If you had a chance to sit in on our incredible “12 Ways to Increase Response Rates” webinar a few weeks ago, you already know that the three most important things in any direct mail campaign is:
- The offer
- The design
- The frequency
While all campaigns are important, some are large enough, or complicated enough, or just enough outside your area of expertise to require special advice. That’s where specialists known as Direct Mail Consultants (DMC) come in.
Once you determine you need a DMC, it will be important to find the one that’s right for you and the project at hand. Alan Rosenspan, direct mail superstar and the speaker of the above-mentioned webinar, gives the following simple advice:
1. Ask to see their direct mail samples
You want to see real-life work – and learn the thinking behind each piece. But before you look over the creative, you need to ask about the background of the package. What was the marketing problem? Why did they select direct mail?
Important: make sure the samples are theirs – and not something they have only peripherally worked on.
2. Ask about results
Many consultants will give you broad generalities, like “It was amazingly successful.” But you want to know the results in as much detail as possible.
If they can’t reveal the exact numbers (and they may not be able to) probe for: “Which group responded the best?” or “How many leads converted to sales?” If they can’t give you intelligent, believable answers, you may want to keep looking.
3. Ask for references
If you wanted to hire someone to do $2500 worth of home improvements, you’d probably ask for references. Shouldn’t you do the same for a $25,000 direct mail program?
Ask for at least three – and then make sure you call or email them. I usually recommend emailing them because then the recommendation is in writing.
And finally, Alan suggests that you ask yourself: Is this the right person for me to work with? The person may have impeccable credentials, but it just doesn’t feel right. Trust your instincts and find someone with whom you’ll enjoy working.
You don’t have to go it alone. Specialists have the potential to save you and your client a lot of frustration, time and money.