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Timeline Scheduler

Troi's Timeline Scheduler™ 14 Steps to a Great Mailing Campaign

A guide to total clarity and success in all your mailing projects


The following set of guidelines will give you a good feel for what goes into a well-organized and professional direct mail campaign. They will help you to avoid the pitfalls and to plan effectively every time.

  1. Target Your Audience

    The list is the most important part of any direct marketing campaign. You could have the most persuasive, visually appealing and dynamic mailing piece—but if it's sent to the wrong audience you simply won't do your best.

  2. Crafting Your Message

    Once you know who you will be communicating to, you can create a persuasive message. You may develop your message in-house, or work with a professional copywriter. This stage should not be rushed. If you have an extra week for the concept and copy to 'cool down', you'll be able to make your message much stronger and clearer in the final edit.

    Special Note: For response purposes, 'what' you will say is a lot more important than 'how' you say it. Make sure you have a clear concept and a strong appeal. No amount of flowery language or adjectives will compensate for a weak idea or an uninspiring offer.

  3. Reverse-Engineer

    Going backwards from the day you want your mailing piece to land on your customer's or prospect's doorstep, allow a realistic amount of time for each step. Timeline your project. You'll be glad you did.

  4. Contact Your Mailing House Partner

    Discuss your project and timelines with them. Tell them what you want to happen and get their feedback as to the best way to get it done. They may be able to help you refine your plans so that you get the results you want with the least amount of time and expense.

  5. Finalize Your Database

    Whether you are using a purchased list, a house list or a combination, at this stage of the project you should create a final database for your mailing and printing needs. The list should include "seeds", which allow you to monitor the time it takes for your mailing to land and may include "control codes" to help you track your responses.

  6. Plan For Success

    Prepare and brief your team to handle the response to your mailing.

  7. Coordinate All Printed Materials

    You should work with your graphic designer and print supplier to ensure that all your materials—from letterheads to inserts and follow-up materials for responders—will be ready on time and will conform to the specifications you have worked out with your Mailing House.

  8. Final Approvals

    Now it's time to finalize your artwork, copy and the layout of your mailing piece and inserts. You will be required to “sign-off”, giving the go-ahead for materials to be printed.

  9. Finalize Timeline

    Based on the information and commitments you've received from your suppliers, now is the time to confirm this back to your Mailing House so that they too can confirm your final completion dates. You can now follow up on progress to see that your project is running smoothly.

  10. Transfer Data

    Now you send the mailing list to your Mailing House along with a sample package/mock-up and instructions.

  11. Delivery Of Printed Materials

    Arrange for your materials to be delivered to your Mailing House for assembly.

  12. Requisition Postage

    Forward a check to your Mailing House to cover postage costs.

  13. Completion

    Your Mailing House completes the mailing and ships it to a Canada Post Distribution Centre.

  14. Delivery

    Canada Post delivers the letters to your responders.


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