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A Direct Mail Marketing Campaign Timeline Dissected

A Direct Mail Marketing Campaign Timeline Dissected

Choosing the timeframe for your direct mail marketing campaign is half the battle. The timeframe should be discussed in the beginning stages of a promotion, and considerations should include the scope of the campaign, number of mailings, budget, and what kind of print production will be involved. 


The amount of time each stage of the process takes will differ by company and change over time. On average, the beginning stage may take a couple of days, and the preparation and printing process may take a week or two. After the date of inception, market research involves choosing the target market and budgeting. The mailing list should be vetted and, if previously used, exclude any names that don’t wish to be contacted. If you use a company for lists, give the company a heads up in the beginning of your campaign setup so they will have time to gather the appropriate list before your mailing date. 


Sealing the Envelope 

Getting the mailing ready is the next step. Designs, vendors, and format come into play. Choose the vendor for print mailing and discuss designs and format ahead of time. Give them an estimate for when you will have the copy and graphics available. Printing quotes may take about a day. In the meantime, the copy specifications should be distributed to writers and go through the editing and proofreading process, ensuring that calls to action and promotional information is included and clear. The process to deal with responses to the campaign should also be outlined in this stage, and the person who will supervise concerns should be chosen. 


After the copy and design are approved, it may be sent to the printer for a proof. Some vendors may require lead time to ready the files for print format. Test the copy before sending. Send the mailing to a cross section of your mailing list with different headlines to see which has a better response rate. This may take a considerable amount of your campaign timeline. Once you have the better response rate, finalize your designs. 
After the design is approved and ready for printing, take care of any mailing concerns and data processing requests for the mailing. You will probably use a lettershop to ready the mail for delivery. At this point, address label and font, class of mail, and packaging directions should be addressed. Always verify that your mailing has been received at the post office, and request information about the number of pieces and the day of the mailing. Enter this information into your campaign outline.


Analyzing the Results

 
After the mail is sent out, the real work begins. Track responses and make note of bounce backs. Have a timeline for which you expect to receive responses from the market and how quickly you will begin a second phase of a campaign with another mailing. 
Direct mail marketing campaigns are still successful because they bridge the gap between digital and print media. Reading printed media also fosters integrity. There are no hidden virus dangers in a newsletter that comes in the mail. It’s also cost effective; digital media is the new en vogue marketing method. Designing and producing direct mail is less expensive. 
While the timelines vary, keeping track of the time spent can determine your ROI and influence how you approach direct mail campaigns in the future.
Choosing the timeframe for your direct mail marketing campaign is half the battle. The timeframe should be discussed in the beginning stages of a promotion, and considerations should include the scope of the campaign, number of mailings, budget, and what kind of print production will be involved.