By Mike Wesner I recently received a mail piece from a church welcoming me to the neighborhood-- nine months after I relocated. Sorry, I chose a church eight months ago. June 22, 2005 -- Yesterday I talked about five of the nine key traits that comprise an effective 1:1 direct response campaign. As I noted, if you can check all these off on campaigns you do for your customers--or your own business--success is certain to come your way. But don't leave any out: all are essential to a success. 6. Relevance This was the biggest lesson for me in the Clemson University research. People haven't changed in the last year with respect to always asking the mental question when looking at a mail piece, "who cares?" And they still listen to the radio station--WII-FM. "What's in it for ME? We can be smart here by analyzing events and predicting future offer relevance. If I've just purchased lumber to build a patio deck onto my house then I may be a good candidate for a barbeque grill or patio furniture. 7. Market Timing I've screwed this one up several times. This usually happens when a team over-strategizes and ends up succumbing to groupthink or analysis paralysis. I once worked a project for a regional bank that wanted have something in the mail for a July 4th event but analyzed their strategy until they pushed the mail date to June 30th. Likewise, sending out a mail piece during the end of December almost always fall on deaf ears. It's smart to mail certain pieces at certain times of the year. I recently received a mail piece from a church welcoming me to the neighborhood-- nine months after I relocated. Sorry, I chose a church eight months ago. 8. Convergence A successful direct response campaign should integrate several marketing channels well. 1 + 1 = 4. Before Do Not Call Legislation, it was an unwritten rule in the banking industry that you could double your response rates with a well-planned telemarketing follow up program. That is harder to execute today and a reason for the renewed emphasis on direct mail. My colleague Brad Lena, Direct of New Business Development at Daniels Marketing Support Services, has an interesting modern day observation on market integration or convergence which is the common term used today to discuss the characteristic or using different channels to emphasize a product value proposition. Lena offers: An unanticipated by-product of the integration of the data-driven personalized print and the Internet can be discovered by driving traffic to a web site with variable data printing and granting access via a PIN #. This allows for the capture of critically important market feedback in real time and the track back is to an individual or at the least an identified market segment. The combination of these two mediums provides marketers with the following answers: Did my direct mail work: yes or no? If it worked, and they went to the web site, did they stay or did they bail out? If the stayed, what did they look at and what did they ignore? Did the desired transaction take place? By combining a direct mail and an on-line experience we are able to increase response rates and get the direct mail pieces to do a lot more. We are also able to gather intelligence and profile our respondents. Our clients appreciate the additional intelligence that we are able to provide. Providing this sort of analysis, simultaneously with the marketing campaign, extracts significant productivity from marketing expenditures. We get clients' attention in a heart beat when we begin to lay out a campaign with these capabilities. 9. Measurement Those that are helping their clients understand what is necessary for 1-to-1 success are real business generation agents and will continued to be valued in the Teams that are measuring are usually more successful than those that have not a clue of what their response rates are. Number nine is closely connected to number one. Direct response marketing is a continuous loop and strategies always will need to be adjusted based on outcomes revealed through metrics. Standby, as I'm sure the list will grow in 2005. Driving value to the bottom line is the touchstone of modern communication. Those that are helping their clients understand what is necessary for 1-to-1 success are real business generation agents and will continued to be valued in the future. An organization's ability to understand the importance of strategy in executing a well thought our system of collecting, analyzing, and executing direct response methods will certainly shape our economy in the future. If you missed it, see Part 1 now!