Our clients are under constant pressure to improve results. They might already have a solid, high-performing direct mail campaign that brings in thousands of leads per campaign, but then the next planning cycle rolls around and their CMO says, “Great job – now, how do we take it to the next level?”
At IWCO Direct, we love that challenge because it means we get to roll up our sleeves and put the packages through a direct mail audit – which is actually a lot more fun for us than it sounds.
Our size and experience have allowed us to build a robust library of direct mail concepts and results within many different industries. We’re also constantly using several competitive channel monitoring tools to stay on top of recent trends and best practices. These two factors combined allow us to generate recommendations from the audit that can be quite powerful for our clients.
Direct mail is a unique channel, and the rules that other forms of media follow don’t always apply. For instance, trying to leverage that really beautiful piece of brand creative that’s being used with wild success in TV, print or social may very well be the kiss of death for your direct mail campaign. That’s why it’s so important to have your direct mail audited by a partner who truly understands the intricacies of direct mail marketing. When we audit direct mail campaigns, we use a unique set of criteria.
What Does the Process Look Like?
At a very high level, we bucket our audits into three main categories: Offer, Messaging and Creative. We scour the industry, as well as the individual client’s campaign history and results, to see what’s working and identify gaps and potential audience barriers. The output of a direct mail audit is a summary of a campaign’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in addition to detailed recommendations that we review in-depth (and usually in-person) with our clients.
Next, we enlist our in-house creative team to develop new formats, copy platforms and designs. From there, our strategists will create a test design that allows our clients to try new approaches in an isolated environment before making wholesale changes to an already established direct mail program. We figure out what will drive the best results – then we roll it out.
How Often Should I be Doing a Direct Mail Audit?
We encourage our clients to be proactive about regularly conducting direct mail audits. Imagine how different that conversation with the CMO could be when you proactively bring them industry trends and new ideas for the upcoming year, or even quarter. As factors like competitors, offers, economic conditions or industry regulations change, they can have sudden and major impacts on the performance of direct mail.
Enlisting a partner like IWCO Direct to help you stay ahead of the curve with regular direct mail audits is a smart way to protect your campaign while taking it to the next level. If you’re interested in finding out more about how auditing your campaigns can increase your direct mail effectiveness, get in touch with me by leaving a comment below.
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