Know Your Timing!

By | April 8, 2016

There are lots of reasons to get involved with your clients’ campaign in the planning stages rather than waiting for them to hand off a print-ready PDF at the end of the process, and here’s one of them. Left to their own devices, their timing can be terrible.

When the client is having a weekend sale, short notice can be a good thing. Consumers’ attention spans are short. You want them to receive the direct mail piece advertising the 25% off storewide Saturday sale, tape it to the refrigerator on Thursday or Friday, and run out and fill their carts wthe next day. Otherwise,  if the sale is too far in the future, it can get forgotten. Likewise, if the client is having a flash sale and promoting it via mobile, same-day notice can be a powerful motivator.

But as with everything else, your client needs to take into consideration their audience, end application, and vertical market.

IMG_7189Here’s a promotion my husband received this week. It is advertising a seminar on the care of wood flooring (such as in the gymnasiums of schools) to facilities directors.

But check out the date. The seminar is being held April 13. This arrived on my husband’s desk a few days ago—less than two weeks in advance of the event. As a facilities director for a large private high school, he needs several weeks advance notice for a lunch meeting, let alone a half-day seminar. Something like this would need to arrive months in advance to even be considered.

Not to mention the seasonal timing. Schools enter their busiest season at the end of spring into summer. The weather is warm, and all of those outside projects that have been on hold through the winter months are being resurrected. However bad as the timing of this mailing was, it was made that much worse by the time of year in which it arrived.

Here are the takeaways for the MSP:

  • Whenever possible, get involved in your clients’ projects during the development stages.
  • Ensure that the client has an accurate understanding of the needs of its target market.
  • Consider timing of the mail drop as being just as critical as the creative, the list, the personalization, and the offer.

If this client has a dismal response to its seminar, let’s just hope it doesn’t blame the printer!

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