Last week, I had a client do something that I felt compelled to typed back “well done!”. It is something that is very simple and goes to one of my foundation themes of achieving mailing success.
For years, we had basically printed and mailed the same number of pieces for an appeal, twice a year for a client. So, when we were fortunate enough to be asked to provide pricing for this year’s appeal, we used the same quantities and specifications as we had in the past.
After sending the pricing to whom I believe was a new contact at the client, I got an e-mail asking me a very simple question: “Why did we choose 4,300 pieces to print and 2,025 to mail?” I explained that this is what we had processed the previous year and since we were not given any additional instructions, we priced based on what was done the previous year.
Now, 99.99% of the time, an inquiry like this – dies, and we end up processing what we had quoted, but not this time. The client requested us to send him the mailing list, and after reviewing the file, the client managed to reduce the quantity by about 6% and ended up saving about 7.5% in costs.
I am sure for many of you, this does not sound like very much, but let me put this in some context. The total dollar savings was enough to pay for the mailing labor for their second mailing. For a non-profit that is on a tight budget, asking their community to support them, I could not applaud them more for taking 15 minutes to review what was done the previous year and figured out how to cut costs. “Well done!”
One of the big themes I preach to my clients (for-profit, as well as non-profits) when I am asked about how they can make their mailing campaigns more successful is that they should review what was done in the past – keep what was done well and make changes to things that
were not. There are no magic formulas for creating successful mailing campaigns, however, I can tell you that “experience” really can help develop more effective campaigns in terms of cost and results.
Of course, this can’t happen if you aren’t planning, creating goals for the mailing, and measuring those goals for every mailing, even those you have done year after year. Your mailing professionals can make suggestions and help guide the process, but in the end, this is
something that you must decide for yourself; no one knows your business or organization better than you.
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