Introducing Lean DM

By Martin Rides

In a study by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) it was found approximately 20 million mail pieces are incorrectly sent each month in the UK. The direct cost of this is said to be between £200 million and £300 million annually. However this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the full cost of poorly executed direct mail campaigns.

Incorrectly spelling a valued customer’s name, sending the same mailing multiple times and missing recipients altogether when they move house is doing untold damage to brands and the perception of the direct mail industry. That is why The Software Bureau has launched Lean DM, an initiative to help mail producers adopt best practice and deliver superior campaign results with their clients.

Inspired by the concepts introduced by Toyota in the 1930’s Lean describes the process of systematically identifying and removal of waste. In terms of direct mail, Lean DM is about cutting unnecessary costs and removing anything that can damage the effectiveness of the campaign. Applying Lean thinking to direct mail helped highlight 5 sources of waste within direct campaigns.

Introducing the 5 Sources of Direct Mail Waste

Waste can be found at the early stages of specifying size, weight and format of the finished pack. Postage is often the most expensive part of a mail pack so ensuring the most efficient sortation and vendor choices are made can dramatically affect the final cost of the mail piece. Ensuring data is formatted correctly can both reduce penalties and increase recipient engagement rates. Screening and correcting data quality issues such as moved or deceased recipients and building a feedback loop to learn from each mailing campaign can also have huge impacts on the overall effectiveness of direct mail campaigns.

 A Win-Win concept

Lean DM aims to help mail producers differentiate themselves from competitors focused solely on price. If you can help your clients maximise the results of their campaigns and demonstrate a systematic reduction in waste you can no longer be compared directly to your average mail production competitor. Lean DM can be packaged as a series of services chosen by your clients or simply a concept you use to explain what makes your business unique.

Free Guide to Lean DM

To find out more about Lean DM download the free 30 slide presentation and discover:

  • The 5 sources of direct mail waste
  • Best practice to eliminate waste within campaigns
  • Examples of Lean DM
  • How software can power your Lean DM services

We have also created a free easily re-brandable product sheet to help you introduce Lean DM to your clients. Download the presentation to also receive information about our Webinar series where we will demonstrate Lean DM in action.