There is nothing worse than having a direct marketing campaign fire off, and then realising, in a flat panic (having had your boss bring it to your attention) that their was an error in the campaign. It’s usually something as small as a typo, but incorrect remains incorrect and the axe is likely to fall on someone’s head for the screw up. Once your email or sms campaign starts, there is no ‘off button’ so follow this simple guide to make sure your campaign is bulletproof and avoid having the axe being dropped on your kop.
Test, then test again.
That is the digital marketing mantra before going live with anything. The reason why good digital marketers test again and again is because most of them have been burnt in the past by failing not to test.
- Check the copy
Not all of us are blessed with great grammar and spelling skills. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and that’s cool. If you know this isn’t your strong point, get someone else to sign off on the campaign copy before you hand it over. I’ve seen some of the biggest brands in SA send out direct marketing copy that clearly wasn’t signed off, and it’s a bad reflection when a multi-billion Rand company misspells a simple five letter word. An SMS message is only 160 characters long, so there ain’t any excuses for messing it up.
- Check the CI guidelines
Big brands are really particular about their Corporate Identity, and you can’t blame them – they spend millions on their brand, so they have a right to demand that their logo is represented in a particular manner. If you are sending any direct marketing campaign that requires CI sign off do it before you blast off a message to millions of people, with the client’s brand completely misrepresented. Not only will the client never book again, you might even face a lawsuit (and who needs that drama in your life).
- Deliver a test message (then deliver another test message)
If you are sending an SMS message, send yourself a test before you go live with the campaign. If there is a “reply” element to the SMS marketing message, reply to the message and test the response that you are looking for. If it’s a call back from a call centre, how long does it take? Does it meet your expectations? Does the call centre agent have an idea how the inquiry was generated?
Check every step of the process before you go live.
And it’s not a bad idea to remain on the marketing list if you are sending multiple SMS messages over a period of time.
If you are sending an email campaign, make sure you have checked the following key checklist items:
- The email renders in all the email clients correctly (like Outlook and Gmail).
- Are the links working? There is nothing worse than receiving an email you are interested in, and when you click on the link you get that dreaded 404 message (Oops the link is broken).
- Have you tested the landing page? It doesn’t help re-directing someone to a landing page and you have errors on that page
- Are all the images pulling through from the server? Imagery in your mailers are critical, but they need to be served correctly
- Does the mailer render across all devices (desktop, tablet, mobile)? More and more people are picking up emails on their mobile devices, so sending an email that isn’t built in responsive design is useless.
- Has someone signed off on the subject line? Don’t assume you have creative license to knock out a subject line on behalf of a client.
Send yourself the email you want to deliver to thousands of people. If it makes you happy, the chances are it will make your audience happy.
Direct marketing is like any other marketing channel – you have a message, a creative (might just be 160 characters) and a target audience. Make sure your creative is 100% correct and your delivery channel has been tested before you give the green light.
Drop us a line if you want to chat about any direct marketing campaigns you want us to assist you with.
Until next time.