Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Direct Marketing Campaign Planning – Handling Your Responses

The latest instalment of our series on planning a direct marketing campaign is dedicated to the subject of response handling, and how this vitally important aspect of the campaign should be planned in order to yield the most significant benefit. Planning how to handle the responses returned from your direct marketing can be split into 2 major areas; the first, your methods of collecting different responses and secondly how the responses (and subsequent data) should be managed.

Collecting Your Responses

Previously the importance of a multichannel approach has been presented, however it is important to understand how to collect the different responses returned from such an approach.

Telephone – If one of your channels utilises inbound phone calls to collect responses it is vital to create a team of customer service professionals to handle these calls, a team that understand the objectives of the campaign and has been effectively trained to handle responses.

Email – Setting up a dedicated email address is another form of collecting responses. This can be a single email address or multiple addresses in accordance with the direct marketing segments.

Website – Depending upon the marketing strategy, the creation of a campaign specific website can be a worthwhile course of action. This website or simply a landing page should contain the enquiry forms and may even operate an Iframe to harvest the responses.

Social Media – Increasingly social media is being used within direct marketing campaigns due to its growing popularity as a marketing medium. Once again, campaign specific pages can be set up to handle responses whilst connections made through social media can be an effective way to build customer profiles.

Managing Your Responses

Once you have decided which response channels to use as part of your campaign, to ensure they are managed effectively it is important to undertake the following.
  • Firstly, you should make an assessment of your in-house capabilities, investigating your internal capacity to handle/manage responses.
  • Secondly, if this assessment reveals that your internal capacity is insufficient, you may want to consider outsourcing response handling activities.
  • Finally, whether the handling activities are being handled in-house or outsourced, it is vitally important to set out, precisely what defines an opportunity, as this will be used when determining the success of the project.
Response handling is a key component in any marketing campaign whilst understanding multiple response channels and whether an in-house or outsourced solution will be most effective are both important in the planning stage.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Direct Marketing Campaign Planning – Getting the Message Right

At the heart of every successful direct marketing campaign is the marketing message; a message that has been carefully constructed so that it will deliver the greatest returns on marketing expenditure. Essentially there are three main processes needed when considering the message these are:


By now in the campaign the message has typically been developed although it is vital that it is refined if it is to be successful. Any message should first and foremost understand the challenges and problems facing the target audience and offer them a solution. Delivering this message should be from a strongly branded standpoint which aims to build trust with recipients from the outset. It is also worth considering using the segmented data, to refine messages for each segmented group so that the target audience receives the most relevant message to their needs. Finally, the message and physical content of the communication should ALWAYS include a call to action that will entice the recipient to respond.

Thinking, Feeling & Doing

Not only is it important to understand what the recipient is thinking feeling and doing as they receive the message but it is also important consider the objectives of the campaign in direct relation to these three actions. Fundamentally the marketing message should be created with these aspects in mind and specifically aim to direct the thoughts, feelings and actions of the audience.

Getting The Message Out There

The final element of the planning and creating the message is deciding how the message will be delivered to the audience. It is important to consider than different communications mediums will require adjustment to the way in which the marketing is presented. For example a direct mail message will differ from email marketing and telemarketing.

However, whilst it is vital to consider the different communications mediums; in today’s campaigns it is integrated campaigns, which take advantage of a multichannel approach which will return the largest rewards.

The message is at the core of your direct marketing campaign and requires a great deal of thought. This planning, which should take into account the communication channels, segments of data and audience profiles, if completed effectively will result in a message that is targeted, focussed towards the needs of the audience and subsequently has the greatest opportunity of success.