Are You Ready to Scale Your DM Program?

31 October 2019 / By Jeff Tarran
Reading time: 3 minutes

Are You Ready to Scale Your DM Program?

You’ve got some DM experience under your belt and it’s paying off—good leads, strong conversions, ROI even better than you’d hoped. Congratulations, you’ve dipped your toe. Now it’s time to dive in. You’re ready to scale your program and reap the rewards of ongoing large-scale mailings.

 

Maximize DM efficiency and effectiveness

If you tested using one of the automated digital DM platforms, keep in mind that those platforms are built for speed and ease. In the rollout phase, it’s the test and learn strategies that will build on program success and take it to the next level. If you are plugging into a platform you may be missing out on a slew of strategies that can make a big difference in DM performance.

 

How we scale with clients

In the broadest sense, we are forever looking for slivers of light that can yield big dividends. Initial DM testing often yields hints of where the leverage lies in your program that can be missed if you’re depending on simple dashboard analytics.

We’ll develop scaling programs that dive into what you’ve done, plus add strategies based on experience with other clients and, importantly, new technology and data sources that are always becoming available.

Here are some of the program elements we look to test and track:

  • Target segmentation – Responder analyses and data appends
  • Modeling – in addition to demo and behavioral models, now social media models are benefitting many categories
  • Offers and CTAs – Different offers, offer values, and ways of positioning offers
  • Response curve – Analyzing early response for faster test reads
  • List testing – There is a constantly increasing trove of data sources
  • Messaging – From all new “control busting” creative to refreshing tired control packages
  • Formats – A new format can sometimes breathe life into a program

And there’s more. We never lack for testing options. Our focus is to plan the next set of tests we think are likely to move the needle on a client’s program.

 

Other best practices for scaling DM

There are other benefits agencies bring to their client partners that may be overlooked, but can have major implications on a scaling program:

  • Ensuring tests are discrete, readable, and have true rollout potential
  • Managing increasingly complex mail matrices and the growing list of vendors that comes with a scaled program
  • Keeping to schedules and timeline management
  • Providing continued insights to improve attribution, analytics, and reporting
  • Exploring new sources of data and analytics
  • Staying on top of new technologies such as programmatic mailings and voice activated CTA’s

DIY direct mail platforms can be limiting in these areas. Without a partner with deep channel experience, you could be missing out on important program variables that drive success over the long term.

 

The Testing Roadmap

Once a client is in the scale phase we implement a Testing Roadmap to lay out the direct mail test plan over the course of a year. The exercise of putting a roadmap together forces discussion to prioritize test plans and puts the client (their management) and the agency all on the same page.

 

We plan for a year to map out the breadth of potential testing opportunities. But, the plan is built to change, and often does, to reflect test learning and changes to strategy, the product, and the market.

 

When It’s Time to Scale, Bring in the Experts

Even if you’re pretty handy fixing things around the house you probably know your limitations. Clearing a drain or installing shelves doesn’t mean you’re ready to add a second story without the help of professionals. It’s the same with direct mail. Bring in the agency experts to help you build out your program and scale it for success.

If you’re ready to learn more about scaling your direct mail marketing efforts, just drop us a line.

Jeff Tarran
About The Author

Jeff Tarran

As VP of Account Services, Jeff works with our clients to analyze business problems and develop direct marketing strategies that achieve their goals. A 20-year veteran and strategic thought leader in direct marketing, Jeff has headed two independent direct response agencies in the Bay Area after starting his career at Foote Cone and Belding. He earned a Dual BS in management and communications at Syracuse University and his MBA in marketing at Columbia University in New York.

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