Categories
Direct marketing

Bulletproof Your Direct Marketing Campaign Before It Kicks Off

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:

  1. The email renders in all the email clients correctly (like Outlook and Gmail).
  2. 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).
  3. Have you tested the landing page? It doesn’t help re-directing someone to a landing page and you have errors on that page
  4.  Are all the images pulling through from the server? Imagery in your mailers are critical, but they need to be served correctly
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Brendan

Categories
Direct marketing

For God’s Sake Man, Please Incentivize Your Campaign!

Let’s face it, nowadays we are only moved to action when there is something in it for us, right? Without a seriously BIG carrot, very few of us pay attention to anything anymore (let alone marketing or advertising). And that’s not so much our fault, our internal firewalls are just set to  hyper-filter mode in order to cut out all the “fluffy B&%$#@” and only allow our 3 pound grey-matter to focus on anything that is super interesting, completely out of the ordinary or focuses on the only question that really matters to us – What’s in it for me?

Am I right in saying this?

As an advertiser 15 years ago, all you needed to do was take the car you wanted to sell, identify your target audience, spend a few bucks on highlighting the features and benefits, in a TV advert and sit back while the orders rolled in.

Why isn’t that enough anymore?

Because I can get 10 cars with the same features and benefits at exactly the same price point today. So what else are you going to offer me to make the sale, Mr Advertising Guy?

This is the type of stuff you start seeing in TV commercials as a result (and it didn’t exist 5 years ago)

  • “Buy now and only pay in Jan 2017”
  • “Guaranteed buy-back”
  • “Free insurance for a year”

The car is no longer the focus of the advert, it’s the add-ons that are the hook. The so-called value adds…

And fair game to the marketers / advertisers who come up with this stuff. It’s a competitive space out there and you have to have a clever hook nowadays, otherwise your messages just doesn’t get heard.

Now the reason I bring this up is only because I recently had a potential client, who insisted that their service offering was indeed a good enough hook to attract tens of thousands of new people to their emailing list.

The brief was simple: Get people to subscribe to their mailing list.

What wasn’t that simple was trying to convince the prospective client that in order to get thousands of people to subscribe to their mailing list we needed to give them a reason to subscribe. That as much as they believed their service offering was so WOW, people ultimately don’t care.

“What’s in it for them?”

That is indeed the question everyone needed to ask themselves.

I never did get the greenlight to run the campaign with an incentive, so I turned it down.

Turns out someone else sparked up a campaign, then it was paused, then it started again and finally it died a horrible death.

Why?

Because nobody moves nowadays without a big carrot.

Remember that next time you want to get your campaign off the ground (or your kids to do the dishes).

I can’t help you with your kids, but I can help you with your sms or email marketing campaigns. Drop me a line if you want to chat.

Until next time

Brendan

Categories
Direct marketing

5 Ways To Convince Your Client “Direct Marketing” Isn’t A Dirty Word

Are you considering adding direct marketing channels, like sms and email to your client pitch, but you’re concerned the phrase “direct marketing” has a seriously negative connotation? We don’t want you worrying about being frog-marched from the boardroom and fretting about losing a potential pitch because you told your client they should send a text message instead of running a 728 x 90 banner on Fin24.

Why direct marketing has such a bum rap, I don’t know. It’s kinda like box wine, everybody used to enjoy a glass in the kitchen, now you wouldn’t be caught dead with your “papsak” at a braai (both are ‘oh so unfashionable’…). My point is that direct marketing has been around for decades because it works (just like wine in a box still delivers the same result as wine in a bottle) but in the new-age of digital marketing, buzz words like “programmatic buying” and “paid search”, are a much sexier sell to prospective clients.

So why is it that marketing managers are loathe to pitch an email or sms campaign?

Is it because email and sms marketing simply don’t work anymore? Nah, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with that!

It’s actually the “absolute directness” of direct marketing that has most marketing managers anxious about throwing it in the campaign mix – and as a result they completely overlook it. Sending an sms or email message directly to someone’s inbox gets people, who sign off on marketing budgets, so nervous that they would rather throw money in ten different directions before investing a cent into sms or email channels.

And it’s such a contradiction, isn’t it? We all have to agree that the most direct forms of marketing communication are the most effective. If I asked you if you want a slice of cake? Your answer would either be Yes or No. You can’t dodge the question because it is being fired directly at you.

But if I only left my cake specials up on my restaurant chalk board, would you even know the offers existed? Probably not. You have more chance selling cake by asking your patrons directly (no-brainer)

Direct marketing works because of the “absolute directness” of the message, but it’s the “absolute directness” of the marketing that has everyone getting all hot and bothered.

So where does the anxiety stem from?

4 letters sum it all up – SPAM

And SPAM is bad for another 5 letter word – BRAND

No brand wants to be associated with SPAM – An irrelevant or inappropriate message sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients.

Nowadays, every mass marketing message is considered SPAM. Seems a little unfair to me.

If the very definition of SPAM is ” an irrelevant or inappropriate messaging to a large number of recipients” then what if the messaging is:

  • very relevant
  • completely appropriate
  • sent to a small niche target audience

Is the marketing message then considered SPAM?

If I sent an sms marketing message to a group of moms with school going kids about after-school daycare services, at really affordable rates, would the message be:

  • irrelevant
  • inappropriate
  • considered mass marketing

Let’s get real! You need to call a thing a a thing! We can all recognize SPAM when we see it, but it would be naive to think that every bit of mass electronic communication is SPAM.

Here are 5 ways to convince your client that direct marketing should form part of their overall marketing strategy:

  • It’s perfectly legal to send direct marketing messages like sms and email (this is key)
  • A targeted, well thought-out marketing message, delivered by sms or email, to an opt-in database is not SPAM (it’s SMART)
  • People who respond to direct marketing messages are genuinely interested in your product or service
  • It’s far more measurable than other marketing campaigns
  • It’s far more cost effective than other marketing initiatives

If you still having a problem convincing your client, drop me a line and I will meet you at your next client pitch.

Brendan