Developing a Critical 1:1 Eye

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Often, we look at 1:1 printing case studies with an eye to learn from what others have done right. But have you thought about looking at case studies with an eye for what they could have done better? Think of it as a chance to hone your skills of analysis and improve your own 1:1 programs at the same time.

CASE STUDY

The following case study is from a real archive (although we’ve changed the name). Test your 1:1 analysis skills, and see if you see the same things we do.

  1. Cleanse Database with Personalized Mailer. BlueFish, formerly a franchise operation, decided to go independent and change and expand its service mix. Before sending an announcement to its customers, however, it decided to cleanse its existing customer database. To do this, it sent out a personalized mailing announcing that it would be relocating. This enabled the company to update its database before promoting its official re-launch. BlueFish followed this mailing with a personalized e-mail, asking customers to look for another big announcement in the near future.
  2. Re-launch Mailer. Next was the official re-launch mailing. This was an opportunity, not just to mail to customers, but also to new prospects. So BlueFish profiled its existing customer base and appended its customer list with a list of prospects fitting its current client profile.
  3. Segmented Mailers For the heart of the program—its rebranding mailing—it segmented the run. To customers, it sent a version announcing its name change, as well as its new capabilities. To prospects, it introduced itself. To both, it sent recipients to personalized URLs (pURLs) to win a prize—in this case, a cool t-shirt with the company’s new logo. In order to receive the gift, recipients needed to fill out a short survey that gathered their e-mail addresses and enabled BlueFish to find out more about their companies.

“Sweep up” E-mail. The final step was a “sweep up” e-mail, encouraging those on the mailing list who had not responded to do so.

LESSONS LEARNED

What did BlueFish do right?

  • It cleansed its database before sending out its primary sales-generating program.
  • Before appending its list with prospects, it created a profile of the type of customer it wanted to attract.
  • It used multiple touches to accomplish its goal.
  • It used multiple media to reinforce its message.
  • It gathered additional data on customers for future campaigns.

What could BlueFish have done better?

  • Historically, the success of pURL campaigns rises and falls with the offer. BlueFish was smart to use the offer as a way to further promote its business (its logo on the giveaway t-shirt), but not everyone wants another t-shirt. What if it had made a higher value offer? Maybe it could have entered respondents into a sweepstakes for a high-dollar gift certificate or a chance to win cash.
  • What about its profiling? BlueFish produced the campaign in order to rebrand, and yet, it appended the list with names of prospects that fit the profile of customers of its old brand. What if, instead of developing a profile of its current customers, it had profiled and appended based on its best customers by volume or margin? Or what if BlueFish created a profile of the type of customer it wanted to attract, rather than the type of customer it already had?
  • These are important questions. Just by asking them, there is much to learn. So next time you read a terrific case study, ask questions. Look for areas of potential improvement and improve your critical eye for 1:1 marketing.

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