Thursday, October 06, 2005

 

It is in the mail...too many times?

"How many mailings do you send out each year?"--This question always comes up whenever university advancement people meet. Last night, for the fourth time in a few weeks, I received a LANDS END catalog and considered ordering something. With the first distraction, I decided to wait until the NEXT catalog comes. Is that what our direct mail recipients think? Does putting off the action part lead to putting off a contribution again and again? Is it possible to send out too many mailings?

Comments:
Consider the thinking of a direct marketer:

Send only as many mailings as payout. Identify which mailing produces each revenue event. Track direct costs of each mailing. Stop sending just before the costs of a mailing exceed the revenue. Segment the mailing list - some households get few mailings and some get many. Segmentation is dynamic; a positive response from a household moves it to a more frequent contact list and vice versa.

How much of this applies to the University? If nothing else, the need to identify revenue and costs and the need for a model to track each campaign and test new ones. View each mailing as a test. Repeat successes and re-formulate failures into new tests. Emulate the direct marketers process and not the specifics.

Alternatively, send 3 mailings a year... :)
# posted by Blogger van256 : Monday, December 26, 2005
 
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