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How an Automated Workflow Benefits Direct Marketing Programs

Chris Van Houtte

Fans of late night infomercials may recall the famous tagline for the Ronco Rotisserie Oven: “Just set it and forget it!” In some respects, that’s how automated marketing programs are designed to function. Business rules and logic are defined and an automated workflow is developed that allows for systematic processing of client data to generate a print file. However, instead of a perfect prime rib being the end result, you get improved ROMI and customer satisfaction as timely and relevant information is seamlessly delivered to a pre-defined audience.

Our clients in industries ranging from financial services, healthcare and insurance have experienced the benefits of running automated marketing campaigns, including lower costs, workflow simplification, cycle time acceleration and reduced defects. While it’s not right for everyone, ideal programs are repeatable in nature and the companies that use them have a need for quick speed-to-market, often combined with a client-facing portal that provides reporting and other piece-level tracking.

The Technology that Goes into an Automated Workflow

In the direct mail environment, processing speed is extremely important as data volumes are very high and turn-around times are quick. Using server memory is typically the quickest way to process, but it’s not always possible with massive volumes of data. A balance is needed between fast processing and limiting the amount of memory usage in order to avoid overloading the server. We’ve taken great care to develop a successful technology solution that is fast and scalable, with average processing cycle time and server memory usage remaining the same whether we’re processing ten thousand rows of data or ten million.

To launch a successful automated marketing program, it’s important to have a well-defined process. We make this happen by starting with a client questionnaire. From there we host a formal kick-off meeting followed by additional discovery meetings to document the business rules and requirements of the program. A dedicated team works with you from the discovery process through production/go-live. Upon initial launch, clients conduct a live proof and once approved, the program automatically runs with no human intervention. There is also a defined change management process that allows the program to be updated, proofed again and placed back on automation.

In addition to the flexibility and robust system of an automated platform, another benefit is the ability to tie in multi-channel options. Our system can integrate with email, PURLs and texting. Reaching your customer through a multi-faceted approach with the ability to test and track results for future analysis puts extremely valuable information at your fingertips!

While an automated workflow isn’t quite as simple as “set it and forget it,” we do aim to make the process as smooth as possible for our clients. Please let me know if you have any questions about the technology behind our automated workflows, or contact your IWCO Direct account team for more information on getting a program started.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2016/09/27/automated-workflow-for-direct-marketing/
Chris Van Houtte

Author

Chris Van Houtte

Vice President of Information Technology. Graduate of Minnesota State University – Moorhead and IWCO Direct team member for more than 10 years. Favorite award or recognition: Fatherhood. Personal business philosophy: “Patience, listening and a dose of common sense are key to successful outcomes.” Loves fishing and participating in/coaching his kids’ activities. Detroit sports lover – Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Michigan Wolverines.

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