Keep it Short and Sweet:
Resist the urge to cram every bit of information into one marketing piece, whether it is an email, flier or direct mail piece.
- Simplicity is Better: Provide pictures to help your customers visualize the products and services. You can also include a QR Code, taking the user to a mobile site that further engages them in your brand.
- Ask Questions: Pique interest by asking your prospects a thought provoking question. This method not only raises awareness about your products or services, but encourages customers to read more of the content. Example, “Did you know that Mail Print offers a Marketing Communications Portal?”
- Highlight Benefits: Do not just write about your products and what colors or versions they may come in. Your content should focus on the benefits of your products and services. Customers want to know how your product will influence their lives.
Follow these simple tips to convert more readers into customers.
The growth of modern online marketing and its integration with traditional advertising has created a communications overload, in which the average consumer may hear or see as many as several thousand marketing messages every day. Marketers and business owners looking to overcome this ground noise must develop effective cross-media strategies. Cross-media marketing campaigns use different products and properties to promote each other by way of multiple media. This might include direct mail, email marketing, radio, television, podcasts, social media posts, print ad campaigns, landing pages, and more.
The use of direct mail has shown significant positive feedback when it comes to measuring the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns. According to a recent statistic in Deliver magazine, customers who were sent a printed catalog to the magazine’s website not only logged more time on the website, but also purchased 28% more of the product on average than customers who were not mailed a printed catalog.
This is not to say that direct mail should replace online marketing, but rather that the two should be integrated into a combined marketing campaign. Direct mail is most effective when it drives the customer to a website or landing page. Online marketing is most effective when the customer interacts with an online entity like filling out a form, giving the marketer or business owner product or service leads, or by sharing the site through social media. The key to the successful cross-media marketing campaign is that integration.
Increasing response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. Something as simple as direct mail postcards can help build a business when integrated with online marketing tools.
Two great ways to integrate:
1. Use a postcard campaign to collect email addresses and basic information
Email addresses are a cost-effective way to keep tabs on your current and potential customers and clients. Several popular email services, such as Mailchimp, even allow the user to track email openings and clicks, so the sender can better understand a campaign’s effectiveness. However, you can’t track email responses without obtaining emails and a postcard campaign is a great way to reach out to potential customers who would otherwise never know how or where to register.
2. Have postcards point potential consumers to a landing page
Landing pages are critically different than a website’s homepage in that a landing page lists only the information necessary for your selling point, whether it’s an offer, special, or product promotion, whereas a homepage often lists more products and information that might be otherwise distracting. Websites allow browsing, landing pages are a direct sales pitch; they guide the customer through a sale or intended interaction
The two major benefits of direct mail:
1. Ability to target the ideal consumer
Few products and services are attractive to everyone. By outlining the characteristics of a company’s best customers, a model of who best to target in a direct mail campaign can be achieved. This could mean targeting by gender, age, income level, and more, allowing a mailing campaign to reach the people who might be most receptive.
2. Increase your responses
While yes online marketing strategies are awesome, great response rates of cross-media marketing campaign consistently point to the necessity of direct mail. This is because direct mail continues to be opened at greater rates than email advertisements.
Whether you are in the marketing business or are a business owner looking to increase company marketing effectiveness, integrating direct mail and online advertising is the best way to influence response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns.
VISIBLE BENEFITS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION
One of the biggest benefits of marketing campaign automation is that it reduces and eliminates a multitude of repetitive tasks associated with the marketing process. Marketing automation software can easily divide and classify customers, providing customer segmentation and subsequent campaign management. This type of automation simplifies identifying target audiences and measuring the efficiency of allocated resources.
Beyond segmentation, marketing automation software can be used to communicate with prospects in a variety of ways. An email management campaign can be developed to send pre-formatted messages and content about products and services. Marketing automation software can be used to generate responses that further segment the targeted audiences, and send additional nurturing communications geared to meet the needs of specific individuals within each group.
Even when prospects do not respond, marketing automation software can identify where prospects drop off, and help retain them with ongoing targeted messages. Marketing automation software is the best solution for developing and implementing email marketing, direct mail and other channels to manage sales campaigns that drive revenue. Sales benefits of marketing campaign automation include increased lead conversion rates, increased average sale, increased overall sales and better forecast accuracy.
HIDDEN BENEFITS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION
One of the biggest hidden benefits of marketing campaign automation is that it allows marketers to do less and be more. In recent years marketers and organizations have grappled with the challenge of needing to reach thousands, if not millions, of prospects utilizing integrated communications that reach across multiple channels at numerous times. Beyond the dizzying magnitude of this task alone, these prospects must be communicated with in a manner that is personalized and unique to their needs and preferences. Without marketing campaign automation, meeting these objectives would require an immense allocation of time and man hours. However, by automating these processes, marketers are able to focus more time and resources on fine-tuning existing campaigns for maximum efficiency and implementing additional marketing efforts.
Management Guru Peter Drucker once wrote “Marketing is the distinguishing unique function of the business.” OK, no pressure there. Yet, if you were to ask any marketer or their boss what marketing entails they will tell you that marketing encompasses much, much more. Marketing is responsible for defining the business identity and creating a need for the businesses products and services in the minds of the targeted audiences. While consistently remaining under budget and within deadlines. In addition to streamlining processes and maximizing budgets, marketing campaign automation takes the guess work out of many marketing functions and as a result can provide the reliable benefit of lasting stress relief.
Marketing campaign automation provides an additional hidden benefit, which is perhaps one of the most important objectives of any business, and that is to have happier, more satisfied customers. Marketing automation can eliminate frustrating communications that fail to meet customer needs, and it can also help marketers anticipate customer needs and respond accordingly. In addition, marketing automation programs can reward customers and keep them coming back for more. Marketing automation can help marketers respond to customer needs in real-time, unlike with manual systems where a time delay can often lead to an unhappy customer.
For years, companies have been capitalizing on the power of print advertising to attract customers in cross-media marketing campaigns. Cross-media marketing helps companies take advantage of the variety of different media formats that are available for modern advertising: of these media components, print media is supreme in many regards. Although email marketing is popular today, there are key areas where print mail is still much more effective at helping a company increase response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns.
Improved Response Rate And More Competitive Costs
Because print media provides a physical piece of advertising that buyers can hold in their hands, it enjoys a better rate of response than email. According to a study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail campaigns to existing customers have a response rate of 3.4%. Similar email campaigns had a response rate of only 0.12%.
In the same study, the DMA showed that printed media also had a better cost per lead or order. Print mail campaigns had a cost of $51.40, while e-mail campaigns had a cost of $55.24 for each lead. This is especially important for businesses that have a set budget for their cross-media campaign and want to ensure that they stay inside of this budget, an issue that is paramount in the minds of today’s business professionals that want to raise response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns while keeping costs down in a struggling economy.
Advantages In B2C Marketing
For B2C marketing, an arena in which many organizations both small and large operate in, print media has many advantages over email marketing. According to a survey performed by Target Marketing, 34% of direct response marketers reported that printed mail campaigns delivered the best ROI in terms of customer acquisition, compared to email, which was selected by just 25% of those marketers as being best for B2C. This is in part because of the ability to personalize printed media through handwritten notes or signatures, something that email cannot do.
Printed media is also effective to improve response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns because of how many people still rely on printed materials mailed to them to either decide where they will go for a purchase or actually make the purchase. Integris marketing cites a study by the U.S. Post Office, which reports that 80% of consumers view and/or read their direct mail, and 50% of households have ordered products from catalogs. Conversely, many people have spam filters that keep out marketing emails, or simply do not even bother opening these types of digital messages and just move them right to the trash.
More Resonance Among The Highest Earners
Even for companies that do not market B2C, they are often targeting a specific business owner or high level executive for B2B media marketing campaigns. For these top-earning Americans, print media is extremely important. Adage.com reports that 93% of this population read hard copy magazines, while less than 30% read them online. Similar statistics were shown for the reading of newspapers. This means that if you are targeting wealthy business owners or financial officers, you are more likely to increase response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns using print media than digital media.
Sales professionals and business owners have numerous options when it comes to pursuing new business through media. Despite its age, print media remains a hugely vital aspect of any advertising effort. Use print media wisely in tandem with other media elements today so that you can grow your sales by improving the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns.
You may be questioning your general approach to your print marketing campaigns in light of the fact that there are so many new ways consumers are being bombarded with information. Response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns are proving cross-media is not only successful but measurable meaning you can benefit from print in a traditional way by adding the benefits of personalized marketing in less traditional ways.
Personalized marketing campaigns are seeing solid results compared to standard, flat or static campaigns. Response of cross-media marketing campaigns are successful as they combine online and offline marketing. This allows you to use an initial small response rate to eventually drive a higher response.
By speaking to your audience numerous times in numerous ways allows you to maintain contact and remain top of mind. You are using repetition in a more innocuous way because the consumer is not being hit over the head with the exact same method. Cross-media marketing offers a constant reminder using direct marketing to invite the consumer to visit your website with a personalized URL that leads them to personalized information and messaging tailored directly to them.
This is far more valuable than a general message that may or may not apply to them. A personalized survey can then collect information that is saved in a general customer data base that alerts your sales team via email that a potential client is on the radar screen. They then have a legitimate reason to contact the lead with good background to get things started. At the same time, the information is tracked and stored for future CRM use in your system.
Response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns continue to show solid results. An analysis done by MindFireInc of 1,856 cross media campaigns in 30 cross vertical markets showed that an average visit rate of 6.5 percent and an average response rate of 4.5 percent. Results for some markets included:
- Education: 3.3 percent visit rate and a 2.1 percent response rate
- Non-profit: 5.3 percent visit rate and 3.5 percent response rate
- Financial: 4.6 percent visit rate and 3.1 percent response rate
- Insurance: 5.6 percent vist rate and 3.6 percent response rate
- Arts, Media and Entertainment: 7.3 percent visit rate and 5.9 response rate
As you can see despite the varying vertical markets the response rates of cross-marketing media show solid results. The visit rate also demonstrates the opportunity to collect information for future CRM campaigns.
Marketing firm Epsilon Targeting found that 6 out of 10 Americans preferred to get information via direct mail. Response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns demonstrate success and direct mail plays a role. The findings of Epsilon detailed that regardless of preference through email or post, the reason people enjoyed either was due to the ability to refer back to the info when convenient. However, of those citing this reason 73 percent were pro postal versus 45 percent for email. This means that direct mail as an initial contact will impact the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns in a positive manner. Further proof of this was reflected in these findings:
- 62 percent enjoy checking their mail box for mail
- 59 percent enjoy getting mail about new services and products
- 73 percent found they were getting email they never open
- 67 percent said they get too many emails each day
Cross-media marketing campaigns are making marked progress in customer response compared to traditional means. Cross-media marketing also allows you to use the response rates of cross-marketing media as a way of saving money for future print campaigns by allowing you to focus only on those with proven interest.
The evolution of digital printing has transformed the world of direct marketing. No longer must the same static messages be sent to every customer on your mailing list. Instead, the use of customer information databases and variable data printing (VDP) allows a business to completely tailor the content of their mailing to each individual customer.
Complex variable data printing may sound difficult to implement, but with the right partner and the requisite data, it can produce an effective and profitable direct mail campaign that delivers superior response rates.
The VDP process starts with information. In fact, customer information is the real key to creating highly personal messages and delivering significantly higher results than traditional direct mail campaigns. With the use of multiple databases, a VDP campaign allows a company to combine the name, address and particulars of a customer with an ad specifically targeted to their needs and interests. The result is an ad that provokes a far higher response rate than traditional non-variable marketing pieces.
In addition to using the actual name of the recipient, VDP should also reference their geographic area, the past purchases, their buying behavior, personal interests and other specific traits. The key is to collect a lot of information on your customers or prospects and use that information to create a personal experience for the recipient. In this particular application, content is certainly king as it can grab the attention of the recipient and ultimately lead them to respond.
While words are the ultimate closer in a marketing piece, images are the attention grabber. Imagine that at a basic level a car dealer can send pictures of sports cars to the 18-25 demographic and sedans to the 40-50 crowd, but let’s add another layer of insight. The car dealer sends a piece that is designed around the age, past purchase history, family status (whether children are present in the household), and income. So now instead of just sports cars vs. sedans, we can target the right level of sedan and even offer a loan package based on general credit information. This differentiation can mean the difference between a direct mail piece being read or being discarded – in other words, the difference between success and failure.
The Follow Up
One of the more powerful benefits of VDP is that it can be constantly updated and customized to every potential client. Each time you send a mailing and get a response, the database is updated. In other words, you are constantly qualifying the desires and needs of your clients. With enough perseverance, you will build a true image of your client and be better positioned to convert them into a paying customer.
The Bottom Line
Variable data printing is a 21st century technology that no successful business can afford to be without. Utilizing the combined power of databases and the technological advances of digital printing allows companies to select, target and market to an incredible variety of customers on a very personal level.
Don’t be left behind when contemplating your next direct marketing campaign. Whether your business targets range from banking, insurance or casinos to non-profits and educational institutions, variable data printing can provide a very focused solution that generates excellent response rates, superior conversion and a whole new set of potential clients.
The Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns still support the need for “hybrid marketing”, better known as cross-media marketing techniques. Digital media and direct mail actually complement each other, and because of this fact, there will continue to exist a strong need for direct mail marketing in the indefinite future.
The integration of print and digital media is still generating leads at a superior ROI and, particularly in some specific types of organizations, this will continue to form a reliable part of marketing strategies. Not only that, but tying the two channels of direct and digital marketing together can form a powerful vehicle for improving a companies client base. At the moment, this combination is essential for laying the foundation for mobile and video communication-based campaigns in not a few industries. Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns depend largely on how intelligently direct mail is integrated into existing strategies. Used insightfully, direct mail is a reliable tool for boosting response rates and setting the foundation for long-term client commitment.
Response Rates of Cross-Media Campaigns in cases where direct mail marketing is used, are influenced by two major factors: which types of businesses use them (which is a very flexible determinant) and/or how they are used to complement existing inbound marketing strategies. Banks, universities and colleges, casinos, insurance companies are the organizations benefiting from and will continue to benefit from direct mail marketing because they are able to continue increasing their client base at a cheaper and more effective rate through personalized marketing techniques than static ones.
There are neurological reasons for this. Research conducted at Bangor University shows that physical media effects human memory differently as it creates a more profound emotional response. This in turn, will hypothetically cause for more positive brand-associations – something of particular importance where the above-mentioned industries are concerned. Since clients are often being asked to entrust large sums of money with them, trust is of a premium.
As to understanding the more pertinent question: whether or not cross-media is more useful for generating more leads, the research that has been singularly helpful in understanding the various Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns are as follows:
- Reports from the DMA (Direct marketing Association)
- The PODi report (carried out by the Digital Printing Initiative.)
- The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer’s council) report.
- A collection of other reports stored in the MindFire Inc database.
What these reports have indicated is that personalized marketing techniques have a vital place for marketers, while static campaigns (those allowing for no flexible integration between direct marketing and digital platforms) are simply not as effective in terms of ROI performance.
The conclusion then, should be clear: the shift towards increasing digital marketing has not changed the need for direct-mail marketing. In fact, direct mail marketing is still pivotal as a launching pad for digital marketing campaigns, and will continue to be so in future.
Before the new millennium catalogs contained info products and pictures to spend the weekend looking through, dog-earing and talking about with your neighbors.
You could read ample descriptions about each item and then call an 800 number to chat with a never-rushed customer service rep to get all your questions answered before she gently walked you through the order taking process of collecting your item numbers, colors and quantities.
It was an expensive and time consuming process that worked great in the day.
Flash forward to today. Rather than becoming extinct, like some people wagered with the advent of the Internet and digital catalogs, print catalogs have proven the power of pictures and touch by remaining an unbeatable means to get consumers to place orders online.
Print catalogs influence twice as many consumers as both Pinterest and Twitter for both in-store and online purchases, according to Baynote’s 3rd Annual Holiday Online Shopping Survey.
Print catalogs influenced 81.9% more in-store purchases and 42.9% more online purchases than Facebook, according to Baynote’s survey.
Ecommerce Causes Catalogs to Change with the Times
The Internet, iPads, and smart phones changed everything for catalogs. They became skinnier, more targeted and with just as many coders as call center people on staff as they shift from clicking through a transaction replaced being talked through an order.
Catalogs today allow us to shop around the clock without ever speaking with a customer service representative. The Internet has empowered us to gather information and place a transaction with complete freedom and ease. And while this may appear to be to our advantage as a shopper, it’s actually all well planned (and manipulated) by the catalog’s marketing team. They’ve spent months, perhaps years, laying a digital trail they want you to follow and they know every spinoff route you may take and are waiting for you there, too, with more incentives and reasons to buy from them now.
This lean and mean sales trail they’ve sent you down reminds me of the sales model “traps” builders assemble. You know the ones where you pull up to a new subdivision to view model homes and after you sign in you are sent to see three model homes that are conveniently gated off forcing you to go through them in the order they want you to and you end up right back in the sales office for the Realtor’s pitch?
So even though you think you’re free to roam, each page you open or link you click has been finely orchestrated to help you come one step closely to typing in your credit card number and all these is done online without the need for physical sales people on salaries or more call center staff taking up physical space or cost.
How Catalogs Have Changed and Adapted
Like any business, catalogs have changed with the times to survive. Here are the biggest changes direct mail catalogs have made.
Less Pages. Can you imagine the cost of mailing the size of the former Montgomery Ward catalog to one million addresses? Nor could any cataloger thus the reason J.C. Penney went from an annual large catalog to a monthly Look Book and why IKEA first points new customers to its digital catalog before adding them on its print catalog mailer. Catalogers have learned how to shave cost by printing and mailing less or more targeted catalogs to customers who are prone to order the most. They’ve fine-tuned the formula of mailing less bulk and generating more bucks.
Less Copy. Mail order catalog copy has shrunk because you can read a 50-word description and go online for a complete whitepaper or brochure or call a sales rep to get your questions answered. Plus you can see better images, often in 3D that eliminated the needs for wordy descriptions when you can see the product at every angle and in every color with the click of a button.
More interactive. There are more interactivity points — landing pages, ecommerce portals, macro, micro and review sites — all before calling the 800# (that is if you ever choose to speak with a person).
Augmented Reality. Moosejaw Mountaineering released an app, called X-Ray, for its customers to use with their smart phones upon the receipt of its catalog. The app used augmented reality that allowed customers to see a hidden layer of images in the pages of the catalog. Customers that scanned catalog pages saw the underwear the models were wearing underneath the Moosejaw outerwear.
Moosejaw’s app showed new technology and extended sales to the company’s underwear line.
SOURCE:“Catalogs Find a New Role as Ecommerce Traffic Drivers,” Multichannel Merchant, May 2013.
Triggered Mailings. Catalogers and ecommerce merchants now have the technology and customer data to mail when a potential sale looms such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or when a new home is purchased. Even the five largest catalogers, Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, Spiegel, J.C. Penney and Alden’s, didn’t have personal data scrubbed, ready and cued up in CRM systems in the 70s to mail triggered mailings. Technology allows this today and triggered mailings can drive open rates into the double digits and response rates over 50%.
SOURCE:“Increase Open Rates & ROI with Deliverability Analysis, Frequency & Triggers,” Lyris HQ.
Is your company driving sales to its products through direct mail, catalogs, or multichannel campaigns? Are you using all the tools and technology to stay far ahead of the competition and forecasted changes coming in our digital world?
Triggered Orders. Catalogers can count on the phone ringing as soon as they drop their printed catalogs at the post office. According to a study, 58% of the 817 consumers surveyed said they look at catalogs as soon as they are received, with 92% indicating they have made a purchase from the catalogs.
SOURCE:“Catalogs Find a New Role as Ecommerce Traffic Drivers,” Multichannel Merchant, May 2013.
Two-thirds of the survey’s respondents also said that if catalogs were to become too expensive for the catalog companies to continue producing that they would still request them.
Don’t let the pain of changing keep you from your digital rewards. Offline messages delivered through mediums such as catalogs continue to drive online actions. In fact 67% of online actions are stimulated by offline messages.
Catalogs have survived the ages by changing along side the needs of consumers. Today 20,000 catalogs mail annually, but you might be surprised to learn who reads them, buys from them, tosses them or references them on their trip to the retail store or bedroom to get online and make the long awaited purchase.
Here are some revealing stats and facts about catalogs that might spur a marketing campaign or catalog mailing for your business:
- Women open up and look at a higher percentage of catalogs than men.
- Men buy from catalogs more frequently than women (44% more than six times a year, compared with only 36% of female catalog shoppers).
SOURCE:Consumer Catalog Shopping Survey, Catalog Age
- 20 billion catalogs are mailed annually
- Catalogs mailings make up 10% of USPS volume
- Percentage of sales for B2C averages 17% and 7% for B2B
- Effect of the Internet has been positive as most catalogers have a substantial web presence and gather 20% to 50% of their orders from the Internet.
- Baby boomers are vigorous catalog buyers, making up the largest demographic sector with 40,000 boomers buying regularly from catalogs.
- However, more women than men shop catalogs during the holidays.
- Catalogs are considered useful by 46% of those who receive them.
- The most used and preferred method for purchases from a company whose catalog was received was to look at the catalog and then purchase through their website. This method is preferred twice as much as using the toll-free number.
- If catalogs become too expensive to produce, more than 1 in 7 consumers would actually pay to receive catalogs.
- On average consumers who receive catalogs spend $850 per year on catalog purchases.
- Catalogs remain one of the four mediums that influence purchases most (see graph below).
SOURCE: American Catalog Mailers Association