DM Audit Addresses Declining Renewals
CASE STUDY: A NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION
C.TRAC focuses on effective Cleaning of client data; the Creating of actionable databases and targeted efforts; Conversing via mail and e-channels; and drawing ongoing Conclusions.
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“We needed to find ways to improve our direct mail outreach, and fast.” – Director of Membership Operations
C.TRAC was contacted by a motor club and leisure travel organization serving more than 400,000 clients in the Midwest. During the recession of 2008-2009, their renewal rate was at an all-time low. They had just increased member dues and changed the look of their direct mail campaigns. In addition, their address files were not as clean as they could be, so they were having trouble getting these new renewal packages delivered to their members.
They needed to figure out ways to quickly improve their direct mail outreach.
C.TRAC was engaged to perform a Direct Mail (DM) Audit. The first step involved a review of 12+ months of mail campaigns and delivery reports. In analyzing mail piece design and copy, the audit identified a significant change in the letter design that may have confused recipients. The traditional logo had been removed and a different color scheme had been adopted, both departures from a long standing identity that may have eroded brand equity with tenured members.
While those recipients may have failed to recognize their renewal, others simply weren’t receiving their renewal offers on time or at all. The DM Audit uncovered areas for improvement in data quality and deficiencies in the mail production process. Ancillary mail validation and tracking programs could be implemented for the client with little cost and training. Once in place, these tools gave Association staff the information needed to hold print and mail fulfillment vendors more accountable. They also drastically reduced staff time spent keeping track of the processes manually.
Following C.TRAC’s DM Audit, the Association implemented all of the resulting recommendations. These revisions incorporated design, process, and delivery, and ultimately achieved:
- 5.73% increase in renewals over the previous year
- $40,000 savings on postage, including $7,000 on each quarterly campaign
- 7-day decrease in print and mail process
- Drastic improvement in address quality. The reduction in UAA (undeliverable as addressed) mail decreased the amount of time needed to research and correct the addresses on returned mail pieces.
The client also committed to C.TRAC’s ongoing data maintenance process to assure continuous improvement in their deliverability, proactively avoiding a similar erosion of renewals in the future.