Feel as if you're running three steps behind with your direct mail? You come up with an idea, rush the concept, rush the execution and get it out just in the nick of time-if you're lucky. Stop doing that to yourself and your customers and instead develop a cohesive direct mail calendar which keeps you on track all year long. Yes, it requires some pre-planning, but when done well, it can pay serious dividends to your bottom line and your sanity. The first step is to look at the ebb and flow.
Your business year. What are your natural Executive List busy times? If you have a natural increase in sales activity during the holidays, back-to-school or during the summer travel season, plan to send mailings for at least a month before and all during those profitable periods. To do that effectively, you need to work backward. Let's say the back-to-school is your busy time-the five-week period between the mid-July and early September. That means you'll want to start sending information for promotions.
Coupons and other direct mail pieces starting, conservatively, around the second week of June. But of course you'll need to allow time for strategy, design and printing. Oh, and don't forget testing! Allow a week for strategy and design, two weeks for printing, sending and analyzing small test batches, and then two more weeks to print your perfected version. All of that pushes you back to starting your campaign work in early April. Keep in mind; all of these times are approximate.