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Direct Mail Marketing Beginner’s Guide, Part 6: Managing Prospect Responses

By: Andrew Glover
March 23, 2020
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Direct mail optimization involves continually testing list sources, mail piece designs, and offers. For you to determine what is working, you need to generate accurate reports and analyses of your programs. To accomplish this, you need reliable response attribution. You need to understand all the ways that your prospects and members can respond to your direct mail. For greater success with direct mail marketing, put place mechanisms that capture responses to your campaigns. 

The first step is using unique offer codes (UOC) in your direct mail. 

What Is a Unique Offer Code?

UOC’s are the foundation for response attribution. These codes are unique to the person and unique to the designated campaign. You want these codes to have the ability to be captured in any response channel. UOC’s are only used once and link to all the relevant data connected with your mailer, including the variable data connected with the unique person. With all these components, direct mail is primed for robust reporting and analysis when the responses appear. 

There are many ways for prospects to respond to your direct mail offer. You want to be prepared to capture the UOC whenever possible. The incentive for a prospect to enter their code is that it’s usually tied to the offer. Let’s review web and phone responses and how you can manage and optimize your direct mail campaign. 

Capturing Web Response

The best practice for a web response is providing a dedicated URL to your direct mail responders. For instance, a simple URL may look like www.yourcompany.com/mail. The dedicated landing page should ask the prospect for their UOC. Relevant marketing messages and calls to action appear after. It’s appropriate providing the prospect with an option to call for more information on the page (more details on phone response below). 

Once you capture a UOC, you can personalize the responder’s experience, like including pre-filled form fields and downloading cookies to understand each prospect’s digital interactions with your organization. You can also opt for a personalized URL (pURL), which is unique to the receiver and the campaign, and you won’t use it again. Usually, the receiver’s name is in the URL—for example, www.yourcompany.com/mail/janedoe123

When a person enters the pURL in a browser, it delivers them to the landing page while it gives the UOC to the site in the background. On the landing page, you can ask the prospect the question, “How did you hear about us?” You can include direct mail as an option to select and try to capture the UOC at the same time. 

Providing a Phone Response 

Your organization may want to offer a phone response option as many prospective members still prefer responding by phone. Prospects may have questions and want to talk directly to a real person.

There are several ways for you to collect UOC’s in a call. The first option is including a dedicated direct-mail-only phone number in the mailer. Call center technology recognizes the caller is responding to a direct mail offer and generates scripting that features the collection of the UOC. You can provide a better experience for your prospects and members when you train the call center agents to collect the codes and monitor the calls on an ongoing basis.

You can use a dedicated phone number for each campaign or even multiple numbers per campaign allocated based on essential segments such as creative, list, or offer tests. This structure provides another data point for analysis, including the number of front-end inbound call responses, which may be helpful if there are gaps in other parts of your data.

If the technology fails in capturing the UOC, agents can ask, “How did you hear about us?” and capture the data along with the UOC on the prospect record. There’s a possibility the agents may skip this step, so you should provide ongoing training and monitoring.

Launching A Call Center With Valtim

Valtim can help your organization add a call center to your direct mail strategy. Call centers are very complex, and Valtim can help you with the planning, equipment, and strategizing. We frequently monitor call center agents and offer ongoing training. With our monitoring and training, your direct mail responses will grow in numbers and accuracy. Our agents will provide your prospects and members with high-quality customer service every time.

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