Analysis and Scientific Testing Drive Successful Direct Mail Strategy

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About the Author

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Robin Murphy

Robin is a creative, data-driven executive with more than 20 years of extensive marketing experience in financial services, including the banking, mortgage, and loan sectors. As Vice President Marketing Strategy, she works with our clients to assess, define, and implement new strategies, models, standards, and best practices to provide insightful recommendations that optimize and enhance their marketing campaigns and maximize their business results. Her business mantras include “learn, listen, respect, enthusiasm.” This Boston Red Sox fan enjoys hiking and any activity that gets her outdoors into nature.

Direct mail strategy can be a highly effective marketing tool when properly executed. To improve results for direct mail campaigns by incorporating analytics and scientific testing, marketers can follow these five key steps:

  1. Define your target audience: Analytics always comes first. Don’t waste money communicating to the wrong prospects. When creating a direct mail campaign, it is essential to define your target audience clearly. Analyzing the demographic data, geography, purchasing history, interests, and habits of the audience will give insights on the content to be used for the campaign. Are you speaking to your target audience in the best and most efficient way possible?

    This means looking at how the audience is subdivided. Personas should be developed using actual data sets. Modeling will determine the response, conversion, and value component of the universe. You can then cross-tab your universe with demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information. Combining these, you can create a custom or combination of custom and segmented analytics solutions to create your personas. These personas can then be mapped all the way down to a single individual since they are built bottom-up.

  2. Develop your message: Develop a message that resonates with the audience you are targeting. The message should be clear and concise, highlighting the unique benefits of the product or service being offered.

    The questions to ask when developing your message: What does your audience really care about? What’s going to motivate them? What offer should you give them and how often should you talk to them? What are the best channels to communicate to them? Will they engage, respond, and buy?

  3. Hyper-personalize your content: Hyper-personalizing the content of direct mail campaigns to the individual recipient using strategies like high-speed digital printing can increase engagement and response rates. Data and modeling can make it possible to speak to your audience on a 1:1 level, driving increased engagement (response, conversion, sales) with your mailpiece.

  4. Use graphics and creative design: Analyzing the creative design of each direct mail piece is also a key component of the approach. Including graphics and creative designs can help to make the content more visually appealing and memorable. Craft a compelling, benefit-driven headline that grabs your audience’s attention and engages them to read more. Focus on benefits, and visually break up your copy to draw the reader’s eye to what you’d like them to read. Ensure the Call-to-Action (CTA) is very visible and clearly communicates how to respond.

  5. Test and refine your approach: Apply analytics and scientific creative testing throughout the campaign. Techniques such as multivariate testing (MVT), can leverage digital print production to test a wide variety of variables like images, print, messaging, and data input in a single campaign. Ongoing testing helps you out-think, out-run, and out-perform your competition and will help you ensure your direct mail campaigns are optimized for success.

Incorporating these best practices into your marketing efforts will help you reach your customers and prospects at the right time in the right channel with the right message―every time! Reach out to IWCO’s team of marketing experts today to improve the success of your next direct mail campaign.

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