Tight budgets are about setting priorities and making choices in regards to what will maximize the return on investment for a marketing campaign. All too often, the need to maximize ROI is supplanted by the desire to hold costs down on a given project.
When it comes to print and promotional items, this can come in the form of designing and producing more simple and less expensive pieces. This is often done without any regards as to whether the simplification of the design is going to decrease the response rate. Rather than decreasing the investment in the production, it is my belief that many times a client would be better served by reducing the size of the mailing list as a way to control costs.
A more targeted approach to mailing allows for more resources to be dedicated to the production costs. This can allow for more inspiring designs and innovative mailings, which can increase the response rate in the long run. The postage savings with decreased run sizes can free up the budget to allow for more intricately printed and diecut pieces or, perhaps, a premium item of greater value to the recipient. In turn, this will allow for a greater response, as the piece has a better chance of grabbing the intended recipient’s attention. Of course, all of this should be done as part of an integrated campaign so that you can constantly measure who is responding and refine the campaign as necessary.
Finding out who is responding is not just important for the current campaign, but it helps you build information as to who NOT to mail to in the next campaign. This is in turn will help you continually keep your mailing list targeted to those most likely to respond to your efforts.