Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Art of Layering your Campaign

Sorry for the hiatus the past few days. Things are been extremely busy with the drop in gas prices & the market starting to even out a little. Hopefully these are the first few signs of things starting to level and then improve. Today I just wanted to touch on a new trend in the direct mail world. I'm calling it "Layering." Direct mail is no longer just a sheet of paper with some hooks and the possibility of winning a prize--at least the mail that is working. The industry is growing rapidly trying to keep up with an ever changing consumer. Automotive direct mail has now been a marketing option for so long that many of the same old ideas are getting very worn out. The answer to this lack of results, for us at least, as been layering. So, just how do you layer?
  • First, you need to start with a proven mail concept. A product, piece or theme that is doing well in the market right now. This is really something you should discuss with your direct mail consultant to see what's been doing well in recent weeks.
  • Next, you need to add a way of tracking not only traffic, but also your ROI. Let's be real honest and serious about this, as we all know how up logs & registration cards can sometimes be misleading (at best). We use our MarketVision kiosks to accomplish this at Tri-Auto. They collect the data on every person that comes in with the mailer, you can then take the final MarketVision report and compare it to the cars sold during that time to get a real ROI result.
  • Thirdly, there needs to be a more sophisticated eye catcher. By sophisticated I do not mean a picture of the owner wearing a monocle and smoking jacket...I only mean something more than a loud, screaming title & the promise of the best deals ever. There are several options for this. Keys are doing well right now in this way, as are pieces with the person's name written all over them, you can even look into a different way of showing the "winning number" if you use one. Right now personal websites are also making a big difference in response. Really anything that stands out to make your mailer the one consumer takes a second look at.
  • Finally, attention needs to be paid to the details. Many dealers consider the actual prize on a piece an after thought. This is an integral part of your mailer, and with as much money as you'll be investing in a campaign like this don't skimp out at the end. Think about what will really drive interest & traffic into your store. Consider the price (I'm talking a max of $5 a gift), but also consider that everyone has seen the vacation, umbrella & BBQ set for the past five years. Premiums are always changing, be sure you are aware of what is new to the market so you can use it first!

This is the basic premise of layering. If this was a book I'd also include adding a technological component to the piece, considering lists, dates & timing, and a multitude of other things.

Layering does mean a higher price, but it doesn't mean you have to increase your budget! These new ideas in marketing are increasing the response rates at percentages that mean you may only need 1/2 or 1/3 of the mail you used to. With times like they are, it's important every penny counts, and that's why layering is now the way to go.

1 comment:

JunkMailBomber said...
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