Direct Mail: Hidden Profits
With the continuing rise in postal rates and decreasing percentage of package costs, increasing the items in the package and its costs gives creative teams more latitude than ever.
So focus on the pulling power of your package, and be aware that package costs may not be as critical as they once were. After all, with acquisition lists costing about $100/M combined with postage at $240/M, lettershop at $70/M and list preparation at $10/M to $20/M, you already have spent more than $400/M without printing anything.
4. The acquisition list universe. Another area direct marketers should pay more attention to is a clearer understanding of their acquisition list universes. When I refer to “list universe,” I am talking about the size of the direct mail’s control lists when combined as a single list.
Every company has a limit on the size of its acquisition list roll-out potential.
To define its size means the company has tested and isolated a number of control lists that reliably yield the required allowable cost per sale or cost per dollar raised (in the case of fundraising).
Without this number, you and your marketing team cannot project your annual sales potential or persuade management to expand your direct mail program.
Tactics to Audit
No direct mail audit is complete without looking at the tactical issues. New opportunities for saving money exist in the processes. The direct mail audit should look at recent mail tapes to evaluate the list hygiene steps, looking for such things as dedupe quality, deliverability, NCOA processing, Direct Marketing Association pander file application and deceased person suppression, among other things.
Other key direct mail savings should include the evaluation of commingled mail and the fast-evolving personalized digital printing options.
Unfortunately, this article cannot get into all areas, such as multichannel direct mail support programs, customer profiling options or back-end fulfillment procedures.
But it is clear that only direct response mail marketers should consider an audit. The database applications, tracking and testing bind with the direct mail program to make it successful. So the professionally implemented direct mail audit looks at the total process to distill new marketing opportunities for making and saving money.
Ted Grigg is the founder of DMCG LLC, a direct marketing consultancy in Lewisville, Texas, that leverages his 25 years of experience in direct marketing on both the client and agency sides of business. He can be reached at (972) 459-6868 or through his Web site, www.dmcgresults.com.