When it comes to the success of a mailing, direct marketers tend to focuses on the creative or the strategy, but most don’t pay attention to the execution until it’s too late.
This past week I received two offers from the same company on the same day. The purpose of the mailing was to upsell me. Sign up for a third product, bundle my services and get a discount.
The strategy was great.
The creative was great. (I opened both letters.)
But the execution was flawed.
Remember, I received both letters on the same day.
One letter offered me a $400 reward card if I signed up by May 10th. The other letter offered me a $500 reward card if I signed up by May 17th.
I’m going to assume the plan was to send me the first offer and, if I didn’t respond, to send me the second. And I’m also going to assume that no one paid attention to the delivery time of these letters. Otherwise, why would I get two competing offers…on the same day?
And this is where the Devil lies.
We need to ask the “What If” questions.
What if both of these offers arrive in home at the same time?
We’ve been in this business long enough to know that mailings get delayed, printers make errors, acts of nature happen, the unexpected occurs, etc., etc. The list could go on.
Years ago I worked on a campaign that used national monuments as the focal point of the creative. Two weeks into the first drop 9/11 happened. We pulled the campaign immediately and quickly went to work developing our Plan B. I’m sure all of you can think of a similar experience.
It is our job as direct marketers to pay attention to every detail. We need to be more than copywriters, designers, statisticians, and strategist. We need to be Risk Managers. We need to think about all the issues that have happened to one of our campaigns in the past and come up with a plan in case something similar happens again. We need to look at all the points in the process, not just what happens within our walls, and fill in the cracks so the execution is smooth.
What could this company have done differently?
Well, for starters, they could have paid attention to delivery dates. They could have planned more time between the drops, giving me time to respond. They also could have used email as the second delivery option. They have my email address. If the second email wasn’t a follow-up to my non-response they could have de-duped the mailing lists. There are so many different things they could have done. But the biggest thing they should have done was ask the “what ifs”.