Setting Your Direct Mail Goals

Setting Your Direct Mail Goals

checklist_blue.pngBy Summer Gould

One of the main reasons direct mail campaigns fail is because there were no clear goals. Before you start to work on your direct mail campaign, sit down and set your goals. When talking with customers, many never set goals previously because they found it to be hard, didn‚Äôt know where to start or they weren‚Äôt sure what was expected of them by the company. We don‚Äôt want to see any more direct mail campaigns fail, so we have put together a list of how to set goals for your direct mail.

Get started with direct mail goal setting:

1. Meaningful

You need to decide what’s really important to you and your organization. What is the purpose of your direct mail? There’s no point in setting a goal that doesn’t mean anything in the long run to the company. You direct mail goals need to further the overall company goals in a meaningful way.

2. Specific

You need to be very specific. Don’t just say your goal is to earn X number of dollars — that is too general. Be determined to refine your goal until you can no longer get any more specific. It helps to sit down with your team and work on the specifics together.

3. Flexible

The reason we need flexibility is that things can change quickly and we need to be able to adapt to them. This is especially true with direct mail. You may find after the first mailing that you need to modify your original goals. That’s great. The better you define your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.

4. Challenging

Getting out of your comfort zone will allow you to achieve greater accomplishments. You don’t know what you can achieve if you are not reaching higher. You should think big.

5. Realistic

A 100 percent response to a particular offer is not realistic. There is a fine line between challenge and realistic. Find the sweet spot — something big that’s achievable.

6. Supported

Your goals need to be supported by your team and your company, otherwise you will not reach them. When everyone is on board, you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

You must write down your goals and post them so that your whole team can see what you are trying to do on a daily basis. Focusing on the key goals is the best way to reach them. They help you to not only be accountable, but also to be able to reference them when questions arise. The answers to questions need to be in line with your goals. Post the metrics at scheduled intervals so that everyone knows where you are on the road to your goals.

In order to achieve your goals, you need to be able to measure them. That means you need to have metrics to track how you are doing. If you can’t track it, it can’t be a goal. Many times we find that customers are not tracking at all or are tracking the wrong things. We suggest that you first set your goals and then find ways to track them. There are so many more options today for direct mail metrics than ever before. If you need help with how to measure a specific direct mail goal, talk with your mail service provider — they can help you.

Once you have your goals, you are ready to start your direct mail marketing plan to achieve them.

Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 23 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. She is also a committee member for Visionaries in Philanthropy which benefits San Diego Meals on Wheels.