Switching from Static to Personalized Makes Results Soar

With consumers squarely in charge of product research long before they ever contact your company, content marketing is more important than ever. One of the most important forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter—and more and more are moving to personalized editorial.

What happens to results if you switch from a general-education newsletter to a fully personalized one? One community-based healthcare system found out. After sending a traditional newsletter for years, it began matching the content to what it knew of patients’ health conditions. Personalized content ranged from advances in treatments to schedules for clinical trials.

After about a year, the healthcare system conducted a readership survey to find out how the new approach was being received. The results?

  • 93% of respondents felt the articles were relevant and of interest.
  • 73% read the entire newsletter every time it came in the mail.
  • 77% said it was easier and quicker to read.
  • 95% said they became aware of services that were previously unknown.

Not only did the healthcare system solidify its relationship with existing patients, but nearly every one of those patients learned about some of the provider’s services they didn’t know about before. Imagine the impact on revenues!

Not every marketer can track to this level of detail, but there are many simple, cost-effective steps you can use to monitor your marketing effectiveness too. Personalized URLs, barcodes (visible and invisible), discount codes, and multiple landing pages for various iterations of the same campaign are all ways to track and measure results.

Talk to us about converting your content marketing into personalized content marketing! We’re ready to put your ideas in motion!

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Are You Marketing Through Content?

Have you noticed that your competitors are sending out more newsletters these days? Posting more white papers? Increasing their investment in blogs and social media? It’s the rise in the power and influence of content marketing.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing, and according to Curata, 75% of marketers are increasing their budgets for it. Are you one of them?

What exactly is content marketing? It is using content such as newsletters, white papers, video portals, and blogs to increase your website’s visibility with search engines and engage customers or prospects digitally and in print. Timely, relevant information engages the target audience, develops or reinforces brand awareness, and maintains client loyalty.

In a world of print and web templates and stock imagery that, on the surface, creates an environment in which all brands can look the same, content marketing establishes you as the expert in your industry. Content marketing can capture mindshare and create real competitive differentiation.

Content marketing is also profitable. When one provider of security incident and events management (SIEM) wanted to improve its lead generation, for example, it used content to build brand awareness during the early research stage of the buying cycle. It created a library of vendor-neutral information, then used this content as bait to attract potential prospects. The company used the information gathered through content marketing to identify which recipients were interested in which content. Then it used a scoring methodology to determine when prospects were most likely to be ready to buy.

The result? The company improved its qualified lead generation process and boosted revenues by 38%.

Looking for ways to use content to educate your customer base, build brand awareness, and stay top of mind? Talk to us! We can help put your content marketing ideas in motion!

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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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