A simple, effective way to transform communications programmes

British red cross logo

Empowering teams to break down long-established processes. 

woman writing on post it notes on a board
BRitish red cross print materials

To accelerate progress, British Red Cross (BRC) wanted to empower their newly-formed Supporter Marketing & Engagement team. They wanted to arm them with the digital skills and ways of working to effectively plan and execute integrated campaigns and a broader mix of activity. 

BRC knew they needed to simplify & streamline their established offline direct response programme of over 20 complex direct mail campaigns. They wanted to reduce the burden on the team for maintaining this programme, whilst also shortening lead times for direct mail production to improve the impact and relevancy of messaging. 

Taking on a more strategic role, Signal’s job was to improve agility across the end-to-end process for print and mail communications.


Improve production planning practices and visibility


Standardise control documents and best practice processes


Rationalised and simplified formats


Embedded data and proofing best practice

We simplified processes to achieve lower costs and shorter lead times. 

By getting involved much earlier, and getting buy-in and direction from the senior team, we developed and implemented the four initiatives to make processes simpler for the BRC team.

As a result of these initiatives, lead times and costs have been significantly reduced across planned and unplanned communications. The time between planning and packs landing has been radically reduced so supporters are receiving much more relevant and effective communications.

“An outdated approach had been holding us back, and we’re at last able to be more creative in how we deploy more timely, relevant and impactful messages out to our different supporter groups.”

Shaila Varma

Head of Strategic Planning and Projects, British Red Cross


Reduction in campaign lead times
Reduction in DM pack costs
Old man with a beard holding a letter with a cup of tea

The new ways of working have been a huge success

Our first six months of working with BRC in this way have enabled a significant reduction in both DM production and post spend. Lead times have shortened significantly with a 30% reduction in overall campaign lead times and a 60% reduction in letter copy lead time to give the team more flexibility to update messaging. And across the board, we’ve freed up the team’s project management time by 20%, helping them spend more time planning their jobs and less time deploying them.

What’s more, we know this shift – simpler packs, shorter lead-times and more relevant and timely messaging – has been a significant factor in improving response rates, average gifts and overall campaign performance.

“Moving better production planning up the agenda, as well as simplifying processes and ways-of-working will cut costs and time across whole programmes - and improve campaign performance.”


Client Engagement Partner, Signal