One often overlooked aspect of any printed sales campaign is: “How do I know that it has been effective?” Awesome question. You can spend thousands and thousands and still be wasting your time if you have no idea if you have gotten new customers or repeat sales.
I keep a database of my customers so that I can track what they buy and what materials had been sent to them shortly before the purchase. A list of new customers comes across my desk to be input into the system, and I can see what drove them to us in the first place. Immediately, I know what price they went for and a list of related products that can be promoted to them in the near future. It takes some time to look all of that over, but it is worth every minute.
Overly simplistic? Sure, that is the whole point. The general thinking has gone away from direct customer relations and contact. Knowing your customer will increase your sales and company market share. You can collect all of this info and direct sales campaigns at targeted groups, and do it quickly. If you are using an online print company, your old campaigns are still in their database. You can upload new graphics and designs, change titles and subheaders while you are there, and send the whole thing to the customer in a few minutes. One great advantage is that you can send small runs of print at a time.
The small runs allow you to micro-campaign. If you have a group of 50 customers that should need a certain replacement part, by all means, ship them an offer on that part. That serves two of your needs: It shows the customer that you have thought about their individual needs, and it has given you the chance at a repeat sale.
How do you gauge the effectiveness of your print campaigns? Do you use a separate database to track hits on new marketing ideas?