Three Great Reasons To Use Direct Mail

Image result for direct mail images

There are lots of reasons to use direct mail, and you may have heard many of them. So here are three statistics on the value of direct mail marketing that you may not have heard.

  1. Direct mail has higher value in persuasion.

According to a recent study by Canada Post and True Impact Marketing,[1] direct mail generates a motivation score that is 20% higher than digital media.  The study found this score to be even higher when direct mail creative uses print enhancements (for example, special coatings, dimensionality, and print-to-mobile technologies).

  1. Direct mail is easier to understand.

A wide variety of studies confirm that information provided in print is easier for people to understand and process than information provided in digital form. In the case of the True Impact study, direct mail was found to require 21% less cognitive effort. That means your message is absorbed more quickly and effectively.

  1. Direct mail results in higher brand recall.

Not only is information in direct mail easier to process, but it is more likely to be retained. True Impact found that brand recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to direct mail ads rather than to digital ones.

Need more reasons to love direct mail? Just ask us! We’re ready to put your direct mail ideas in motion!

[1] “A Bias for Action” (Canada Post and True Impact Marketing, July 2015)

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What Are CMO’s Top Marketing Priorities?

Recently, IBM released a study titled “Redefining Markets: Insights from the C-Suite Study,” which surveyed over 700 CMOs from more than 50 countries. CMO’s number one priority, according to the study? Developing better customer experiences. Nearly two-thirds (63%) cited this as their top priority.

When the researchers looked deeper into what made for a “better customer experience,” they found that this referred to the cumulative impact of the multiple touch points a customer has with a company and the effects that the touches have over time.

This has to be done strategically. IBM also found a huge gap between how companies perceive they are doing with their customers and how they are actually doing. Eighty percent of CEOs believe their companies are delivering exceptional customer experiences, while 78% of customers stated that the average brand doesn’t understand them as individuals at all. That’s a huge disconnect.

Customer experience isn’t a guessing game. You have to be smart and proactive about planning your marketing interactions.  This requires understanding and planning across the entire customer journey.

This includes:

  • Understanding the buyer’s motivations.
  • Anticipating the customer’s journey from brand awareness to purchase.
  • Putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
  • Presenting a consistent, positive brand image.
  • Speaking to people using segmented, targeted, and personalized communications that make them feel valued.

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it does require planning. Set up a time to talk to us about creating an integrated multi-channel campaign that creates a positive customer experience and brings your prospects all the way to a sale.

CMO Priorities for the marketing organization

Create better experiences for customers 63%
Increase depth of analytical skills 53%
Improve operations and organizational structures 41%
Enhance social and mobile 38%
Better measures of marketing effectiveness 29%

Source: “Redefining Markets: Insights from the C-Suite Study” (IBM, 2016)

When you’re ready to focus on how you can impact the customer journey, we’re here to help put those ideas in motion!

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1:1 Marketing Is Relationship Marketing

What makes 1:1 printing work? What turns an average marketing campaign into an outstanding success? Is it the graphic design? Is it the mailing list? Is it selecting just the right variables like income, age, or gender? Those things are important, but there is one ingredient that trumps them all. Relationship.

At its core, 1:1 printing is “relationship marketing.” Relationship marketing is an approach that focuses on nurturing long-term customer relationships rather than focusing exclusively on the short-term sale.

What might this look like in your business?

Say you are a local, family-owned hardware store. Normally, a customer walks in, does his shopping, and you make yourself available to answer questions and recommend products. You hope that great service, quality merchandise, and your employees’ wealth of project expertise will hold their loyalty. You might have special promotions or discounted merchandise in a bin at the front of the counter.

But what might this look like if you decide to implement a proactive relationship-marketing program using 1:1 printing?

When a customer walks in, you smile and greet them, but you also ask if they would like to be on your mailing list for your newsletter, “Tips for Shop & Home.” If they say yes, you collect their name, address, and critical information for personalizing content, such as whether they rent or own, whether they have children and their ages, and any specific home needs such as a garden, pool, or workshop.

Once a month, you send out a personalized newsletter addressing each customer by name. You also customize the content, providing weatherizing tips, suggestions for ongoing home maintenance, and relevant offers based on what you know about their property. If they garden, you might offer planting tips and discounts on seeds, berry bushes, or garden mulch. If they have a pool, you might offer maintenance tips and discounts on pool supplies.

Because relationships are about interaction, you may want to create excuses to open dialogs with your customers. This might include an occasional customer survey, feedback form, or customer contest (such as best recipe using home-grown vegetables or best home workshop project). This creates an interaction between you and your customers that makes each person feel valued and gives them a stake in their relationship with you. At the same time, it gives you more information to further personalize future mailings!

That’s relationship marketing—and it’s one of the factors that makes 1:1 printing great. When you’re ready to put those 1:1 ideas in motion, we’re here to help! Visit our Resource Center and download “Nurturing Prospects Into Customers” for more ideas.

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Maximizing ROI For Dimensional Mail

If your mailing is fat, over-sized, or three-dimensional, it stands out. People want to pick it up and see what’s inside. Results of dimensional mailings can be spectacular. However, they also cost more to produce, assemble, and mail. Dimensional mailings work, but you want to be smart about using them.

Let’s look at some techniques for maximizing the effectiveness of dimensional mail.

  1. Narrow down and target the recipients carefully. Dimensional mailings are not best for undifferentiated mass mailings. They are best suited for generating sales of higher value products and services, such as long-term contracts or donor relationships, insurance or financial services, and real estate transactions.
  2. Don’t frighten a recipient with an unmarked package. If you want to keep the package plain, one way to handle this is to integrate a marketing message on the outside.
  3. Keep it relevant. The gift or incentive should be practical (a product sample) or relate directly to the marketing message in some way. Bewilderment is not the sort of attention you want.
  4. Research production and mailing costs carefully. Case studies can provide guidance and offer an idea of the response rates obtained by the kind of campaign you are considering.
  5. Ensure that it can be mailed. Consult with the USPS to ensure that you are not violating postal regulations or mailing something they (or another carrier) would deem unshippable.
  6. Test for integrity in the postal stream. Mail test samples to yourself or to colleagues to gauge the impact on the package itself. Does it get damaged as it is wedged into small mailboxes? Does it survive the mail stream?
  7. Track and measure the results. Establish a realistic benchmark for success.

Need more ideas? We’re here to help. When you’re ready to put your dimensional mail ideas in motion, give us a call!

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Drip Marketing

Want more sales? Use the power of print to fuel your drip marketing efforts.

Drip marketing is the use of a consistent, predictable set of marketing touches (postcards, email, newsletters) to nurture a relationship with a client or prospect over time. Drip marketing is different from follow-ups or multi-touch marketing in that the latter have narrow time frames.

  • Follow-ups are one-off. You call someone back. You mail them a packet of product information upon request.
  • Multi-touch marketing is designed to use multiple contacts — postcards, email, mobile—but still garner a sale within a relatively short period of time.
  • Drip marketing has a longer-term framework in mind. It is about education, trust building, and lead nurturing over months or even years. It’s great for complex sales and higher value products.

According to The Database Diva, 65% of the people in your sales funnel are tire kickers. They are unqualified prospects not in a position to do business with your company. Thirteen percent are ready to buy. Twenty-two percent will buy eventually but need more time. That’s where drip marketing comes in. That last group may take a while, but when they are ready to make the purchase, you want them to buy from you.

Take a cue from real estate. Agents send four-color postcards with tips and tricks for lawns and gardens, home winterization, and other topics throughout the year. The agent’s headshot and contact information are readily visible, presenting him or her as a problem-solver interested in helping homeowners whether they are looking to sell their homes or not. When a homeowner does decide to sell, whom will they think of first? That is the power of drip marketing.

Do you have products with long sales cycles that could benefit from drip marketing? If so, give us a call. We’re ready to put your ideas in motion!

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How Much Do Bad Addresses Cost You?

You’ve probably heard that bad addresses can kill the ROI on a direct mail campaign. But what are the numbers behind it? Just how costly can bad addresses be?

In a webinar sponsored by Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, the presenter told us just how much impact they can have. Mark Rheaume, national postal affairs director for AccuZIP, provided some eye-opening numbers:

  • On average, 4% of organizations’ mailing lists are undeliverable. (That’s on average. For many companies, this number is higher.)
  • For mail that achieves the five-digit presort rate, the cost is $.383. This means that, for every 1,000 mail pieces returned as Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA), you lose $383.
  • For standard rate mail pieces, minimum postage for presorted full-service mail is $.254. This means that for every 1,000 returned, you lose $254.

If you have endorsements in there, these numbers rise exponentially.

When you send out a direct mail campaign, you want every piece to count. That’s why things like the list, the message, the offer, the call to action, and smart targeting and personalization are so important. When that piece lands in the recipient’s mailbox, you want it to hit its mark.

Make sure that each piece reaches its intended target by regularly cleaning up your mailing list so that every piece arrives at its destination. Talk to us about services like CASS, NCOA, and data enhancement services (such as deceased suppression or apartment append) so that your direct mail delivers maximum results!

When you’re ready to put your direct mail ideas in motion, we’re here to help!

(Data taken from “How to Dramatically Increase ROI by Adding Value to Your Existing Direct Mail Piece,” sponsored by Epicomm and hosted by Printing News on May 4, 2016.)

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Happy 4th of July!

 

July 4th is the day the United States of America celebrates freedom. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, declaring that the 13 American colonies were  a new nation – no longer a part of the British Empire.

Most Americans spend the 4th of July at picnics, parades, fairs, concerts and baseball games – not giving a second thought to the meaning behind the date. I am one of those people who normally are just happy for a day off of work, spent with family and friends and enjoying the neighborhood fireworks.

But, this year, our federal holiday has a little more meaning to me. Our world has become very dangerous and many people have little to no freedom. They are persecuted for their beliefs and treated as possessions.

The United States of America is blessed. We enjoy not only freedom, but a standard of living that is envied. We often forget how fortunate we are.

Yes, Monday will be a time of rest and of fun, but I would like to publicly thank all of our armed forces who fought to attain our freedom and those who continue to fight to preserve it! May God bless America and may we continue to be the land of the free due to being the home of the brave!

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