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.


Email marketing

4 Questions You Need To Ask Before Firing Off Your Email Campaign

I’ve always believed you can only call yourself an “expert” if you make your living from the very thing you claim to be an expert in. If you brew beer and make a living from it, I would consider you a beer brewing expert. But, if you make a living as an investment banker, and dabble in craft beer brewing, on the weekend, you are a hobbyist at best. Every one of the guys who contributes to this blog makes a great living from direct marketing, so we believe that qualifies us to call ourselves experts in the field of direct marketing, and as a result we are confident in handing out some advice via our blog.

In this week’s blog post we look at 4 simple questions you need to ask yourself before you fire off any email marketing campaign.

Let’s start with this – Are you doing any email marketing?

If email doesn’t form part of your digital marketing strategy, you are seriously missing a trick!

The truth is, if executed correctly, a well-thought-out email marketing campaign has one of the highest potential returns on marketing spend. And let’s face it, there isn’t a business out there which doesn’t want to get more mileage out of their overstretched marketing budget, right?

“With a return on investment (ROI) of 38 to 1 on every Dollar invested, email has the highest ROI among digital channels”
2016 State Of Email Report – Litmus

But let’s park the fact that email marketing offers crazy ROIs (as tough as that might be to do).

The real strength of email, as a digital marketing channel, lies in relationship building and customer retention, and it might well come as a surprise to you, but people actually want to receive well-thought-out and interesting email.

If it provides a great ROI, builds relationships and retains customers, why isn’t every business doing email marketing? It seems like a no-brainer, right?

Well, putting together a successful email marketing campaign can be tougher than it seems, if you go into it not being able to answer a couple of basic questions.

Sure, you can labour over the email creative, what subject line you are going to use and how often you are going to send. But, without knowing what the objective of the campaign is (and how you are going to measure it), you’re dead in the water before you have even started.

Because we are a bunch of dudes (we always like to keep things nice and simple), so we’ve narrowed our critical questions down to just 4:

  • What is the objective of the campaign?
  • What is the value exchange?
  • What is the desired outcome?
  • What are the success metrics?

Let’s look at a quick example to better illustrate the point:

BIC Insurance Brokers specialize in car insurance policies and have more than 10 000 existing clients on their books. They are looking to start an email marketing campaign to cross-sell a new life insurance offering into their existing policyholder base.

Cool, seems easy enough, so let’s ask ourselves a few questions and see if we can come up with good enough answers to push this from an idea into a campaign.

Q: What is the objective of the email campaign?

A: To cross-sell life insurance to an existing customer base

Q: What is the value exchange?

A: Existing policyholders get a reduced rate if they take up the time sensitive life cover offer

Q: What is the desired outcome?

A: To cross-sell 10% of the existing policyholder base and book 1000 new life insurance policies before October  2016.

Q: What are the success metrics?

A: 1000 new life insurance policies on books at an average premium of R200pm (R200 000 in
new premium income) before October 2016.

It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than this.

Before you get carried away with the “fluff” take some time to make sure you know exactly what you want out of your email marketing campaign.

Need any assistance with your email marketing strategy or campaigns? Drop us a line.