Marketing Challenge: Defending Direct

Share this content:

The new CEO wants to cut direct mail because of postal increases—even though DM is great for ROI. What would you do? Email your answers to by June 30 for the chance to win $100.

It was a not-so-perfect storm: new CEO, postal increase, major direct mail initiative in play. When building out Summit Industries' marketing plan for the year, CMO Miranda Bell decided to push the envelope with the company's direct mail, which was always a solid performer in terms of lead generation—consistently with response rates of about 25% and conversions from those leads typically in the low double digits. Bell's team created a series of pieces, each of which had digital integration elements such as QR codes, personal URLs, and even one with augmented reality. Each built on the previous to move prospects through the funnel and to build repeat business from current customers.

As much as it aimed to drive sales, the year-long program was designed around building or solidifying relationships, so prospects and customers would receive all of the mailers intended for their segment.

The pieces ranged from post cards to magalogs to boxes containing themed promotional items—much of which was printed in advance as a cost-saving measure. Only the magalogs (mini catalogs with magazine-style content) would be printed on-demand to ensure that the content, products, and pricing were current and relevant to each segment.

Bell wasn't too concerned about the then-looming USPS exigent increase when doing her planning late last year, because much of the initiative would be complete before the pricing would have an impact. But CEO Dasha Atwala, new to the company, became concerned when reviewing the company's financials that the recent exigent increase in postal rates would push marketing's costs well over-budget for the year. He asked Bell to kill or cut the program, but she knew it would pay off despite the postal rate increase. She just needed the right data and approach to sell Atwala on keeping the initiative as is.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

USAData helps businesses find new customers and grow their current customers through a combination of data and digital marketing services, and easy-to-use SaaS technology products. We enrich customer data so businesses can more effectively target and communicate with customers, and connect them with their best look-alike prospects through digital and traditional channels. We make it easy through simple, self-serve applications and APIs, as well as through full-service programs managed by our Data and Digital experts. 

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above