Posts tagged variable brochure
This blog post is for you if you run a casino or similar business– hotel, entertainment venue, restaurant or a retail store. You can learn something from Gold River Casino in Anadarko, Okla., and Prairie Band Casino & Resort in Mayetta, Kan., if you need people in your establishment to earn revenue.
Turning a Slow Day into a Hay Day
Gold River Casino employees used to dread Sundays because the floor was barren and therefore food and beverage sales were slow, too. To increase Sunday play, Gold River put a reusable coupon into its monthly direct mail piece.
The additional free-play offer increased revenues more than $200,000 in just one month. After three months, revenues climbed to $300,000. This translated into an increase of 30% more visitors who drove food and beverage sales up nearly 50%.
SOURCE: Casinos Hit the Jackpot with Direct Mail, March 2012. Deliver Magazine
Sunday is now one of the property’s strongest days thanks to adding a food-and-beverage offer. The food piece draws in families who encourage their friends to come with them to catch up on life on Sundays.
Reengaging Disengaged Customers
Prairie Band Casino & Resort used a total escape package to lure guests back into the casino who hadn’t been in to play in up to three months. The package included a free night’s stay and free-play offer.
To promote the package, Prairie Band mailed a printed luggage tag as the direct mail piece and attention grabber. The results were a 19.1% response rate, an 80.8% lift in incremental guests, and a return on investment of 670.1%.
SOURCE:Casinos Hit the Jackpot with Direct Mail, March 2012. Deliver Magazine
Is there a group of your customers you need to reengage? How about a day of the month you could use a spike in customers? Direct mail works – when executed properly.
With today’s technology, marketers don’t just get to personalize their message; they can personally tailor those messages. The technology is so slick, according to Dave Ward author of Variable Dating Integration – Taking You Wherever You Want to Go, your targeted messages don’t look like highly targeted messages, but like magic.
This magic worked well for PRO Seeds who turned an average farm journal into a marketing vehicle that spoke directly to their farm prospects – literally. Imagine that you run a 1,000-acre soybean operation in Canada. You come in after a hard day of chores, sit back in your recliner, put your feet up and start thumbing through your favorite agricultural magazine.
When you flip to page 12, something jumps right out and grabs your attention. There’s a postcard that is die-cut to look like a bag of soybean seeds – and it has your name on it. You can’t resist peeling the card off the page and finding on the back of the card three soybean seed varieties that are best suited specifically for your farming operation. (If you aren’t a farmer you may not realize that seed selection is specifically tailored to location, climate and soil. All seeds are not created equal.)
You’re stunned. How could they know which seed varieties would work specifically for you; especially when you raise crops in five different heat zones? Behold the power of Variable Data Printing (VDP) or Variable Data Integration.
This is a true marketing campaign that worked wonderfully for PRO Seeds, who faced fierce competition for acres in Ontario where they only had 4% market share in 2011.
The campaign was a hit with farmers who loved the tailored messages specific to their farm, focus and heat zone. PRO Seeds experienced a lift in sales in regions where they had little penetration prior to this effort.
Ready to Harvest Your Clients Using VDP?
The challenge experienced by many marketers who want to execute a highly personalized campaign is the access to and quality of their database. Before executing a VDP campaign such as the one PRO Seeds conducted, you will need the following:
- You must have the right data in the right fields.
- Data must be properly and consistently formatted.
- Data must be accurate.
- Data must be useable in all of the required contexts.
Take the time to analyze your data to ensure the acceptability and accuracy of all substitutions. Don’t let bad data waterlog your campaign.
Variable Data Printing is a powerful tool that allows us to do some remarkable things, and the PRO Seeds card is really only one example of what can be done to tailor powerful messages for your customers.
In our 24 years of experience, Mail Print has found that VDP projects, should have the following elements:
- The client or business must be open minded to delve deep into looking at all possible ways to pull the data available or gather the data needed to truly customize the marketing piece to address the customer or prospect on a knowledgeable, and in some cases an almost intimate, basis.
- The client or business must want to innovate and lead with technology and be prepared for the work and rewards to ensure a successful campaign.
- The client, agency or business must grasp the full scope – and magic – of what can be done with variable data. Some campaigns we’ve executed include:
- making covers of publications specific to each person or market segment;
- making the tables, graphs, and figures in an insurance explanation brochure specific to that employee based on age, marital status, and worker class;
- making a plastic surgery image brochure speak directly to the prospect who called in asking about a facelift, not lipo suction.
Like so many other endeavors, the success of any VDP project is as much in the details of the execution as it is in the creativity that inspired it.
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers began preaching 1:1 marketing for 19 years – the era of Web 1.0. Peppers and Rogers got on the 1:1 soapbox in 1993 with their bestseller, The One to One Future. To speak to your customers 1:1 in the 90s, a company had to do it through phone calls, lunches, small seminars, individual letters, mass mailings with a personal note scribbled on the bottom or expensive custom pitches.
Not today. If you do the right prep work, you can speak to hundreds, even thousands of customers 1:1 through variable data printing. The only drawback is you have to slow down long enough to ensure you’re collecting the right data on each customer. You need to know them, their family, and their buying preferences intimately. You also need to make sure that you are aligned with a partner to establish your data extraction and print processes to make your marketing pieces truly speak 1:1.
Download this newly released eBook, Unlocking More ROI through VDP, which gives you more than 50 pages addressing the ins and outs of variable data printing along with three bonus case studies documenting the double digit results three national companies gained through VDP.
Variable data printing or 1:1 marketing is also known as database printing. With the numerous case studies validating variable data printing’s lift and today’s advancement of data capture technology, it is still surprising only a fraction of companies use it.
The four companies below have grasped the single message source (store) to the single recipient (household) concept and built their CRM systems around it. These VDP rockstars consistently deliver a “mom and pop” or first-name personalization and purchase preference to millions.
- American Red Cross — Red Cross keeps its global mission highly personalized by putting a real face and name on its donor request mailings.
- Ferrellgas — This national propane company with 900-plus locations uses variable data printing to increase opt ins to its Will Call Campaign. By using variable data printing and print automating technology to speed their message to their customers Ferrellgas saved over 100 hours of staff time and increased response rate by as much as 30% depending on the season.
- Harrah’s Casino — is the second-largest casino operator in the U.S. Harrah’s keeps gamers returning to its casinos with highly personalized direct mail pieces and frequent-gambler cards that account for its $3.7 billion in revenue (the highest 3-year returns in the industry). SOURCE: DeanLogan.com
- Target — Target builds individual shopper profiles then designs and mails personalized self mailers and emails featuring products and coupons based on each recipient’s previous purchases. They send their customers coupons and offers that make sense based on past buying habits and complex algorithms for future buying patterns. SOURCE: XMPIE
As you can see by the four VDP rockstars above, execution of any 1:1 customer campaign involves blending operations with sales, marketing and your CRM system. More than likely you have everything you need to start today. Start revving up your return on investment through VDP and add your name to this list of rock star marketers.
Congratulations to our client, Assurant Employee Benefits, for being named a leader in voluntary sales growth by Eastbridge Consulting Group.
Eastbridge recognized Assurant Employee Benefits as one of the industry’s sales growth leaders in 2011 and for exceeding the industry sales average during each of the last three years. Among large companies, those with $30 million or more in voluntary sales, Assurant Employee Benefits 2011 sales increased by more than 13 percent as compared to 2010.
Assurant Employee Benefits works diligently to be a responsive partner who anticipates its customers’ needs and develops targeted, customized solutions to meet them. One area the company focused on was making benefit communications clear, straightforward, consistent and easy.
Prior to the fall of 2009, Assurant printed 11 different, non-personalized employee benefit booklets depending on the employee location, pay rate, and circumstances. Upon receipt of one of these booklets, some employees would have to decipher data tables and do manual calculations to determine their individual voluntary insurance rate. The process was somewhat ineffective and caused lower participation.
Converting from Static to Variable Data
Assurant Employee Benefits decided to tap into the power of variable data printing to customize each booklet and show the rates applicable to each individual employee as defined by age, location, company, pay scale, benefits package and more. This required more than 1,300 text and graphic variables that could be printed and shipped within 24 hours.
To move from static to variable benefits booklets, Assurant Employee Benefits turned to Mail Print to provide the asset management system, print automation processes and print technology that insures each booklet can be printed without errors 100% of the time with no need for further client involvement, downtime, errors or disruptions.
A Turnkey Variable Solution that Converts More and Costs Less
Assurant Employee Benefits’ IT team worked closely with Mail Print and made the commitment to test hundreds of variable combinations before the new variable benefits product could begin production. In the testing process, a book had to be built to reflect every possible combination of graphic and text asset. Mail Print also worked with two outside ad agencies to acquire compliance-related and creative assets.
The results have been outstanding. Mail Print began producing complete customized booklets for Assurant Employee Benefits’ customers that contain more than 1,374 variable fields and nearly 1,000 graphic and text assets that ship in 24-hours upon order receipt, error-free.
To date more than 400,000 benefit booklets have been produced for Assurant Employee Benefits. This communications upgrade, as well as many other internal enhancements, helped to increase the voluntary benefits enrollment rate by 5 percent the first year and 13 percent the second year.
“When Assurant Employee Benefits launched its expanded suite of voluntary, or employee-paid, products in 2010, our goal was to make these coverage options accessible to more employers and their employees,” said Tim Knott, senior vice president of strategic markets and product management. “We’ve met and exceeded that goal, as demonstrated by the Eastbridge sales report findings.”
What Can Variable Do for You?
Variable Data Printing generates response rates 3-10 times higher than traditional efforts.
Gina Danner, CEO of Mail Print shares this insight, “When marketers are able to share specific information with specific individuals – much like Assurant Employee Benefits was able to provide employees with the exact rates and the specific benefits available to them – they are able to increase engagement. Essentially with VDP, marketers make it easier for people to buy.”
Interested in learning more? Download this VDP report compliments of Mail Print.