Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Direct Marketing Campaign Planning – Handling Your Responses

The latest instalment of our series on planning a direct marketing campaign is dedicated to the subject of response handling, and how this vitally important aspect of the campaign should be planned in order to yield the most significant benefit. Planning how to handle the responses returned from your direct marketing can be split into 2 major areas; the first, your methods of collecting different responses and secondly how the responses (and subsequent data) should be managed.

Collecting Your Responses

Previously the importance of a multichannel approach has been presented, however it is important to understand how to collect the different responses returned from such an approach.

Telephone – If one of your channels utilises inbound phone calls to collect responses it is vital to create a team of customer service professionals to handle these calls, a team that understand the objectives of the campaign and has been effectively trained to handle responses.

Email – Setting up a dedicated email address is another form of collecting responses. This can be a single email address or multiple addresses in accordance with the direct marketing segments.

Website – Depending upon the marketing strategy, the creation of a campaign specific website can be a worthwhile course of action. This website or simply a landing page should contain the enquiry forms and may even operate an Iframe to harvest the responses.

Social Media – Increasingly social media is being used within direct marketing campaigns due to its growing popularity as a marketing medium. Once again, campaign specific pages can be set up to handle responses whilst connections made through social media can be an effective way to build customer profiles.

Managing Your Responses

Once you have decided which response channels to use as part of your campaign, to ensure they are managed effectively it is important to undertake the following.
  • Firstly, you should make an assessment of your in-house capabilities, investigating your internal capacity to handle/manage responses.
  • Secondly, if this assessment reveals that your internal capacity is insufficient, you may want to consider outsourcing response handling activities.
  • Finally, whether the handling activities are being handled in-house or outsourced, it is vitally important to set out, precisely what defines an opportunity, as this will be used when determining the success of the project.
Response handling is a key component in any marketing campaign whilst understanding multiple response channels and whether an in-house or outsourced solution will be most effective are both important in the planning stage.

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