Reminder: ‘Basic Techniques Still Work’

For printers who are struggling to reinvent themselves amid a still-challenging economy, Budco’s Jeff Sierra offered a reminder last week that basic techniques can still be effective.
FordThe context: a question from the audience at our panel presentation at the On Demand Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia about a successful direct mail campaign Budco ran on behalf of its client Ford Motor Company. The attendee wanted to know if Budco had considered running a multi-touch campaign, rather than simply direct mail. “We got a 35.7 percent increase in sales penetration using just direct mail, and that means millions in revenues,” Sierra responded. “Don’t overcomplicate it. Basic techniques work.”
That’s not to say that the program was simple. The strategy was developed by the Xerox 1:1 Lab, a proving ground for demonstrating the power of fully variable direct marketing. The lab tested Ford’s traditional personalized direct mail campaign against one that used four additional variables — gender, income, age and geography — to make each piece more relevant to the recipient.
It’s also not to say that the multi-touch approach should be ignored. Sierra expects that future iterations of the Ford campaign will use multiple media, depending on the product they’re selling and its target audience.
But it does say that simple direct mail, done well, can deliver outstanding results. And it brought to mind something that CMO Council Advisory Board Member Alan Scott said in the keynote panel Xerox’s Gina Testa led earlier that day. For years, Scott got so much mail that he threw much of it out without looking at it. Today, it’s email that comes in such volumes that he can’t read everything. But now, he said, he reads almost all the mail he receives.
Could we be entering a new golden era for direct mail?

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  1. Alan Winter April 27, 2010 -

    I’m puzzled as to why Alan Scott “got so much mail that he threw much of it out.” Could it be that he encouraged the mail to arrive by filling out as many freepost coupons as he could find in order to encourage it? Could it be that he didn’t subscribe to the direct mail industry’s filter programmes that would stop unwanted mail arriving? And could it be that he didn’t, or his ISP didn’t, know how to prevent spam emails?
    Genuine marketers want to prevent wasting their printing and postage budget on people who don’t want to be mailed. Check out, UK: and that includes fax marketing and telephone marketing services.

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