Mailing on a Shoestring Budget
While 2009 will be a struggle for many businesses, tough times force marketers to re-evaluate their programs and become more efficient and accountable for results. “You just have to market smart and efficiently. Now is the time as direct marketers for us to strut our stuff and show the ROI,” Johnson enthuses. “If they’ve been doing direct marketing correctly, marketers are going to have a good handle on what’s working and what’s not, and they can really grab market share now.” If you are feeling the pinch, follow the experts’ advice below for keeping your mail strategy healthy in an unhealthy economic environment.
Stick With Past Winners
During tough times, control formats can be a valuable safety net. Falling back on something that has worked in the past allows you to better measure the results year over year and saves dollars and time on developing new creative. “I’ll look at what has been done in the past that has worked well, and sometimes it’s a matter of dusting it off,” Martel notes.
As opposed to redesigns, Johnson advises mailers to test copy and offers. “If you have a piece that has stopped working as effectively as it has in the past … instead of redesigning the whole piece or coming up with a new format, why don’t you try some different offers to boost response? That’s a very smart thing to do, especially if a format or control has been working for a long period of time,” he says. Simplifying winning campaigns can save extra production dollars. “Take a real hard look at what you’re doing as far as packages, and try to simplify it—a straight letter, or even postcards with effective message positioning and sound offers. Now is the time to continue to do those,” Johnson adds.