Wednesday, September 28, 2016

3 Reasons to Use Direct Mail That You May Not Know

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).
2. 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.
3. 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!

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Targeting High-Value Millennials

Why target Millennials in your prospecting? Because once their loyalty is secured, they are more likely than non-Millennials to share their love of your brand, product, or service with others. Furthermore, once you gain their loyalty, they will often spread the word for you, especially if you help them do it. How do you go about attracting this key customer base?
Use multiple channels. Millennials are multi-channel researchers. One study of their travel planning habits found that Millennials use an average of 10.2 information sources during the planning stage [1].
Don’t provide irrelevant information. Millennials don’t like to be inconvenienced, so target and personalize the message. Know what types of information they are looking for and how they want that information shared before you move them into the sales funnel. Respecting channel preferences is critical to these consumers.
Shorten the timeframe. Millennials use a lot of devices and draw on lots of information sources during the research process, but they make the actual buying decision fairly quickly. If you are selling brick-and-mortar, adding QR Codes to hang tags, product packaging, and in-store displays is a great way to take this audience directly to customer reviews, product comparisons, and feature-rich product videos that can help them make that decision right then and there.
Make it easy to share. According to the Boston Consulting Group, Millennials are twice as likely as non-Millennials to share pictures or experiences online using their mobile phones [3]. So help them do it! Create incentives for social-media sharing such as “Post a picture of yourself in our store on Facebook or Instagram and get 10% off immediately!”
Take the time to get to know Millennials and refine your strategies to woo them.  After all, what could be better than attracting customers who, once their loyalty is secured, will turn around and attract more of the same type of customers for you?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What Are CMOs’ 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 multichannel camping 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
Increase depth of analytical skills
Improve operations and organizational structures
Enhance social and mobile
Better measures of marketing effectiveness

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Response Rate, Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Sale

To answer this question, marketers often look at response rate, cost per lead, and cost per sale. What’s the difference between them?
Response rate is how many people responded to your campaign. If you mailed 5,000 postcards and 500 people responded, your response rate is 10%. Those 500 people then become leads.
Cost per lead is how much it costs you to get that lead. Let’s say that direct mail campaign cost you $5,000. With 500 responses, each response (or lead) cost you $10 ($5,000 / 500). 
Not every one of these leads will turn into a sale. Let’s say you were able to convert 30% or 167 of those leads.  When you divide $5,000 by 167, you find that your cost per sale is $30.
Which one of these numbers is most important? All of them! Why? If your average sale is $35, you have barely broken even on this campaign. To improve your results, you could lower the costs next time or you could try one of these three things:
1. Increase the response rate to bring more sales into the funnel, lowering your cost per lead
2. Increase the conversion rate, lowering your cost per sale
3. Tweak the offer or incentive to increase the average revenues per sale to lower your breakeven point.

There are lots of ways to evaluate the success of a marketing campaign and improve your results. Let us analyze your results and brainstorm ideas to get the most out of your marketing dollars!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Survey: Direct Mail on the Rise for Customer Acquisition & Retention

Every year, Target Marketing conducts its Media Usage Survey. In this survey, the magazine asks how readers are allocating their budgets, which channels are increasing and decreasing, and which channels its readers prefer for a variety of marketing activities.
While digital, social, and mobile media continue their astronomic growth trajectory, this year’s survey finds that direct mail is holding its own, and strongly. In particular, direct mail is growing for customer acquisition and retention.
·       In 2015, 54% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer acquisition efforts. In 2016, this rose to 58%.
·       In 2015, 51% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer retention efforts. That has risen to 55% today. 
Why is direct mail growing for acquisition and retention, even in the face of consumers’ love affair with digital and mobile media?
1. Email addresses go out of date very quickly, and mobile phone numbers are not always easy to get. Once you have a physical address, however, you can maintain contact with that customer for a long time. Even if people move and don’t provide a new address, you can get address updates from the U.S. Post Office through the National Change of Address (NCOA) service.
2. Even when someone has opted out of phone, email, and mobile contact, you can still reach them by postal mail. Direct mail is powerful and proven effective for re-engaging customers who have dropped off your email list.
3. In a world of electronic media, the physical mailbox is a powerful open door. When a well-designed mail piece shows up in a customer’s or prospect’s mailbox, it doesn’t get lost the way emails in the saturated and highly filtered inbox do.  It gets noticed right away—and nearly always read.
Want help using direct mail to break through the clutter and get attention? Give us a call!

Friday, April 22, 2016

7 Ways to Maximize Impact on a Small Budget

1. Concentrate on a niche market. Target your message to a smaller market versus a diverse group of prospects. Maximize your marketing spend by mailing highly relevant, targeted offers rather than general solicitations.
2. Plan your printing. Involve us in the design of your printed pieces from the beginning. We can often recommend paper, ink, trim sizes, and layouts that will save you money.
3. Maximize your postal spend. New postage rates have recently gone into effect that address size, shape and weight. Using these new parameters, we can advise you on creating mailings that will minimize your postage expense while maximizing your ROI.
4. Consider postcards. Some studies estimate postcard readership at close to 100%, especially if your design is eye-catching and your message is brief. Ask us for assistance in creating a low-cost postcard that meets postal service specifications for reduced postage.
5. Be the expert. When prospective clients are in need of your product or service, you will have instant credibility if they have seen your name in print. Create a newsletter or blog, write articles for magazines, newspapers and journals, or even consider producing your own branded magazine.
6. Network. Join a speakers bureau and attend trade shows and conferences. Utilize online networking resources, such as LinkedIn. Pass out and mail business cards and brochures to boost awareness among your potential clients.
7. Partner with non-competing businesses. Identify companies that offer complementary goods and services, and create cooperative marketing collateral using a pool of shared dollars.

There are many cost-effective ways to let future customers know about your company’s products and services. Be resourceful and you will reap the rewards on your balance sheet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Get Your Timing Right!

Here are the similarities between Company A and Company B:
·       Both sell snow-clearing services to businesses, schools, and other professional organizations.
·       Both use free ice melt as an incentive to grab attention and encourage responses to their marketing messages.
·       Both mailed short-run targeted postcards to facilities directors and operations managers in their local areas.
·       Both used a clean list, with updated names and addresses.
Here is where the campaigns differed:
Company A sent its direct mailer in November. This mailer landed on recipients’ desks in the start of the snowy season. Company B sent its mailer in July. This mailer dropped in the heat of the summer months before most people even think about the first snowflake beginning to fly.
Which company got the timing right? Company B—the one that sent its mailer in the summer. Among facilities and operations managers, decisions regarding snow clearing are made in July and August, well in advance of the cold weather.
To the average person, a direct mailer sporting ice-covered trees and automobiles encapsulated in snow drifts might seem out of place and totally ill-timed in the heat of the summer. But to the target audience, the message was loud and clear: this company knows my business.
How well do you know your target audience?