Posts tagged ROI
Creative Variable Data Printing Services
If you are looking to increase response rates and cut costs, we have some creative ideas in which you can use Variable Data Printing. Before saying something like, “We already use data printing services”, ask yourself a few questions – How well is it working for you? Are you receiving great response rates, and are you getting an enormous return on your investment? If not, then you might be missing out on something.
Getting your message across and creating a lasting impression is important. Including an element of creativity, trust, and interest in your company is vital in order to make a connection through direct marketing in variable data printing.
Using Variable Data Printing in 10 Better Ways for a Greater R.O.I.
- Variety – Use different content, not just different words.
- Emotion – Find out everything about a prospect or client. Appeal to the emotions most important to the prospect or client. Make sure that your brand triggers an emotional response.
- Personalize – Make sure that you include their name, company name (when b2b marketing), address, and anything else that might be relevant to your message.
- Build an Alliance - Let your prospect know that your company wants to be MORE than just a place to make a purchase. Many companies are looking for good partners, they are trying to make connections for networking, and are focused on power building strategies.
- Graphics and Color – Use pictures that are true to your brand. You will be remembered as a company who understands delivering the total package. Every company must show themselves as worthy to be remembered, and relevant graphics can help.
- Check Your Content - It’s so easy to push a potential client away by glorifying our own company. Make your content easy to read. Ask the reader questions, and appeal to emotion. Focus on your reader.
- Usefulness – What does your reader need? When does he need it? If you show that you have paid attention to his needs in the correspondence that you send, he’d be very intrigued, but he might also be inclined to put more trust in you than before. Trust is a great marketing technique.
- Detail - Make the recipient feel as if he was your only customer. You can send out bulk mail and tailor-make each individual piece by using specific details. Research specific information about current and potential clients, and surprise them by including it in your direct marketing techniques.
- Focus on Brand - Every customer/company has different personality features.These features make up their specific brand. It goes much deeper than color, design, and logo. Research the motto, mission statement, and vision statement. Tailor your content to these specific variables.
- Experiment – Experimentation is vital for direct marketing. Keep trying until you find the right technique. Using different color schemes and designs may help reach different people who you never expected to reach. Just because you accidentally appeal to a market that is outside of your target range, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to do so. This strategy may lead to a whole new market segment.
Practice Makes Excellence
Practice shouldn’t ‘make perfect’, it should create excellence. If marketing techniques were ‘perfect’, then we’d never learn how to be creative. Don’t aim for perfection, aim for excellence. Expand your mind beyond what others are doing, and surpass them. You will get it just right, and then realize that it needs to be changed once again. This is part of our fast paced society and there’s no avoiding it.
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.
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.
The direct mail list is the most important component of any direct mail campaign. Some studies indicate that it determines 60% of your mailing’s success rate. Before your nonprofit even starts on the creative aspects of the campaign, start with the nuts and bolts of securing the best list to bring you more donors.
If you’re supplementing your existing donor database by also buying an outside list, know that there are two types of lists (1) compiled lists and (2) response lists.
A compiled list is a database of names and records that have been compiled through public records such as vehicle owner registrations or mortgage loan applications. These lists can get dated quickly so it’s important to ask the list broker about collection dates and updates. Also be sure to always purchase a small test list. It’s the best way to be judicious with your organization’s dollars.
Response lists are compiled based on data from people who have responded to some other offer such as an advertisement, purchased from a catalog or entered their name and information in a drawing. If leasing a response list ask how recent these records were compiled. Frequency and the dollar spend are key factors in the solidness of the list you are negotiating to lease.
Test the List First
It’s wise to ask for a small list to start with – 1,000 to 20,000 names depending on the size of your mailings. Some list compilers have a minimum order of 5,000 records. You may want to shop around for a list partner with more flexibility or ask them to comp the test group of names in order to win your future business.
Make sure to build in enough time in your campaign to test the waters. Fine-tuning the list could save you thousands of dollars in postage and increase your donor acquisition twofold.
The Standard Fair of List Compilers
List compilers usually lease their list for a single use unless you negotiate otherwise. Prices range from $65 to several hundred dollars per thousand records and are available in a variety of formats. Depending on how many variables you add to your list request, the price goes up. Niche market lists can sell for upwards of $1000 per thousand records.
You should ask about spoilage or what part might come back undeliverable. A guaranteed delivery rate of 93% may sound good. In reality, 10% and sometimes up to 20% of your mailing may go to the wrong person and still never returned. Look for deliverability guarantees of 95%, 98% or even 99% because they are out there, according to direct marketing experts and blogger Jeffrey Dobkin of the Danielle Adams Publishing Company.
Other Sources of Mailing Lists
Trade and Membership Associations are excellent sources of mailing lists. There are nearly 8,000 trade associations listed in the National Trade and Professional Associations of the United States. Association lists are also available through the Encyclopedia of Associations by The Gale Group and online through Lexis-Nexis.
SOURCE:“Places to Buy Mailing Lists,” by Jeffrey Dobkins, The Danielle Adams Publishing Company,
Don’t neglect to inquire with your local Chamber of Commerce if you’re searching for good, local business names. You can select by business size, number of employees and government industry classification code (often referred to as the SIC).
You can find even more sources by searching the Internet. Just make sure to ask relevancy, accuracy, and integrity questions about how the list was compiled and insist on a small list to test first.
Remember the best list is a house list, your organization has compiled slowly and meticulously by gaining permission to add donors to your list, but it never hurts to augment your list from the sources mentioned above.
Other than identifying a known brand name and automatically knowing the size of the company, have you ever thumbed through a publication or web portal, become impressed by a company’s logo or tagline, only to learn that this company wasn’t nearly as large as you thought? It happens to me all the time.
I see polished ads or brands in business publications or at blogger sites. I then check out their web traffic at Compete, or look up their staff page on their website to see how large they are. I then acknowledge that they’re pulling off such a fabulous branding being the small fish in a big pond.
Moresource Plays Full Out with Ad Campaign
There is something very classy, catchy and memorable about an ad series done well. Moresource, a Columbia, Mo. based human resource company, gets my kudos for executing a successful ad series in the Kansas City Chamber business magazine, KC Business.
I liked that the owner of this three-person firm, Kat Cunningham featured herself with a client in each ad, used a QR Code®, included both a mention of Facebook and Twitter on her ad. She also stepped up by running a full-page ad, and obviously paid for a professionally designed ad and logo.
How Your Small Business Can Look Bigger than You Are
While it’s not always easy to win customers from larger competitors, technology has leveled the playing field and made it possible.
#1 Re-target your online ads vs. overspending for paid search.
Re-targeting lets you focus your ads exclusively on people who have already engaged with you online. You can re-target ads to people who have opened an email, searched for keywords or been on your site and left without buying anything. Site re-targeting is effective because these people are already interested in your products or services.
#2 Don’t cut corners on image or execution.
The quickest way to look small and amateurish is to put something into the marketplace that is poorly designed, poorly worded or filled with grammatical errors. If you’re going to send a postcard, make it the best designed card, on the best paper with the best call to action imaginable. If you’re going to run an ad campaign, make sure you develop the best creative, best frequency needed for results, and test all the back-end components such as the landing page URL, QR Code (that it scans and bridges your prospect to a site that further engages them), and best greeting upon their action. Does someone answer the phone before the third ring? Who is in the loop of the campaign and can answer questions intelligently? Does the eReport download without glitches once the prospect hands over the required lead info?
#3 Don’t build it, buy it.
You can launch a professional looking website quickly and without the absorbent costs of hiring programmers. Services such as Weebly or Yola have helped many businesses launch for a few dollars a month. Their drag, drop, type and upload technology further levels the playing field for all businesses and budgets.
Need an e-commerce store? Use Shopify.com or SquareSpace. Need to accept payments? Paypal is the answer. Want to provide live customer service online? Consider BoldChat. Chances are what you need already exists and can be accessed through open source, monthly lease, or shared software.
SOURCE:“Look Like a Big Company Without Spending Big Money,” by Scott Gerber, Nov. 30, 2011, Small Business Advocate.
#4 Don’t cut corners on your print collateral.
Find a graphic designer and print partner who produced the image materials of companies you admire and work with them to build your brand. Even in a digital world, you still need business cards, letterhead, pocket folders and mailing labels. Don’t short-change your business by trying to penny pinch you’re way through your collateral. If you and your three biggest competitors had materials sitting on the table in front of the customer of your dreams, who would they pick and why based on image alone?
QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.
The article below is admittedly a personal review of some direct mail I received. I am not privy to the strategies of any of these pieces or to the metrics associated with the return on investment for these campaigns. As a direct marketer I know that all that really matters is the testing matrix and campaign ROI; neither of which do I have any knowledge of. With that said, let’s critique!
After sorting through a huge box of direct mail I collect, I was amazed to find such poor use of the outer envelope for pain-filled call to actions (CTAs). Out of this 20-pound box of direct mail, I only found one organization that was nailing pain-focused CTAs while dozens of others were missing the mark completely – most failing to have a CTA on the envelope at all.
You can see by the two outer envelopes below that the Salvation Army clearly understands driving response through pain and strong CTAs. Pella Windows and JCP on the other hand, do not. These for-profit giants neglected to include anything on the outer envelops to persuade the recipient to take the next step and open the envelope. No CTA, no compelling photograph, no pain. Zero. Zip. Nada.
Many organizations have found that raising the level of a pain surrounding a problem to the point that the inflicted one wants a solution and is willing to act on it is a viable messaging tool.
With all the pain in today’s trauma filled world and with overfilled email boxes, getting to the pain via an envelope with a strong call to action may be the best route to new customers or donors.
Pella’s Envelope Is Void of Pain
We are certain that Pella Window’s marketing department has tested their envelope copy strategy to the hilt, but we spent a little time playing with possible headlines… Tell us if you think these are strong:
- Did you know windows can leak 25% of your heat during the winter? That’s a lot of heat.
- Daddy always complained about heating the outside.
- Might as well just leave the window open, don’t you think?
When we look at Pella Window’s letter we also feel like we want more. We would love to see some content on a replacement cost vs. return on investment calculation to demonstrate how quickly a homeowner can recoup his costs over time just through energy efficiencies throughout all seasons.
Not sure it would work, but it might be worth a test, but imagine retrieving an envelope out of your mailbox with the photograph above on it if you just got an extremely high gas bill earlier that month and the thought of new windows was in the back of your mind. What if the envelope had, “Quit making your family wear down vests and stocking caps to watch a movie in your drafty house.” Would you open the envelope to read more?
JCP Counts CEO Clout to Earn the Open
Lucky me, I received a letter from JCP’s CEO Ron Johnson! I wondered what’s up. Opening this generic, highly digitized very personalized letter, I learn that JCP is making changes in their store to bring back the fun of shopping. If you know me, you know I don’t really enjoy shopping.
Fun of shopping, huh. Funny, this envelope and letter aren’t very fun. In fact, they’re kind of boring.
Johnson goes on to say he doesn’t want me to have to wait for a sale or coupon so I’ll now find low prices every day, which sounds a lot like Wal-mart, but wait. There’s a $10 coupon at the bottom of the letter if I get to JCP in the next few days. Isn’t that kind of a mixed message? No more coupons but here is a coupon?
And here’s another kicker, the letter from the desk of Ron Johnson is signed Ron – now not really. It’s just his typed name. No signature blue ink, cursive writing. Just a corporate looking letter, with a convoluted message and a non-personalized signature at the bottom and no pain or CTA on the outer envelope.
Come on JCP – if you’re trying to be warm, value driven, fun and shift from a couponing strategy to every day value you are delivering numerous conflicting messages.
Now keep in mind, they did send me this letter to my work address. I wonder was the appeal of one more formal letter supposed to get through to me and entice me to use a $10 coupon because I absolutely had to run out in the next four days and buy something.
Add to the confusion. I’m not a JCP shopper. Frankly, I don’t remember the last time I walked in to a JCP. I don’t have kids so I’m not in that “holy grail” of consumers. I rarely use coupons. Heck, I rarely even remember to use the gift cards I get for presents. Bigger problem for JCP – they are spending money with a strange message to try and lure me to their store.
With all these comments I’ll admit the marketer in me is uncomfortable sharing my anecdotal observations. I would love to see the data. I would love to see the testing matrix. I would love to see the ROI and consumer analytics reports, but alas I get to sit back and observe my experience with a mail piece.
I guess this is what a Monday morning quarterback feels like.
Have you received anything from an organization that made you want to take action because it had a great CTA, personalized URL, or magnified some pain that drove you to take action? Let me know in comments.