marketing programs have been rewarded with consistent, well-rounded performance. In fact, direct mail has one of the lowest costs per response of any media and its response rates were nearly triple those of email in 2012. We’ve long been believers in the power of direct mail to drive performance across all marketing channels.
San Francisco 49ers: Not Afraid to Try Something New
The 49ers are proof that there’s always room for improvement. Just because things are going well doesn’t mean they can’t be better. Although starting quarterback Alex Smith had been playing well, coach Jim Harbaugh made a bold decision to shake things up by sticking with back up Colin Kaepernick after he replaced Smith for only one game due to Smith’s concussion. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Kaepernick was outstanding against my Bears in that game, but regardless, Harbaugh saw enough promise in the dynamic Kaepernick to buck conventional wisdom and stick with his unproven player.
It’s also good practice to remain open to change in direct mail, even when things seem to be going well. Perhaps your last direct mail package had good response, but integrating something new like a QR code or PURL to drive your audience to a digital channel, or even just adding more color, could improve results. That’s not to say you should mess with success without good reason, but changing things up can provide impressive results. And with today’s sophisticated technology, it’s not cost prohibitive to try something new with your direct mail campaigns and test its effectiveness. After all, in the words of my colleague Debora Haskel, “There’s no such thing as good enough.”
Each team made it to Sunday’s big game in its own way. The same can be said about successful direct mail campaigns. There’s no “right” way to design and produce a direct mail package, just like there’s no “right” way to put together a winning football team, but there is always room for constant improvement. By staying committed to direct mail and being open to change, you might find yourself with champion results.
P.S. Like the Bears, if your DM isn’t working for you today, and you are not working with us today, maybe you just need a ‘coaching’ change – give us a call!
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