Customer relationship management (CRM) programs have been around for some time, and while CRM is a cornerstone of inbound and digital marketing, it’s not necessarily something you’d expect to be useful in the direct mail environment. Surprisingly, however, there are ways in which your CRM can help to make even your physical direct mailcampaigns more effective, if you can put it to work for you.
How CRM Works
We use the term CRM to describe the tools, software and programs we use to effectively manage interactions between companies and their customers. Mostly, it applies to the management of information about the customer, such as his value to the company, his purchase history and credit rating. It comes into play in a marketing strategy, however, when companies use it to predict what the client might be in the market to buy next, for the purpose of identifying the products and services to promote to him.
Applying CRM to Direct Mail
When you apply the principles of this to the direct mailenvironment, you realize there is actually value in doing so. It doesn’t matter if your CRM information was mostly gleaned through digital interactions while your marketing campaign is non-digital; what matters is applying the intelligence from the CRM in an integrated fashion to guide your campaign direction.
- You want to promote a new line of children’s winter clothing products using a direct mailcampaign with a coupon that must be redeemed in-store.
- Your company has a database of clients country-wide who have previously downloaded content from your website, after responding to a short survey.
- By mapping the CRM data to identify those who a) responded that they have children under 18 years in the household, and b) that they live in one of the colder states, you can select a niche market segment to target with the mailing campaign that is more likely to want your winter clothing than those who live in Florida.
This enables you to maximize cost efficiencies by sending a targeted direct mailcampaign to a specific group of people who—chances are good—have an interest in winter clothing for children.
Keeping it Current
The big thing with CRM, as with any data, is that it must be kept current if it’s to serve a purpose and save on financial waste. This means you need to get feedback on how many of the recipients make use of the offer, how many find it irrelevant and how many don’t actually receive it.
Here are some of the ways you can do this.
- Identify each piece of direct mailwith a unique number, code or QR.
- Include in the campaign an entry into a contest with a valuable prize that encourages recipients to respond, even if they aren’t interested in buying the product or service.
- Add a question to the entry such as whether they make a purchase or not, and why.
- Make it easy for them to enter the contest online, using the unique code so you can update their record.
Saving Cost in the Long Term
Yes, we know all this adds to the cost of printing and inserting your direct mailcampaign, but the upside is that you get much, much better intelligence as a result. Your CRM program delivers on its promises and your future campaigns will be that much more targeted as a result.