How to avoid 5 costly mistakes that
can destroy your marketing campaign

  1. Targeting the wrong audience - Learning to identify your best prospects
    The first step towards increasing the results of your next marketing effort is to identify which type of company is most likely to be the best prospect for your product or service and what job title at that company is likely to be the decision maker. One of the best and most efficient ways to do this is to have an experienced list broker such as The Information Refinery help you to analyze your current customer data. A professional broker can run an analysis of your existing customer file in order to help determine the exact business classifications of the businesses that have already become your best customers. This will enable you to focus future marketing campaigns on the business types who are most likely to respond to your offers. A qualified broker can also help you look at titles and job functions of your current customer contacts to determine which titles would be best to use when addressing mail pieces to future prospects. Once you know the type of company that is your best prospect and the position of the likely decision maker, a seasoned and knowledgeable list broker like The Information Refinery can find you the most well targeted, effective, and up to date lists that are most likely to yield the best results at no cost to you other than the price of the list.
  2. Using a bad list - Making sure your list is well targeted and up to date
    With over 60,000 available direct marketing lists, choosing the right list is vital to a successful campaign. Remember that the amount you pay for the list is one of the least expensive aspects of any marketing campaign but one of the most important factors in its success. An accomplished list broker like The Information Refinery can work with you to find the very best lists for your campaign at no extra cost to you whatsoever. Your only cost is the cost of the list. We'll utilize our 30 years of experience in the list business to make sure you get the highest quality and most well targeted lists available in order to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
    1. A well targeted list - Compiled or Response? Many of the 60,000 lists on the market today are merely compiled from sources such as directories and public records. The fact that a list is actually just compiled data is often hidden by list owners through creative titles and colorful descriptions. There are a few well respected compiled sources, but many compiled lists can be out of date or too general to allow you to reach the right contact. A great alternative is to utilize Response Lists of contacts who are proven responders to previous mail order offers, current subscribers to business or trade magazines serving their industry, or active members of recognized trade associations. These types of Response Lists are of superior quality to compiled files. They are usually more current, more accurate, more deliverable and more selectable - which in turn almost always provides significantly higher response rates. A good, experienced list broker such as The Information Refinery will be able to locate the lists that will work best for your offer, and will do so at absolutely no extra cost to you.
    2. Deliverability - Another extremely important factor in the success or failure of direct marketing campaigns involves making certain that your offer is successfully delivered to as many active prospects as possible. Using an inexpensive, somewhat out of date list may seem like a good way to save money, but it can prove to be very costly indeed. For example, a 10,000 name list with a 20% undeliverable rate can end up costing well over $2,500 for wasted postage and undelivered mail piece costs, not to mention the additional cost of the lost opportunity for new business. A good list from a trusted source should be closer to 95% deliverable. You may pay a little bit more for a good quality list, but by getting a much higher percentage of mail pieces into the right hands, your marketing campaign will generate significantly more sales and more profits.
  3. Avoiding problems with your Offer or Timing
    Direct marketing can be one of the most effective advertising mediums when used correctly. The offer, timing and frequency of your mailings or email transmissions are each areas that are extremely important to successful campaigns, but often receive less attention than they should.
    1. The Offer - making it enticing and effective
      1. All good offers have three critical things in common
        1. A clear call to action. The offer should provide a reason to act and a clear and simple way for the prospects to contact your company in order to maximize response.
        2. The offer should be relevant to the prospect's needs and desires.
        3. The offer should create a sense of urgency.
      2. The offer must be about the prospect and how it can benefit them. If the offer is centered upon your business and the benefit is not evident to the prospect, then response rates are likely to drop dramatically.
    2. Choosing the best time for your mailing
      The timing of the mail piece has to be right for your prospect in order to elicit a response. Sending offers to northeastern landscapers in the winter, or to snow removal companies in the summer, is likely to result in very poor response rates. It is vital to determine the best time of year, time of month, etc, when the largest number of prospects for your offer are likely to be interested in buying your product or service.
  1. Frequency - Mailing too often or not enough?
    Many mailers make the mistake of either sending too much direct marketing or not enough. It is important to find a happy medium in order to optimize responses.
    1. Sending too many messages - direct mail or email - can lead many prospects to automatically disregard your messages, or even to become annoyed at receiving marketing pieces from a company that mails too often. This problem can be exacerbated when the timing of the messages is also off for some reason.
    2. Not sending enough messages can also hurt response rates. Many direct marketing experts recommend 3-4 messages to be sent for a specific campaign as only a fraction of prospects will respond to the first message.
    3. An undervalued way to improve future marketing campaigns is to test and measure the response to different direct marketing efforts. One of the great benefits of direct marketing is that it provides an opportunity to measure the results of each campaign. No other advertising medium offers this advantage. Testing different mail pieces, offers, and timing allows successful direct marketers to optimize future strategy for the largest return on their investment.
  2. Using a qualified list broker - It costs nothing and can make a world of difference
    List brokers specialize in providing the best and most productive lists to mailers and know the list marketplace like no other. Here are just a few advantages of using a qualified, experienced list broker like The Information Refinery:
    1. List brokers have gained the experience to know which lists work best for which types of offers, and also have developed longstanding relationships with list owners, list managers and other marketing professionals. This enables them to guide mailers to the lists that are most deliverable and most responsive for their specific needs.
    2. List brokers offer a value added service. Qualified list brokers (usually members of the Direct Marketing Association) can find the best lists for each particular offer and provide these lists to mailers at the same cost as mailers would pay if they went to the list owners directly. In addition to providing free expert advice on the best lists to use, a good list broker can often even provide mailers with discounts off regular retail list costs.
    3. List brokers make it easy to purchase multiple lists - a one stop source for all your list needs. They can also help mailers suppress house files and/or remove duplicate records from multiple lists.
    4. List brokers can also provide advice on mail pieces and email creatives - they have seen the most successful campaigns as well as some failures. Lean on their experience - often a tiny tweak in your mail piece can make a big difference in the profitability on your campaign.

Call us now at (800) 529-9020 to start working on your next successful direct marketing campaign!