Posts tagged multichannel marketing

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.

 

Does Your Data Support That?

mobile interface1 250x166 Does Your Data Support That?

Trends Marketing Needs to Stay on top of Due to Data

The whole “big data” phenomenon may be overstated in the business and tech media at this point, but for good reason: Companies are proving time and time again that a data-driven approach leads to smarter business decisions and often creates a competitive edge.

As a result, more businesses — even small and medium-sized businesses — are turning to solutions that help them harness the power of big data to do everything, from more accurately tracking inventory to listening and engaging in relevant online social conversations. As the data universe continues to grow exponentially, tools are rapidly being developed and deployed

More Data Regulations are Imminent

While the marketing and advertising industries successfully deflected major regulations in 2012 through intense lobbying efforts, new regulations in 2013 are highly likely to be passed due to the sheer number of bills and other initiatives currently in the works, along with the need for laws to catch up with the fast pace of innovation in this area:

  • Following the release in March 2012 of a two-year investigation on consumer privacy in the digital age, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission endorsed legislative action around data privacy, including the creation of “do-not-track” mechanisms in web browsers that help consumers opt-out of online behavioral tracking and targeting. Efforts by the industry to self-regulate DNT were stalled at the end of 2012; the consequence may lead to legislative action on the issue.
  • Retiring Democratic Senator from West Virginia, John D. Rockefeller IV, launched an inquiry into information brokers like Acxiom, Epsilon and Rapleaf last October to better understand their practices and determine if they handle consumers’ personal data appropriately.
  • Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) recently released a draft bill called “The Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2013,” or the APPS Act, targeted at creating guidelines for data collection, retention and sharing practices of mobile app developers. With other initiatives at various stages in the works, expect more attempts — and some successes — to introduce new marketing and advertising regulations in 2013.

Don’t Put Your Phone Down

The sheer size of the mobile audience, along with the diverse capabilities and immediacy that modern mobile technology can deliver, has prompted organizations to go back to the drawing board with their website and application designs to account for the unique features of mobile devices. Smaller screen sizes, touch interfaces, push notifications, location services … they are all pushing practitioners and technology firms to rethink their approach to design to help them reach their audience in a clear way.

It should be noted that the “large screen” desktop interfaces are not going away anytime soon, especially in the workplace, meaning that design ultimately needs to be multi-modal. Some companies are approaching this issue by building responsive layouts that automatically adapt depending on the browser or screen size. Others are taking a more piecemeal approach by designing for a particular channel or, in the case of mobile apps, designing for a particular device or operating system. Are you designing your multi-channel campaigns with mobile in mind?

Interestingly, some of the design elements born out of the necessity to create usable interfaces on smaller screens are now becoming common in designs for larger screens. The interface of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 OS is probably the starkest example of this phenomenon, but there are plenty of others. Forms are becoming less dense and easier to use due to the lack of space of many inputs and large drop-down menus, and icons are being designed and implemented in more meaningful ways to reduce interface clutter. In other words, mobile is driving more simplicity in interface design, which is a step in the right direction for creating more user-friendly digital experiences.

The Road Map for InfoTrends’ Digital Marketing & Media Trends (DMM) Consulting Service helps companies understand how to harness the power of interconnected media effectively to meet their business objectives. To read the full DMM report, visit www.infotrends.com.

Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

v. man 250x250 Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action guest posted a terrific blog at Copyblogger: Are You a Marketing Artist or Scientist? In it he describes two distinct tribes that most marketers fall into (1) the right-brain types that like to create and find inspiration in coffee shops journaling and brainstorming about their next blog, podcast, video or creation or (2) the left-brain types that are most on fire when they get to use gadgets to crunch numbers, run split tests or compare data sets.

McGuinness explains it matters not which camp you fall into. What matters is that both camps work closely together to achieve optimum marketing outcomes for your organization. While ethereal writers can create magnetic content in itself it isn’t marketing until the scientists optimize it to be found and shared on the web.

And while marketing scientists are terrific at setting up variable data projects,analysis models and optimizing content to be keyword and SEO rich and for capturing names and IP addresses via landing pages and micro sites, they aren’t good at creating copy or content that screams read me, share me, and use me to make your buying decision right now!

You Need Both Disciplines to Succeed

McGuinness goes on to say that while at one time you could succeed with just killer content or killer PPC, now you need a mixture of the art and science to succeed. Dave Reibstein, co-author of Marketing Metrics, agrees.

Read Reibstein’s full excerpt here about blending the art and science of marketing.

Allen Weiner of Gartner for Marketing Leaders shares three companies that he feels is blending the art and science of content marketing marvelously well. In his blog post, Understanding the Art and Science of Content Marketing, Weiner gives the thumbs up to Home Depot, Nike’s Better World micro-site and The Waffle Shop.

He says all three think like publishers in blending their content with proper workflow and outcomes. Home Depot succeeded by driving 29 million DIY-ers to a YouTube video on the forgotten art of whiskey barrel making. Many showed up in the store to buy materials and give it a go.

Nike’s Better World succeeded with its content by using HTML5 to present a scrolling storyboard explaining its company’s green initiatives and The Waffle Shop doubled connects with its customers through a live stream of customers sharing comments good or bad live at a Pittsburgh restaurant.

Is your marketing organization set up so the scientists can teach the artists and vice versus? Tell us in the comments section below.

VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

When Savvi Formalwear, a group of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with more soon-to-be brides, it chose the print and digital trifecta — direct mail, email and personalized landing pages.

All of Savvi Formalwear’s direct mail pieces were personalized using variable data printing (VDP), with coupons or incentives such as the two free airline tickets shown in the postcard in this post and a PURL that drives brides to a landing page with a store locator and Savvi Formalwear branding.

Savvi Formalwear is using the campaign to capture more of the $1 billion formal wear industry, that like other industries, has suffered because of the 2009-2011 recession.

wedding VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Not coincidentally the majority of Savvi Formalwear stores are located on the west coast where nearly 20% of the formal wear transactions occur. In these 35 stores, Savvi Formalwear is trying to lure as many of the two million brides that get married every year to their stores and services as possible.

SOURCE: IBIS World Report, Formal Wear and Costume Rental in the U.S., May 2012

 

pam VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Savvi Formalwear’s campaign, named SavviOne, included weekly mail drops across the U.S. and Canada to promote formal wear to couples planning their weddings. Using the power of personalization, Savvi Formalwear significantly increased the engagement and conversions in its multi-channel promotional campaign, according to Mark Morrow, president of Savvi Formalwear.

SOURCE: Case Studies, www.montagedigital.com

Bride Puts Money Toward Print Pieces Not Cake or Dress

While most brides can spend the majority of their wedding budget on elaborate centerpieces, cakes and designer dresses, bride Robin Nelson, who works in the printing industry, invested her wedding dollars in a cross-media wedding campaign.

Nelson used XMPie solutions to personalize each piece of her wedding communications from engagement announcements to her wedding invitations which included QR Codes®*

Nelson said the campaign enabled her to gather more information about each of her guests to organizing the wedding to taking advantage of technologies that count RSVPs and help brides budget for dinner, drinks, the rehearsal dinner and after-ceremony reception.

SOURCE: “Happily Ever After: A Cross-Media Wedding Campaign” by Robin Nelson, XMPie Blog, Oct. 12, 2011

invitations VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

 

 

With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count at Nelson’s wedding. Nelson attributes this to her guests who updated their RURL (Response URL also called PURL for personalized URL) especially in regards to how many children who would be coming with them).

The information Nelson got from her guests through the landing page they responded to allowed her to stay within budget, update her guest list and create a seating chart.

Nelson also downloaded the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app that allowed her to provide final head counts and meal preferences to her caterer and vendors through report on-the-fly report technology.

So while some brides like the visual trimmings (cakes, bridesmaid’s gifts, etc.), savvy brides are tapping into VDP and digital technology to make their wedding planning less stressful and more personalized to all involved.

*QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

 

It’s Not Too Early to Know the Marketing Trends of 2013

eight marketing trendsDo you feel like you’re constantly playing catch up? If so it’s particularly hard to stay ahead of trends. We can relate; thus the reason we’re posting a 2013 marketing trends piece in late April.

Take a breather and read the eight trends projected by Forbes and CIO Network magazines.

8 Marketing Trends Projected for 2013

#1  Businesses will pick and choose their social media platforms. Because businesses have had time to cut their teeth on social media and social media integration, they now have the confidence to align themselves with the platforms that make the most sense for the business. No longer will businesses feel obligated to be entrenched in all social media platforms. Doing so is nearly impossible and participating in all social networks is certainly not required to be successful in your niche. Pinterest works for fashion, photography, interior design and lifestyle businesses but not as well for manufacturers, municipalities, or musicians.

#2  Marketing strategies that simplify will soar. Because the world continues to move at a fast pace; accelerated even faster by 24/7 technology, any company that simplifies our lives or experiences wins more customers.

#3  Real-time marketing will replace campaign-based marketing. While theme-based marketing has ruled because it’s easy to plan around one theme that gets launched around a company-based timeline, it’s not very consumer-centered. Now that companies have married their customer relationship management systems with their online website orders, they have the data to launch trigger-based or real-time marketing that happens because an activity has taken place and merits another action being put into play to motivate the customer to take the next step.

During this year’s Super Bowl, Oreo used “real time marketing” to capitalize on the media attention that resulted when the Superdome experienced a blackout. Oreo had aired a TV ad earlier that night with a Twitter tie in that gained some new fans. When the blackout occurred Oreo leveraged their increased Twitter following by tweeting out a relevant picture reminding them that “you can still dunk in the dark.”

oreo It’s Not Too Early to Know the Marketing Trends of 2013

SOURCE: Oreo Cookie; Power out? No Problem

This picture went viral almost immediately and at last count has been retweeted over 16,000 times.

#4  Marketing success will be measured by sales. Instead of measuring lead generation, opportunity costs, click throughs and dozens of other metrics, marketing’s worth to a company will be weighed against sales growth.

#5   Mobile marketing gets taken seriously. Because more people purchased smart phones than PCs last year, mobile marketing will truly get its fair share of the marketing spending pie. While 90% of global marketing have a mobile site, only 20% of them integrate mobile strategies into their overall marketing plan.

SOURCE:“5 Surprising Marketing Trends for 2013,” Forbes, Jan. 23, 2013.

#6  Digital marketing agencies will double. In an attempt to manage their various online and social activities, small businesses are turning to digital marketing agencies. The demand will drive more digital agencies from owner-operated to consultants to creative boutiques.

SOURCE:“Follow the Money: Digital Marketing Trends for 2013,” Rob Eleveld, CIO Network, Dec. 20, 2012.

#7  All marketing campaigns will be integrated marketing campaigns. Do you remember 20 years ago when advertising agencies started calling themselves integrated marketing agencies to show that they were all inclusive of strategies such as direct mail, merchandising, public relations as well as advertising? Today if you produce a direct mail campaign, it would be foolish not to integrate the campaign by using a trackable 800 phone number, QR Code® or landing page (aka microsite).

#8  Google will start charging to access its analytics. In 2012 Google spent lots of money improving its analytics solutions and has put itself in a position to begin charging for the data it collects and stores. You might see this as early as 2014.

SOURCE:”Follow the Money: Digital Marketing Trends for 2013,” Rob Eleveld, CIO Network, Dec. 12, 2012

Do any of these eight predictions surprise or worry you? Tell us why in the comments below. We’re proud to say that 100% of our campaigns are integrated or multi-channel campaigns and 85% are variably printed.

Alo Uses QR Code Like a Cracker Jack’s Surprise

alo1 Alo Uses QR Code Like a Cracker Jack’s SurpriseRemember how fun it was as a kid to dig into a box of Cracker Jacks® caramel popcorn and get that treasured prize inside the box? Well history repeats itself with Alo’s Free Music in Every Bottle campaign.

Alo, makers of an aloe vera health drink, have a marketing tagline — Goodness From Inside Out ™.  I like their juice drinks and occasionally pay the premium price of $2.50 a bottle to treat my taste buds to something “pure” for a change.

Now Alo has developed a multi-channel marketing campaign to enhance the user experience by adding a QR Code® on each bottle that allows you to download an MP3 compatible song that they deem as music made for the flavor.

After downloading the song off my bottle, I received this email from the company:

Hello friend!

Goodness has arrived. Download your ALOtone track to your desktop and drag it into your iTunes. You can also take it on-the-go by syncing your iTunes with your iPhone. We think music is best enjoyed with friends, so share it with everyone and press play.

Download your free ALOtone™ here:

http://m.ALOdrink.com/mail/Optimistic_Bloom_(ALO_Enrich)_ALOtone.mp3

Always feel free to contact us or say hi at http://ALOdrink.com or http://Facebook.com/ALOdrink

Free Music in Every Bottle

Surprisingly, I believe the company has nailed this one. When I purchased a bottle of Alo Enrich, the pomegranate and cranberry flavored Alo, I was compelled to download the free music “for my mind.” The iTunes compatible song, Optimistic Bloom, was a new age bubbly rendition that really did remind me of drinking the Alo juice that contains small, round alovera pulp that bursts on your tongue when your drink the beverage.

Alo is milking its campaign for all its worth with a PR and media blitz and goes the extra mile by including marketing copy on its bottles that promote the campaign and drink-specific song.

The ALOtones are marketed as “taking you to another place combined with an enhancing mix of pomegranate, cranberry and aloe vera. Together, they’re crafted to promote positive thinking and take on free radicals with a fresh boost of musical Optimism.”

The company describes its new multi-channel marketing combination of QR Codes, packaging and song as the  “Free Music in Every Bottle” campaign. I call it pure brilliance and one of the first QR Code campaigns that makes sense, rewards the consumer with a true treat of value, and in addition to keeping them purchasing the premium drink, they probably will chat it up among their friends, fellow yogis, runners, or health nuts in their circles.

Congrats to Alo for its innovative marketing and award for the Best Functional Drink Consumer Campaign at the Beverage Innovation Functional Drinks Awards last year.

QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

Cracker Jacks® is a registered trademark of Frito-Lay

 

 

Seven Part Nonprofit Multi-Channel Campaign Touches 7 Million Donors

mission 250x110 Seven Part Nonprofit Multi Channel Campaign Touches 7 Million DonorsTwo years ago in April, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission saw a dramatic drop in donations simultaneously with seeing a dramatic increase in homeless cases.

Based on advice from its marketing agency, it learned that the days of single-channel marketing were over. Donors now function in a multi-channel mode. Even if a direct mail acquisition piece is sent with a response mechanism, 40% to 60% of donors will elect to do further research online, according to Masterworks.

According to a 2010 study by Convio, most nonprofits continue to apply a traditional direct mail centric acquisition model to target Baby Boomers and other younger donors who make it onto available rental lists. For many, the answer has been to augment their direct mail with an online push. Internet fundraising has grown strongly, but most major mailing nonprofits have reported almost a 20% decline in new donor acquisition over the last five years. “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”

Reversing Dwindling Donations by Pulling Out All the Stops

Union Gospel Mission built a multi-channel campaign to reverse the trend of declining donations. By building a campaign that included radio, direct mail, print (posters and press releases), promotional items, telemarketing, email, and landing pages, Union Gospel Mission grew donations by 2% and has continued this increase year after year.

The campaign slogan Union Gospel Mission crafted was “One Meal…One Hope.” One meal spoke to the needs of the poor and homeless while one hope offered the outcome donors wanted – a promise of a future through the mission’s work rebuilding broken lives.

SOURCE:Masterworks, Seattle-based integrated marketing firm

SOURCE:The Next Generation of American Giving, Convio, Edge Research, Sea Change Strategies, March 2010

The direct mail letter solicitation spelled out clearly how far the donor’s dollars would go in helping the homeless – $1.98 would feed one person and $19.20 would feed 10 people.

meal Seven Part Nonprofit Multi Channel Campaign Touches 7 Million Donors

The landing page you see below helped put a face to the cause by thanking the donor for feeding Don and turning his life around by getting him off the streets and back into society and into church.

 

Multi-Channel Campaign Generates Huge Lift

Union Gospel Mission’s campaign exceeded expectations by making 7 million impressions. Website traffic to the mission grew 57% at a time when other missions were losing traffic and seeing income declines. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission grew its donation by 2% and continues to see this upward trend now that it’s using multi-channel campaigns.

hippie Seven Part Nonprofit Multi Channel Campaign Touches 7 Million Donors

 

Six Rules of Multi-Channel Marketing

Are you implementing multi-channel marketing programs in your organization or nonprofit? If so are you sticking to these six requirements outlined by The Nonprofit Times below?

  1. The optimal deployment of media should be driven by voice of the customer (VOC) learning to ensure both relevance and effectiveness.
  2. Key elements of the multi-channel mix must be deployed according to the individual opt-in preferences of customers and prospects.
  3. The multi-channel mix must provide customers and prospects with choices so they can communicate with the marketer via the media mix of their choice.
  4. The channel mix must meet requirements 1 through 3 in accordance with the timing and frequency determined by that individual’s opt-in preference.
  5. The channel mix must offer a completely integrated experience. All the elements must complement each other, support each other, and send coordinated messages to customers and prospects.
  6. The channel mix must be responsive. If the organization alienates or abuses a consumer, we can expect to hear about it in a public forum if we do not resolve it privately.

Quit Pitting Digital against Print – Cross Pollination is the Only Win-Win

tatoo boxing2 250x166 Quit Pitting Digital against Print – Cross Pollination is the Only Win WinNo customer wants to hear all messages via email; via direct mail; via social; via traditional media. You get the gist.

Today’s preferred channels for communication have created new consumer behaviors. And consumers prefer different channels of communication depending on personal preferences. This means to effectively communicate one-on-one with any customer you need print plus digital communications.

According to Barbara Pellow, Director of InfoTrends, 2013 is the year of print plus. And though print spending is expected to decrease 6.2% over the next two years, it still makes up 30% of the marketing spending. Meanwhile it’s no surprise mobile spending is predicted to increase 8.8% and online/web communication spending to rise 4.9% over the next two years.

Pellow says these spending shifts present an opportunity for printers and chief marketing officers (CMOs) to become trusted advisors in helping clients or companies understand how to best spend and blend their available marketing dollars.

While survey after survey confirms that most marketers are shifting funds out of their print and mail budgets to online or out of their direct mail budgets into email, you don’t see the cross-marketing or multi-channel marketing blending that’s occurring in the marketplace.

In an InfoTrends study, Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprise Communication Requirements, more than 1,000 companies and 500 employees were surveyed. In the chart below, you’ll see the strategy behind blending print and digital channels.

try this one Quit Pitting Digital against Print – Cross Pollination is the Only Win WinSOURCE: Understanding Vertical Markets; Enterprise Communications Requirements, Info Trends, 2013.

Digital + Traditional = Unified Marketing

Unified Marketing,™, coined by Dr. Augustine Fou, helps to visualize customer touchpoints across all marketing channels and across all stages of the customers’ purchase funnel to identify redundancies or gaps and thus optimize the mix of media and tactics.

Dr. Fou illustrates how marketing has evolved from push to pull (outbound to inbound marketing) in his ecosystem and touchpoints slideshare. He consults with CMOs on how to reallocate dollars across both traditional and digital channels to most efficiently impact business goals. Actually he’s made a science of doing so.

Dr. Fou’s scientific approach to identifying gaps in the sales funnel and then selecting the right tactics across all channels enables CMOs to visualize where they are overspending and then reallocate dollars rather than just arbitrarily moving marketing dollars from traditional to digital media.

“This is not just a ‘digital thing’ or a ‘traditional thing’ any more,” says Fou. “The right tactics are chosen based on insights about what bits of information customers need – their missing links – and what channels and tactics would be most effective in addressing these missing links.”

SOURCE: 2013 Really is the Year of Print Plus, What They Think, Barbara Pellow, January, 31, 2013.

Why Sensory Marketing is Irresistibly Effective

sensory marketingOmniture Business Unit at Adobe pushed the sensory envelope when it mailed prospects a pie chart made out of three types of chocolate (milk, dark, and white) to drive home a point and to give them something to chew on – literally. (Adobe enjoyed an 11.6% response rate and 289% response rate. Source: Deliver Magazine, December 2010)

How many times have you stopped to smell the scratch-n-sniff ads in women’s magazines? Research in How Magazine Advertising Works shows product sample ads raise product awareness by 42% and prospects are 56% more likely to buy the cologne based on the sensory experience.

This double digit sales lift based on smell isn’t surprising according to author Martin Lindstrom’s book “Brand Sense.” According to Lindstrom 75% of our emotions are generated by what we smell.

Can the sound of music push a recording artist into a higher bracket of record sales? Yes, according to Famecount.com, Lady Gaga holds the record with over one billion YouTube views. Gaga is the most popular living person on both Facebook and Twitter.

 

How Are You Igniting Prospect Senses?

Are you relying solely on pretty images to break through the gatekeepers and get your message into the hands of the C-Suite, consumers or small business owners? In today’s competitive world, it’s going to take more than a glossy stock image to crack that door.

Get the door to swing wide open by using variable data printing (VDP) to pull images and graphs into your marketing piece that speak directly to your prospects. People respond to images or people that appeal to or look like them. Like attracts like, so it makes good strategic sense to include photographs of people who look like your prospects or like your prospects want to look after using your product or service.

Thanks to emerging technology, companies can now blend smell, sound, video, tactic and distinctive touch into their direct mail campaigns, according to Good Sense: A case study by Deliver Magazine.

 

Taste Strips Take Samples Beyond the Supermarket

When a soft drink manufacturer wanted to learn just how popular one of its most popular sodas could be, it mailed a survey to 5,000 customers with a flavor strip of the drink. Of the 1,650 who responded, 76% told the manufacturer that they would very likely be buying the product in the next week. (Source: First Flavor, a suburban Philadelphia firm)

Getting people to try your product by sending samples or getting them to try a sample is nothing new. You’ve probably been asked to sample some cheese and crackers in the store or a small tube of toothpaste inserted in your Sunday newspaper.  Product samples convert. Consider these stats:

  • 81% say they would try a product after they receive a free sample.
  • 61% say a product sample is the most effective way to get them to try a product.
  • 65% say they would prefer to have samples mailed to their home.
  • 89% say that an accompanying coupon would increase the perceived value of the mailed item.

Source: Arbitron and Edison Media Research

 

4 Ways to Maximize Sensory Engagement with Mail

According to Postal Service advertising expert Chris Frazier, engaging customers’ senses is the surest way to get them to stay longer and buy more. Frazier goes on to say companies miss the mark if they design direct mail campaigns that are only built around visuals.  Here are the four ways to stimulate more response through sensory marketing.

Give Them a Whiff. Freshly cut grass, coffee, strawberries or chocolate are engaging and memorable when sent through scented coatings, scented papers or scratch-n-sniff labels. Car dealerships can infuse the scent of a new car into their mailings and spas can use the scent of lavender in their mailings to reinforce the relaxation they provide as a benefit.

Give Them a Taste. Flavor strips are a much more affordable way to give your prospects a sample, rather than having to send an entire food or beverage sample. “A bed and breakfast that mails a maple flavored sample will not only bring an experience into the home, but will likely gain an edge over its competition,” says Frazier.

Make the Feel Unforgettable. Not every direct mail piece should be flat and smooth. One of the reasons direct mail works is because it is tactile. Companies that use varnishes, coatings and textured paper-or include sample pieces of sweaters or denim-win.

Use Video. Not only can your multi-channel campaign drive prospects to a micro-site that includes an embedded video or URL to a video, you can include wafer-thin video on your direct mail piece, too, according to Frazier. The greater the interaction, the greater the response rate.