Friday, August 8, 2014

Tear-Off Cards Make Responses Easy

Do you include tear-off response cards or other forms in your direct marketing pieces? If so, do you send them blank? Or do you pre-fill them with readily available information (recipient’s name, address, product serial numbers, seminar dates) to make responses as easy as possible?
If you are sending blank forms, you are leaving money on the table. Why? Because the more steps recipients must take to respond to your offer, the less likely they are to do it. Conversely, the easier you make it for them to respond, the more likely they are to do it.
Take the example of one marketer that had been promoting its customer education seminars with a self-mailer that included the dates and details of upcoming workshops. The mailers included a detachable reply card for registration. After more than two years, however, most of the registrations were still coming through the company’s website or sales reps, not the direct mailers it was paying for.
The marketer decided to switch gears. It freshened up the design and moved to a heavier coated stock. It also ditched its static response forms and began pre-filling them so all that recipients had to do was add the stamp and drop the cards in the mail. The company received such a bump in its registrations that it had to add an extra seminar session!
If you are sending reply cards, there is no reason not to pre-fill them. After all, the data you need is most likely in your marketing database already, and we have the skills and the equipment to make the entire process easy for you.

Want to get a quick and easy boost to your response rates? Talk to us about prefilling the response forms and reply cards in your next print campaign!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” —Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO

Friday, July 11, 2014

High-Performing Companies Focus on Personalization

What makes a high-performing company a high-performing company? According to a survey of more than 1,000 marketers, it’s a focus on personalizing customer experiences and using metrics to drive the creation of their creative.
According to Adobe’s “Digital Roadblocks: 2014,” when asked about their most important success factors, marketers gave the following answers:
·        Their CEO understands marketing (73%)
·        Marketing is becoming more important to their company (81%)
·        They are “completely” or “very” focused on personalizing customer experiences (63%)
·        Data (metrics from ads, campaigns, website, and so on) is “strongly informative” in evolving their marketing creative (28%)
Great marketing doesn’t just happen. It’s a strategic effort that involves creative, commitment, and effective use of data. Great marketing also starts with a commitment from the top. Just ask the best marketers around.

Need help combining elements of personalization and metrics-driven creative in producing your next print or multichannel campaign? Give us a call!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin



Friday, June 27, 2014

What Motivates Charitable Giving?

If you are a nonprofit, you know how critical direct mail is to your fundraising efforts. But do you know what motivates your donors to give (or not)?
Most nonprofits might say that the most important factor is having a personal connection to the charity or to the recipient of the donation. But according to YouGov’s “Giving Report 2013,” it’s trust.  
When asked the biggest factor that motivates them to donate,
·         12% of those giving to charities cited “trusting a charity/nonprofit”;
·         8% cited “seeing a child, adult, or animal which will directly benefit from my gift”; and
·         6% cited “easily seeing exactly how and where my money will be spent.”
The single biggest deterrent to giving? Inflated salaries and excessive administrative expenses followed uncertainty about how the money would be spent.
Next time you send out a fundraiser, think through the issues of trust and personal connection carefully. How can you tweak your message so that it focuses not just on the mission of your organization but any projects you might be working on? Also work in issues related to trust. While donors want to know how their money will be spent, only 3% said that “easily being able to do their own due diligence” was a motivator for giving a donation. It’s up you to get that message across.

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

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

Friday, June 13, 2014

“Make It Easy for Me to Buy”

Want to boost responses to your marketing campaigns? Here is a simple tip. Tell people what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it.
One of the most common mistakes marketers make, especially in direct mail, is burying the offer or forgetting to include a call to action. So get it out there. Every direct mailer or direct marketing piece should contain the following three elements:
1. The offer. What do you want people to do? Make a purchase? Call for a free consultation? Ask for the free information kit?
2. The call to action. Don’t assume people will know what you want them to do. Ask them to request a brochure, call for a free appointment, or sign up by scanning a QR Code.   
3. Response mechanism. Make it easy to respond. If you are asking them to send away for more information, prefill the BRC with their name, addresses, and other information. If you want them to make a phone call, put the phone number to call in larger font or in a different color so it’s easy to find.
Assume that your audience is busy and you only have a few minutes of their time. Within just a few seconds of scanning the piece, they should know what you are selling, what action you want them to take, and how to do it.

Need help? Give us a call! 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few, but information in the hands of many. – John Naisbitt

Friday, June 6, 2014

Some Customers Still Hard to Reach by Email

Did you know that, even in today’s multichannel media environment, some customer segments are more difficult to reach by email than others? For example . . .
  • 41% of U.S. consumers aged 65+ still do not have Internet access.
  • 53% of U.S. consumers in this group do not have broadband.
  • 18% of these consumers do not have smartphones.[1]
Particularly for older retirees in lower income households, print remains a critical part of the multichannel mix. For many, it may be the only way to reach them. Even those who do go online may require text-only emails rather than the HTML versions many marketers are geared up to send.
But before you write off U.S. retirees as non-email-reading, non-Internet using consumers, remember that not all consumer segments look the same. In fact, among younger, more affluent, and more educated retirees, 90% have Internet access and 82% have broadband. That’s higher than the U.S. adult population overall. For this segment, email is an important tool for marketing communication, both as a primary means of messaging or as a follow-up to print communications.
So before you reach out, know your audience, their media use, and their channel preferences. It can have a critical impact on your multichannel mix.
Need help figuring it out? Give us a call.


[1] Pew Research Center (April 2014)

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Winston Churchill

Friday, May 23, 2014

5 Direct Mail “Must Dos”

Want to ensure that your direct mail is in line with today’s best practices? Here are 5 items that should be on every marketer’s “must do” list.
1. Focus on relevance, not volume: Marketers are moving away from commoditized, undifferentiated direct mail. They are leveraging customer demographics, purchase patterns, and preferences to increase response rates and drive revenue growth. According to a March 2014 study from Adobe,[1] “personalization” ranked #1 on marketers’ lists of priorities this year.
2. Sometimes less is more: By focus on creating relevance, not volume, this often means smaller, more targeted mailings. Only with personalized, relevance-based marketing can you mail less and get more.
3. Think efficiency: Better data cleansing and updating of mailing lists (eliminating UAA, or “undeliverable as addressed” mail) not only increases marketing efficiency, but it saves on postage, too.
4. Use triggered mail: Marketing effectiveness increases when you are mailing at the very time the customer is ready to buy. “Triggered” messaging does just that. Take an automotive manufacturer that sends out 1:1 mailers to alert customers when their vehicles are due for scheduled maintenance based on their last service call. Or a florist that advertises discounts to customers with family members with birthdays or anniversaries that week. Triggered mail magnifies the impact of personalization.
5. Be willing to stretch yourself: Don’t get stuck in a rut. In the same Adobe study, 54% of marketers said they believe the ideal marketer should take more risks and 45% hope to take more risks themselves. How will you know what works best for you if you don’t stretch yourself by trying something new once in awhile?
Talk to us about new ideas and new techniques for personalizing, using triggers, and increasing the relevance of your campaigns to boost your results.
1 “Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves” (Adobe, March 2014)


Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.
Matt Biondi

Friday, May 2, 2014

Can 1:1 Printing Save You Money? Yes!

Most marketers define the success of a print marketing campaign in terms of what they gain — responses, conversions, or dollars flowing into the cash register. But you can also define success by the money you save. Let’s look at three ways 1:1 printing can improve the bottom line through cost savings, not just boosting responses and revenues.  
1. Lower cost of attrition. If your goal is to prevent customer attrition, you can evaluate the success of your campaign based on what sales stay rather than what sales merely come in. One marketer of high-end vacations saved millions, for example, by sending vacationers 100% personalized booklets that reinforce their vacation choices. Its cancellation rates plummeted, and it kept customer sales where they belonged — in its pockets.
2. Less handholding. What if you could use 1:1 printing to reduce calls to your customer service team? Questions about invoicing and payment cost real money. By personalizing its tax letters, for example, one state government’s tax bureau made these letters easier to read. The result was a noticeable drop in calls to its call centers, and the state saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
3. Faster response times. The faster customers pay, the better your cash flow. Take the example above. By using personalized printing to make its statements easier to read, this state government not only reduced the number of taxpayer calls, but it started receiving its revenues days earlier. As a result, it significantly boosted its earnings from interest.
Not included in this case study but very real to most marketers is the fact that more on-time payments also mean less time and money spent on duplicate invoicing and follow-up calls for non-payment.

Reducing customer attrition and making their invoices and customer statements easier to read and understand are not the “sexy” benefits of 1:1 printing we hear about the most, but they are real, bottom-line benefits that do not get talked about enough!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

It's not the will to win that matters--everyone has that.  It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
Paul "Bear" Bryant