Will your mail Fail in 2010? Warning signs that it could

When you hear any of these phrases while planning direct mail, there should be a voice in your head yelling “Danger”:

  • “We don’t need an incentive or specific call to action because the product sells itself.”
  • “It doesn’t matter when we mail because the offer is compelling.”
  • List segmentation is for the birds.”
  • “The people who didn’t respond to our solicitation the (3rd, 6th, 22nd) time didn’t read the mail. Let’s hit them a (4th, 7th, 23rd) time with a different envelope and they’ll respond.”
  • “Our customer base will buy anything we sell.”
  • "The brand is more important than the sales proposition."
  • “If everyone opted in to e-mail, why should we segment the list?”
  • “No reason why we can’t send even more offers to our opt-in list. After all, they did opt for it.”
  • “All customers are the same.”
  • "We can easily improve response rates by doubling our customer incentives."
  • "Self mailers are never effective."
  • Loyalty and retention are the same thing.”
  • "Ignore customers who complain – they are cranks and just want a freebie.”
  • "We don't need a proofreader."
  • "The more flash, the greater the response."
  • “Carpet bombing is economical because the cost per piece is low.”
  • “No one reads paper mail any more.”
  • “All e-mail is spam and no one will read it.”
  • “We used a moving applicance in our television ad. So we must include the same moving applicance on our outer envelopes.”
  • “Our direct mail should have nothing to do with our television advertising.”
  • “Let’s treat everyone like our most valuable customer because eventually they will be.” 
  • “A respond-by date is too pushy.”
  • "Our web site is unique, so there is no benefit in aligning our online benefits messaging with our mail."
  • “If the husband and wife are both on our customer list, let’s just mail to the male.”
  • “We deduped the list 6 months ago. That’s recent enough.”
  • “The Control package worked well last year, so there’s no point in testing this year.”
 Think things though ... and have a happy and successful new year.

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