How Do I Manage My Direct Marketing Plan?

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As marketing continues to become more complex, organizations are responding by utilizing specialized agencies with best-in-class capabilities. These agencies use best practice methods to execute great campaigns as measured by results. For direct marketing, these best practices include several foundational tools and concepts.

Start with a Circulation Plan

One strategic tool that direct marketing professionals use is a Circulation Plan. This is a working document that includes vital information about the organization’s direct mail and email campaigns. This document includes dates, quantities, costs, and direct marketing metrics. Actual data is used for past campaigns, and estimates are used for future campaigns.

What data is entered by the report owner?

  • The key date for each campaign is the targeted in-home date. Other planning dates are determined by working back from the in-home date. The plan also includes the number of outbound messages sent, and the costs for the campaigns.

What other information does the Circulation Plan contain?

The plan utilize the data entered by the report owner and response information to create direct marketing metrics. The metrics are customized to the direct marketing objective. If your objective is direct sales, than some of the key metrics are measures of revenue produced by each campaign. If instead your objective is lead generation, than your metrics will include the number of leads and conversions.

What are the supporting documents?

The Circulation Plan is a top level view of an organizations direct marketing campaigns. It is supported by several detail documents.

The Campaign Schedule

  • One of these documents is the Campaign Schedule. It contains the dates for tasks that must be completed to insure the in-home date. These tasks include creative, data, production, and delivery. It should be noted that direct mail contains a manufacturing component. There is a window of time required for these production processes. This means good planning is an advantage.

The Campaign Report

  • Another detail document is the Campaign Report. This document contains the direct marketing metrics at the segment level and control/test cell level. This information is the ‘secret sauce’ that enables a skilled direct marketer to improve the results of the direct marketing program they manage.

The Circulation Plan in the Enterprise

The Circulation Plan is an executive summary of an organization’s dm program. It communicates to the reader the objectives, costs, and performance of the program. It is a great tool for communicating with other c-level executives and marketers.

I help marketing leaders and their teams innovate by utilizing business acumen, technology, and data. I am energized by the process of learning about organizational challenges, specifying the root causes and effects, and then envisioning a desired future state. I then prioritize tasks for both myself and team members to make that vision into reality. My passion is solving problems, reducing complexity, and creating elegant systems that deliver significant insight and value.

About us and this blog

Welcome to the dDirect Blog where we will write about direct marketing for CMO's, Marketing Directors, Marketing Managers interested in marketing data solutions, data management, database marketing, marketing metrics, analytics, marketing technology as it applies to direct, digital printing for direct mail, postal issues and more. Please feel free to share and query us about our articles.

Tom Coggin, President

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