In preparation for an annual off-site meeting with a major client, my consulting firm developed a checklist for relationship marketing program with copywriter Mark Hallen. Here are several ideas we came up with to use as benchmarks when assessing program performance and opportunities for improved results.
Lee Marc Stein
After five years and some 30 columns for Inside Direct Mail, it’s time to say, “Goodbye” … not only to readers of this column, but to the industry. I’ll be officially retiring in February to “pursue other interests,” writing a novel among them. As the last verse of this great Crosby, Stills & Nash oldie indicates, I’ll leave you with “just a song before I go, a lesson to be learned.” So what is that one overriding “must,” the most important lesson in making direct mail work? It actually has to do with writing a novel because writing direct mail is strikingly similar.
When you have a control package that’s performing near or on budget, you may not want to risk testing a completely different approach. You should, however, test “tweaks” to the control package that have the potential to generate small increases in response/profitability. Theoretically, a series of successful tweaks will add up to a major improvement in your program. There is, however, a danger in tweaking. It results from misunderstanding the difference between a tweak and a substantive (and possibly damaging) change to the control package. Here’s an example from the world of publishing. The control package is comprised of a promotional outer envelope; a four-page, 8½˝