We’ve given you a lot of information to digest, so here’s a quick review. Use this checklist as part of your planning and during your campaign execution to ensure success.



  • Campaign objectives are clear and measurable
  • Target market is identified
  • We understand behaviour and motivations of the target market
  • Budget is sufficient and approved
  • Direct marketing tactics (communication channels) are identified
  • Process is in place to update database with customer insights and new data
  • Tracking tools are in place to measure success

Database Management

  • In-house customer database has been updated recently and the data has been cleansed
  • In-house database has removed low-value customers and prospects
  • Modeling and customer profiles have been developed
  • List acquisition is based on target market and profiles
  • List acquisition has been made with a reputable firm that has timely and accurate data
  • Special requirements of the data are identified


  • Creative brief was developed at the beginning of this direct marketing campaign
  • Direct marketing piece is aligned with brand standards
  • Target market will identify with direct marketing piece
  • Functional specifications and mandatory information are clearly identified
  • Approval process is in place
  • Timeline is agreed upon
  • Approved budget is in place


  • Creative is relevant to target market
  • Copy is relevant to target market
  • Offer is relevant to target market
  • Response mechanism is convenient and accessible to market

Fulfillment & Production

  • CASS Certification and NCOA completed
  • Visual audit conducted to check folding, inserting and sealing
  • In compliance with IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode), Flat Sequencing regulations and Move Up equirements


  • Tracking code applied to offer or reply
  • Process in place to collect results
  • Ability to calculate ROI
  • Post-campaign analysis tools in place


Direct marketing is a highly effective way to acquire and develop a steady stream of qualified sales leads in both consumer and business markets. It is also an efficient way to grow customer loyalty and expand sales among your current customers.

Our direct marketing guide is designed to enable you to maximize your direct marketing campaigns. We can help you reduce waste and unnecessary expenses while increasing response rates and leveraging customer data to grow your business.


Direct Marketing Benefits:

  • Exact targeting of specific prospects or customers
  • Personalized messages with exclusive and relevant offers
  • Ability to create an emotional connection
  • Create relevant follow-up communications through data validation
  • Campaign tracking to measure response rates and your return on investment

Common Direct Marketing pitfalls:

  • Poor quality customer data or misuse of data
  • Designs that require extra postage fees
  • Non-compelling offer or lack of customer engagement
  • Non-compliance with Postal Regulations
  • Lack of ROI measurement tools and tracking


The most critical component of a successful direct marketing campaign is having the right strategy. By developing a strategy, you will be able to generate qualified leads and convert those leads into profitable customers to generate a higher ROI.

It’s easy; just ask yourself these key questions:

  • What is the desired outcome of the direct marketing campaign?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is your budget?
  • What communication channels will be most effective to reach the target market?
  • How will any new information be uploaded to your CRM or customer database?
  • How will you know the direct marketing campaign was effective?

The bottom line of the strategy is to create a plan and execute it. Measure and analyze the results, then make adjustments and continue developing a closer relationship with your most valuable customers or prospects.


Effective database management includes frequent updates and cleansing.
This will enable you to reduce costs and increase effectiveness.

Here are a few tips to help you manage customer data:

  • You will have the most success with your current, in-house customer list
  • Profile your current or prospective customer based on behavioural and demographic characteristics
  • Identify and score your customer base to determine the most profitable and least profitable customers


As part of the creative process, the best place to start is with a creative brief. This is an overview of the direct marketing purpose which enables a designer or art director to develop a creative piece based on your objectives. It is a vital part of the design process and a tool to build consensus, align expectations and stay focused on objectives.


Depending on your strategy, you can choose to send the same message to everybody, or send a highly relevant message to each individual.

Relevant creative and copy is also based on understanding your target market and properly segmenting your customers. Refer to your creative brief to make sure you are on target regarding imagery and headlines that are identifiable with your market. For copy, review the demographics and psychographics of your customer and write copy that is clear and concise, but also reflects the tone of your brand.

Another item that is often overlooked in direct marketing is the reply mechanism. Be sure the response channel is also aligned with the target market.


Producing Canada Post compliant direct marketing pieces is critical to retaining your mailing discounts and ensuring delivery of your campaign pieces. Be sure to deal with firms that have experienced staff managing your projects.


Once you’ve defined a strategy, the next most important planning element is how you will track and measure your campaign. Below are a few options that can be applied to your direct marketing to efficiently track results:

  • Code the response devices to be able to track effectiveness
  • Utilize a personal website, which also includes real-time tracking

Tracking tools will enable you to also calculate your ROI and cost per acquisition. Always conduct a post-campaign analysis to evaluate the overall success of the campaign.

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