If I was going to make 1 and only 1 recommendation for anyone that is even thinking to using variable date printing as part of their marketing attack, that would be to have a pointed relevant message that talks directly to your target audience. You can use all kinds of various kinds of segmentation, form SIC numbers, to geographic to demographic, but if the message you project is meaningless to them, you just wasted time, money and effort. While many people go to the en’th degree with their segmentation, many of them find this to be an effort of diminishing returns. It possible to spend hugs amounts of money on print and doing more and more segmentation and adding more and more revisions and controls and not get the kind of results you projected.
Some will say you need to test, and testing is good if you have a big enough list and your budget is large enough. Some small businesses don’t have that kind of budget, don’t have that large or a market. The quality of data, the offering, the timing and the creative effort should be tested if you can, but enough on testing.
That brings us to expectations. Record the rate of response by phone, e-mail, walk-in, online ordering, etc so that you can have the best data possible. Only in this way can you benchmark yourself.
By going back to the basic elements, marketers should use a more scientific cycle of testing, launching, testing, and launching on a contentious cycle.
Larson Notes & Satire: I guess that is why I like wave mailing so much. It lets you work the cycle over and over and test on the run. You can keep going back to the basic elements seeing what is working while boldly going where no man (you) have ever gone before. By going through a constant cycle of wave mailings you can refine your content and your relevancy and see the recorded results.
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