The 5 Ws (and an H) of Targeted Direct Mail

Over the next few months I want to share with you some “Do’s and Don’ts” for Targeted Direct Mail (commonly referred to as TDM). Lets call it the 5 Ws (and an H): Who, What, Where, When, Why and How for TDM.

Each month we will look at one particular aspect of TDM and its role in the planning of your Yearly Marketing Game Plan. We will discuss annual, quarterly and monthly planning, the implementation, the analysis of and adjustments to your marketing game plans for an effective TDM Program.

With the end of 2009 rapidly approaching and preparations for 2010 already underway, there are many basic items you want to look at to drive desired business, expected current customer sales and increase market share. Let’s take a look at how TDM can be a part of that effective marketing plan to increase sales and market share.

The basic questions for a successful Targeted Direct Mail-Marketing Plan:

· Who is your targeted customer?

· What is your message you want your targeted customer to receive?

· Where do you feel your targeted customer should receive that message?

· When should your targeted customer receive that message?

· How should your targeted customer receive that message?

Over the next 30 days sit down with your key sales and marketing team players and start discussing the basic questions:

Who is the customer you want to target? Determine who your best customer is: Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annually, Annually and in general.

What are some of the best messages you could use to grab the attention of that targeted customer in the specified marketing periods?

Where is it most likely that you would capture the attention of customers?

When will the criteria be correct?

How should you deliver the message to the particular customer?

Have your team make a lot of lists and think of all possibilities… These lists should include everything to everyone. The objective of this list process is to create the “Big Picture”.

“Big Picture”

Who is the “Big Picture” of for your possible target? What products do you want to be known for? Where do we find that customer? When will they fit your criteria? How do you get them as your customer again, and how can you steal that customer from your competitors?

There are a lot of questions that will need to be listed, discussed, thought about, drawn out, analyzed and planned for. The possibilities are large at first and the possible solutions will likely create even larger lists for all of their implementations.

At first, you want to be open to all possible doors and thoughts for consideration. However, as you go thru the process of elimination, analyzing, discussing and planning, you will eventually drill down to a more finite solution.

When you sit down with your team to start discussing the possibilities, you will all be curious as to the variety of possibilities. Be open to any discussion. Remember everyone is a possible customer, but what do we need to do to capture that customer with your TDM.

At the completion of this first process you should have at least:

· Who: 4 Target Customers

· What: 4 Messages

· Where: 4 Vehicles for Message Delivery

· When: 4 Time Periods

· Why: 4 Reasons

· How: 4 Media Types

Now you are a few meetings away from putting together the game plan for your TDM program. As you move forward with discussions, start rating, prioritizing and eliminating targets, messages, delivery, time periods, reasons and media types.

You will continue to finish and get to your finals. Now you have a road map for discussing, planning, analyzing and final implementation for your strategic thoughts for a TDM-Marketing Plan.

Next month we will discuss the next part of the process, “Who is Your Target Customer”.

Happy Planning…

~ Paul Ryan, Sales Manager of Mail Team @ DMEautomotive


Paul Ryan brings over 20 years of experience in sales, sales management, marketing, negotiation, leadership and client services. He joined DMEautomotive in February of 2008, as a Regional Territory Manager. With proven success as an inside sales representative selling the FullCircle Solutions’ Bullseye program, he was recognized frequently as Sales Person of the Month and received the highest honor of Sales Person of the Year for 2008. In August of 2009 Paul assumed his current position of Sales Manager, Mail Team. He is responsible for overseeing the entire Mail Division and manages a team of sales representatives.

Paul graduated with a B.S. In Business Administration from Iowa State University.


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