Posts tagged Direct Mail

Tips for Writing Irresistible Direct Marketing Content: Part 1

 

Keep it Short and Sweet:

178163372 250x166 Tips for Writing Irresistible Direct Marketing Content: Part 1Resist 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.

 

Personalized Marketing: What You Need to Know!

Personalized Marketing

162819605 250x166 Personalized Marketing: What You Need to Know!Nowadays, life is flying by us all so fast. So many companies, advertisements, and messages – it’s difficult to keep up. However, if companies and organizations knew how to reach the consumer on a personal level, people actually pay attention. You might have the exact product or service a customer desires, but if you do not appeal to their senses and emotions, they may never know it. If you learn to direct your marketing efforts in such a way that creates a spark, even if only briefly, you can create something that grabs a person’s attention enough to focus on your brand. Then, you will have a window of opportunity to take them further into your own brand and connect their emotions and senses to what you have to offer.

Personalized E-Mails

Did you know that “61% of consumers feel more positive about a brand if personalized marketing is used”? When a consumer receives an e-mail related to something they were recently researching they are more likely to engage in that email. For example, if a consumer visited a college website and signed up for courses, they may get an e-mail about purchasing textbook for a discount. They need textbooks and you’ve made it easier for the student to reach the ultimate goal of gaining an education.

SOURCE:Steve Olenski, What Jaws, Brand Managers and Consumers Have in Common.

Mass Marketing

Nearly half (44%) of all consumers are less responsive to non-personalized messages. Think for just a moment: if you receive a marketing piece from a brand you have had a personal experience with, and the piece references your experience, you are more likely to engage that brand than if you receive a mass marketing piece from a brand you have never engaged with.

SOURCE:Steve Olenski, What Jaws, Brand Managers and Consumers Have in Common.

Personalized Discounts

More than half (53%) of all consumers are very likely to purchase something from a company when a brand personalizes marketing through digital communications. If you’ve been shopping at a particular store and you give them your contact information, they will send you coupons to entice your return. You’ve already been there, so chances are, you’ll be back again.

SOURCE:Steve Olenski, What Jaws, Brand Managers and Consumers Have in Common.

Maybe a consumer will get a personalized marketing message that directs them to a website that includes their name in the web address. (Personalized URLs also known as PURLS.) People absolutely love to see their name in lights and companies are well aware of the power of this personalized marketing technique that’s becoming increasingly more popular. Is your company privy to the newest personalized marketing platforms?

From Mail Print’s perspective when we send highly personalized marketing pieces from our company our phones ring the week following the delivery of that mail piece at a rate 25% more than normal.

Brand Trust

If a consumer trusts you, they probably love your company, brand, and products or services and may not even know it. Gain their trust and you will likely gain their business. Are you aware that more than half (52%) of all consumers trust brands that enable them to share their marketing preferences more than brands that do not?

If you can put yourself and your company in your target market’s shoes, then you will know exactly what to create and what to avoid. You will save precious time and lots of money also. It’s a marketers dream. Consumers need to trust your brand, know your logo, and feel good about what you offer to them. If you can accomplish all of that, everything else is cake.

SOURCE:Steve Olenski, What Jaws, Brand Managers and Consumers Have in Common.

Quit Making Up Response Rates – Measure the Right Way or Not at All

160910502 250x166 Quit Making Up Response Rates   Measure the Right Way or Not at All Figuring out how well people are responding to your marketing campaigns is vital if you expect to see a positive return on investment from what you spend on advertising. Too many people create large advertising initiatives, involving different types of media, without having the infrastructure to accurately measure the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns. When you are able to track what is working and what is not working, you can route your marketing dollars towards what you have had verifiable success with in the past.

Each marketing channel has its own unique challenges which you need to be aware of and have a plan detailing how you are going to get a potential customer to visit your website, make a purchase, request more information, attend a webinar, or setup an appointment.

Direct Mail Marketing

Setting up a direct mailing campaign will get your message in front of your target audience. Generally, you will need to have a special website specifically for direct mailing recipients, or sub-page of your current website which is featured prominently on the card/letter. When someone visits that specific link, you will have your first bit of information to work with.

Every visit you get is from someone looking at what was mailed to them, then actually going to your site. While this is a good start, you still need to convert that visitor. This is where knowing the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns is crucial since putting something in their mailbox has a cost. Your visitor needs to have their own unique way of making a purchase or generating a lead, distinguishable from any of the other methods you are promoting. If this is for a website, a separate order form should be available for these visitors to use from the link advertised on the mailing material.

Email Marketing

A successful email marketing campaign may look similar to a good direct mail marketing campaign. Getting a good “open” rate is a great metric to keep track of since an unopened email will never result in a sale. Once the customer opens it though they need to be convinced to click a link taking them to your site which identifies them as having come through an email. After they have gotten to your site and they decide they want to buy, they should still be tracked as an email user. They should also be tracked as to how they were first introduced to your organization.

Digital Campaign Marketing

Tracking visitors in a digital campaign is relatively easy since you can specify what link you want a visitor to go to once they click your ad. The important metric here is your (clicks:impressions) rate. If you are paying by the impression, you want as many clicks as you can get. If you are paying by the click, you want to make sure that your ad copy spells out extremely clearly what a visitor should expect on your site. The companies you purchase these ads from will generally keep track of these rates for you, all you need to do is get the visitor to a checkout page or lead generation form that is only easily accessible by clicking one of these ads online, as opposed to your generic checkout page.

Taking all of these metrics together will give you an accurate picture of the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns, and show you where you should be targeting more heavily in the future.

Integrate Direct Mail into your Marketing and Increase Response

1007487371 250x187 Integrate Direct Mail into your Marketing and Increase ResponseThe 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.

The Hidden Value of Marketing Automation Software

resize 250x237 The Hidden Value of Marketing Automation SoftwareMarketing automation integrates and automates the scheduling and tracking of marketing campaigns. Marketing campaign automation helps businesses integrate processes that have previously been performed manually, allowing them to become much more efficient. In addition, marketing campaign automation also creates opportunities for numerous new marketing processes that boost the cost-effectiveness, efficiency and reach of overall marketing efforts. 

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.

Marketing automation holds many more visible and hidden benefits. For more information, visit our Marketing Automation Buyer’s Guide page.an

How to Use Direct Mail to Kick Emails Butt

1223972861 250x235 How to Use Direct Mail to Kick Emails ButtFor 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.

 

Get Your Message Across the Right Way – Print that Makes Sense

166578139 250x182 Get Your Message Across the Right Way   Print that Makes SenseYou 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.

 

Complex Variable Data Printing Made Easy

165493131 250x166 Complex Variable Data Printing Made EasyThe 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 Process

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.

The Content

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.

The Images

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.

 

Direct Mail is on the Skids – Or is it?

1588029641 250x250 Direct Mail is on the Skids   Or is it? 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.

 

QR Code and Emerging Media Heighten Engagement and Can Lower Your Postage Costs

150857324 250x250 QR Code and Emerging Media Heighten Engagement and Can Lower Your Postage CostsDon’t complain about the rising costs of postage if your company didn’t register for last year’s USPS business discount by using QR Codes® (deadline was August 12, 2012).  This is the third year in a row the U.S. Postal Service is offering discounts to encourage businesses to use new technology such as QR Codes to improve their mailing results.

This year the USPS is upping the ante by including a scan-to-call component to its QR Code promo. This means when a prospect scans the QR Code with their smartphone that they will be connected by phone to the business that did the mailing. And that business will get a 2% postage discount, which could mean hundreds of dollars in savings per mailing.

For example, a business that normally would have paid $14,750 for mailing 25,000 bounce-back coupons with QR Codes that cost .59 each would only pay $14,250 for postage with the 2% postal service discount.

That 2% would equate to $500 in postage savings. This is more than enough to pay for a celebration dinner for a marketing department when the mailing brings in $652,000 in sales by generating 1,000 purchases (4% of mailing) of a $652 product.

Register for Emerging Technology Discount

September 30 is the deadline to register your business to receive a 2% discount on mailings you send using one of three emerging technologies shown below:

Augmented Reality Component: Augmented Reality (AR) is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data.

Authentication Component: Authentication describes the process of verifying a unique customer using a combination of authentication factors (at least two).

Near Field Communication (NFC): Near Field Communication creates a two-way communication link between two devices with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) capabilities.

Here are the guidelines to receive the postal service emerging technology discount or you can email mobilebarcode@usps.gov.

 

Want a Deeper Understanding of Postal Changes and Discounts?

Pitney Bowes has produced a series of great webinars and slideshows that summarize the myriad of changes and rewards the postal service has to soften the pain of change.

I recommend starting by reading Pitney Bowes overview slideshow: Understanding the USPS: The Rewards for Change.

I hope by embracing the new technology and the discounts available to your business for doing so. If so you’ll be even more prosperous in 2013.

* QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.