One of the more challenging, but integral parts of a corporate holiday card campaign is creating and finalizing the distribution list. You have enough stress-producers at this time of year; don’t let this aspect of the campaign turn you into a Grinch. Follow our guidelines below to help the list development process run smoothly. This is the seventh blog in our series on Holiday Cards, designed to help you stay organized and get the maximum results from your holiday communications.
Before you can create your list, you will need to determine which system will ensure a smooth list generation. Which of the following will work best for you?
- Spreadsheet - allowing for all interested parties to submit their recipients
- Shared database - created by pulling information others have stored
- Marketing Management System – allows stakeholders throughout your company to upload their lists.
Give some thought to which fields you will need. By considering the overall plan and personalization strategy, you will be able to determine which fields need to be created and filled. Start off with these basic fields and tweek it by adding and removing fields, to fit your plan.
- Address or email address
- Opt-in flag – pull those contacts who have opted in for campaigns. Be sure to respect the wishes of those who have opted out.
- Sales rep – if their name or signature will appear on the greeting. Keep in mind that the rep may be your customer’s only link to your company, and therefore it might be the most sensible signature.
- Products purchased – if your company has various divisions with varying logos, make sure your recipient receives the logo they are familiar with.
- Title – if using a title in the address, double check to confirm the recipient’s correct title. This field can also be used to determine a hierarchy of who receives a gift.
- Customer revenue – if gift giving or gift leveling is determined by customer spend, this field can sort by amount.
- Gift flag – if gift giving is more arbitrary, mark each record with Y/N flag.
Coordinate with Sales Team
Collect input from your sales team on the front line. Your sales agents know your clients and important details about each one, so be sure to include them in the process of list generating. If gift giving is involved, your sales agent may have valuable information on who is a worthy recipient and even a gift idea. Although it can be a challenge, particularly if your team is spread across a large geographic area, it is worth the effort to collect this important data and use it. Another consideration in obtaining the lists directly from the sales team: you will have the latest, most accurate contacts, addresses and info to include in the personalization process.
Avoid the dilemma of sales agent lists coming in different forms. Specify the fields you need, the dates you need them and the vehicle you want to receive them. If using a Marketing Management System, instruct the agents to upload the information themselves, streamlining the process even more.
Corporate Gift List Considerations
Corporate holiday card campaigns often include a choice of a gift. Although you want to spread holiday cheer to everyone, the reality is you probably cannot send a gift to everyone. If you have more than one contact at the same company, will you send a gift to each? Will those who did not receive a gift realize that others did? Perhaps the physical location of their offices will allow for privacy, or maybe there is a big enough distinction in their titles that it will be understood.
Once the list is compiled and generated, take it one step further to make sure it is correct. After all your hard work in coordination, now is not the time to drop the ball. Use this round to:
- Review with appropriate upper-level managers or sales team
- Scan for duplicates
- Double check against no-contact lists
- Assess your list with measurement in mind – how are you planning to track engagement on a per contact basis? Is your list structured to enable that tracking? Is there anything you can do at this point to make your post campaign data gathering smoother?
Keep in mind that you don’t have to clean up the final list on your own. A true marketing partner will not only execute your campaign but also will provide data services
to ensure you are distributing to a quality list. And, a quality list is a key ingredient to a successful holiday campaign. What are some of the challenges you have faced in the past?