The 6-Step Direct Mail Autopsy: Why Your Mailer Is DOA
Direct mail is a highly effective medium. In fact, it's the most reliable and direct way to reach nearly every consumer with a home address.
But every time you send a direct mail piece out into the cold, cruel world, there's a chance something bad will happen.
Maybe you don't get the response you want. Perhaps the piece doesn't get delivered correctly. It's conceivable that a piece you've successfully mailed a dozen times just nose dives. There are countless ways for a mailer to meet an untimely demise.
What do you do when it happens?
Here are six simple steps for a "direct mail autopsy" to help you determine what went wrong so you can make your next mailing more successful.
1. Analyze the results.
You can't fix a problem until you know what the problem is. So take a stiff drink and sit down with the numbers for awhile. Is the response rate low or non-existent? If it's a two-step, is the problem on the front end or the back end? How about your return or cancellation rate? What about net profit? Crunch your numbers every which way to see if you can hone in on the problem.
2. Double check essential elements.
A mailing I did for one client bombed so badly they called me in a panic to say they were getting no responses at all. Not one. I calmly asked to see a sample piece as mailed and noticed something weird about the barcode. Somehow theaddressing software had inverted the bars so that the short bars were tall and the tall bars were short. With the ZIP wrong, no one was receiving the piece. But it was an easy fix.
Sometimes you can get so caught up in the creative aspects of a direct mail package that you forget to check things like those barcodes, addresses, phone numbers, website URLs and other standard information. But you need to check them every time.