New Year’s Resolution for direct marketers


2015 is full of promise (and possible heartbreak) with the pinnacle events for our country’s most popular sports – cricket, netball and rugby – playing out here and around the world.

The New Year’s also full of promise (and free of heartbreak) for direct marketers, but only if we make the following resolution:

We resolve to stop misusing channels.

Misusing channels results in low engagement levels, which in turn result in poor overall campaign performance. So let’s take a look at the most common abuses.

It’s cost-effective and easy to deploy often, but this is exactly what can make email easy to misuse. Too often brands send out a blanket-advertising message to every email contact they have. It’s time to stop this. Customers expect us to know whether they’re vegetarian and will not be interested in barbeque specials.

What’s more, if an email does not display correctly, 71% will delete it immediately.* Therefore effort needs to be made to ensure everything is working well or else the send is a complete waste of time.

Used correctly, however, email can help us understand more about who’s in our database and what interests them. Overlay these learnings with what we know of purchase behaviour and we’re on track for powerful results.

Plus people actually like an email that’s just for them. A massive 81% of US digital shoppers surveyed said they were likely to make additional purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of targeted emails.

We all know mobile is big and needs to be part of our channel mix, but too often we think that the same content we deploy in a weekly eDM newsletter for desktop reading should be what customers view on their mobiles.

We need to get the basics right and realise that people view content differently on their mobile. When looking at what people prefer most in terms of mobile email messages ‘Special offers’ came out on top at 27%, with newsletters much lower at just 12%.

What’s more, if an email’s being viewed on mobile we need to make sure that the content we promote will take customers to a click-through that’s also optimised for mobile – let’s not half do the job and create customer frustration.

This platform is perfect for joining or facilitating customer conversations and staying top of mind. Misuse comes from those who view it as a ‘cheap’ channel. To deliver success, social campaigns still require considerable investment and resource.

Campaign ideas must also be simple and straightforward – just how people like to use their preferred platforms. The Ice Bucket Challenge was so globally popular (400 million views according to Facebook) largely thanks to it not being complicated – friends, colleagues or whoever was being challenged, simply had to take part.

Direct mail
Not the newest channel, but still highly relevant. Misuse comes from brands not making the investment to ensure ‘don’t miss me’ appeal in the letterbox.
The yield from direct mail efforts are often far greater when compared with solus email campaigns. The response rate for direct mail is usually around 3% higher. Many New Zealanders have not graduated to email or mobile as their primary form of communication. Recognition that the most appropriate channel is not necessarily the most “modern” is key to ending the misuse.

Start tailoring your channels to your goals
To stop channel misuse, we need to start new projects not by specifying the type of communication we need to develop, but rather by deciding what we want to achieve. Then we can map out which channels are going to help us reach our goals, rather than the channels themselves dictating the end result.

Happy New Year. (And go the ABs!)

Author: Monique Strawbridge, Account Director

With thanks to for the image