Friday, November 20, 2015

Personalized Print: Are You Focused on the Right Things?

1. Quality of the database.

Often, marketers get so caught up in volume that they overlook the importance of accuracy. If you have a choice between spending your budget on getting more data and spending it on getting good data, go for quality every time. 

2.  Forget cute. Go for relevant. 

Think “customer motivation.” Many marketers get caught up in creating ads that are cute and memorable, but this doesn’t work with relevance-based targeting. You have about three seconds to catch the recipient’s attention. If the customer has to think too hard or if there is not a clear call to action, your piece will fall short.

3. Include a call to action.

Don’t assume the recipient knows what you want them to do. Make sure the text clearly states the end goal: visit the store, buy a product, attend a seminar.

One mortgage company learned this lesson the hard way. It created a witty postcard whose front showed a pizza slice stuffed with dollar bills. The headline read, “It’s Not Delivery. It’s [Name of Mortgage Company].”  Confusing, right? It showed in the response rate — .5%. On the next go-round, the marketer added the wording, “We deliver the best mortgage in town.” The response rates tripled.

Remember, when crafting 1:1 print marketing, it’s not about how good you are. It’s about how good the message is. Need help? Give us a call. That’s why we’re here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

In B2B Marketing, Experience Matters

When it comes to developing marketing content for the B2B market, targeting by experience level matters. 
This is the conclusion of a survey of 700 global business executives by The Economist Group, which found that B2B prospects from Generation Next (up to 10 years business experience) have very different preferences and motivators than Business Veterans (more than 10 years business experience). In fact, when it comes to marketing content and channel preferences, there can be up to 35 percentage points difference.
Among the differences between the two?

Generation Next
Business Veterans
Are turned off by content with feels like a sales pitch
Prefer content in the form of articles
Find research reports helpful
Find white papers helpful
Favor video content
Prefer other multimedia such as infographics
Spend at least four hours per week perusing business content
Source: The Economist Group
In other differences, 41% of business veterans think company reputation holds more weight than colleague recommendations (10%). Meanwhile, only 28% of Generation Nexters think company reputation holds more weight than colleague recommendations (27%).
People are people, whether they are in a business context or a home and family context.  When crafting your next B2B campaign, remember that targeting your content by experience demographic matters as much as market vertical, job position, or other traditional demographics.

Need help? Give us a call.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How Do You Spell Success? C-O-N-V-E-R-S-I-O-N

When you think about evaluating the success of a marketing campaign, what comes to mind? For many marketers, it’s response rates. However, that just because someone “responds” by contacting you doesn’t mean that the campaign was profitable. The true measure of success is whether they actually buy something. That’s why one of your most important measures should be conversion rate.

Let’s say you’re a gourmet store in the heart of a college community. You just launched a line of breakfast items that includes pastries, breads, and gourmet omelets. You develop a campaign of 10,000 direct mailers that invite students to request an email- or text-back coupon for 25% off one of the new items. As an incentive, you offer a chance to win concert tickets to see the band Little Mix, which soon will be performing in the area.

Initially, you’re thrilled by the response rate. A whopping 32% of students requested the coupon. Then the excitement fades. Although more than one-third of students responded, only 3% actually visited the store and redeemed the coupon. When you work out your ROI, you didn’t even break even.
Let’s say you had targeted the local community instead. 

Let’s say the response rate is lower—8%—but it’s an affluent community with a high percentage of recipients working in and around the university. Of those who do respond, 32% redeem the coupon and try the new breakfast. From this pool, the number of conversions is 150% higher than the college student pool. Your cost to produce the campaign is the same, but your ROI is vastly different.

This simple example illustrates the power of the conversion rate. Initially, who wouldn’t prefer 32% response rate over 8%? But the conversion on the back end ends up being the deciding factor in the profitability of the campaign.

So don’t think response rate — think conversion!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Personalized Marketing: It’s Mainstream

From personalized coupons arriving in the mailbox to “just for you” recommendations in the inbox, personalized marketing is everywhere.
In fact, in a study of more than 1,000 enterprises, InfoTrends found that not only is personalization occurring more frequently, but when marketers do send out personalized marketing pieces, those pieces have a higher level of complexity. There are more variable pictures and images. More variable blocks of text. More dynamic compositions of the sections of the marketing pieces.

When asked, “What percentage of your customer communications/marketing campaigns fit into the following categories?” InfoTrends found that 62% of campaigns are either fully personalized or segmented:

Audience-Targeting Approaches
Personalized (one to one)
Segmented (one to few)
Mass marketing (one to many)

Source: Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprises Communication Requirements (InfoTrends)

Think about that for a moment. Nearly two-thirds of campaigns are targeted, if not fully personalized. What does that mean for you? It means that if you are sending static mail pieces, you’re competing with marketers who are speaking (potentially to the same customers and prospects) on a personalized level.

If your competitors are personalizing and you are not, who do you think is going to get the most mind share? Even if your competitors aren’t personalizing today, they might be tomorrow. You want to get there and establish a relationship with those customers or prospects before they do.

Need help planning your next personalized campaign? Give us a call!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Better Copy Gets Better Results

One of the gurus of marketing copywriting is Denny Hatch. In his e-book “Secrets of Emotional, Hot-Button Copywriting,” he looks at seven triggers that tip readers over the edge and get them to act. These are fear, greed, guilt, anger, exclusivity, salvation, and flattery.
Let’s look at five of them more closely.
·      Fear is often used to sell insurance products. “What happens if there is a disaster? Will your family be protected?”
·      Anger is a powerful tool in fundraising. “How can millions of children go hungry in right here in America? Isn’t anyone doing anything about it?”
·      Guilt is a powerful motivator for selling to busy moms. “Don’t have time to cook dinner for your family? Our frozen dinners taste so much like homemade your kids will never know!”
·      Exclusivity is staple in selling to affluent consumers. “Become a Platinum member and enjoy exclusive benefits, including our prestigious ‘After Hours’ party on the aquarium grounds!”
·      Flattery appeals to those feeling they are missing out on the good life. “Treat yourself! Don’t you deserve the best?”
These five emotional hot buttons appeal to a wide variety of consumers and can motivate even the most reticent to pull the trigger. Sprinkle them throughout your marketing copy and watch the results pour in.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Direct Mail Bloopers

When it comes to successful personalization, everything hinges on the database. It’s critical to keep your data clean and up to date. Here are some hilarious stories of what happens when you don’t. These true tales are taken from LinkedIn’s Direct Mail discussion group.
  • The California Department of Health sent a direct mailing to 50,000 residents who receive adult day care. The addresses were right, but the envelopes contained a gift for identity thieves. Recipients’ Social Security numbers were printed right on the envelopes!
  • A direct mail house did not properly de-dupe its client’s mailing list. When the mailing went out, one hapless recipient ended up with several hundred pieces of identical mail!
  • At one women's college, many alumni prefer to have their mailing names listed as “Mrs.,” such as “Mrs. John Smith.” During one campaign, the mail house dropped the titles in the NCOA process and ended up sending the mailing to many of the alumni’s husbands instead.
  • When the U.K.'s national airline was creating its passenger database, someone thought it would be funny to expand the passengers’ initials into military titles. So R. A. Smith became Rear Admiral Smith. The airline chairman received several letters from recipients requesting that they receive backdated pensions based on their elevated titles. It was funny until the data company had to hand search and correct every single title within 24 hours. All 50,000 of them.
  • During one holiday season, a purveyor of fine meats and other food specialty items dropped 20,000 catalogs with an 800 number to call for faster service. Unfortunately, the number was wrong. Recipients ended up calling a funeral home.

We hope you get a few laughs out these stories, but there is very serious reason for sharing them. Data handling isn’t funny business. Talk to us before your next mailing to make sure your data is in the best shape it can be. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.  A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
Lana Turner

Friday, March 6, 2015

One-Two Punch Delivers Results

Want to increase the results of your direct mail campaigns? Try a combination of print and email. It’s a powerful “one, two” punch that can really deliver.
Why would having an email address make such a difference? Let’s look at three reasons.
  • Customers who provide email addresses tend to be more engaged with your company. Not that providing the email address, in itself, makes the customer more engaged. It’s because they are more engaged that they are more likely to provide this information. An email address can be an indicator of engagement.
  • Customers providing email addresses self-select themselves as being more receptive to your marketing.  By providing their email addresses, customers are telling you that they want to hear from you.
  • Customers who provide their email addresses are more open to additional marketing “touches.” More touches means more results.
We see this two-step process producing results every day. By combining variable printing with email and an online registration process, one association, for example, was able to triple the attendance at its annual summer conference. In another example, a software manufacturer sent a follow-up email to non-responders to a print campaign, personalized using the same rules as the print mailer, and sales of its targeted products jumped 81%.
Of course, there are other elements to successful direct mail campaigns beyond using the dual punch of print and email. Still, this combination is a key aspect of many campaigns’ success. It’s no wonder that direct mail with email follow-up has become almost the de facto standard in multichannel marketing today.

Don’t have your customers’ email addresses? No worries. Web site registration, personalized URL campaigns and email list purchases are all techniques you can use to gather the missing information. Why not talk to us about expanding your next campaign to include email?

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great."
--John D. Rockefeller