Friday, April 18, 2014

3 Ways to Measure Success

It is always critical to quantify the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. But how do you define success? Particularly with 1:1 printing, you have to use the right yardstick. If you are like most marketers, you might be used to thinking in terms of response rates, but let’s look at three less commonly used (but more critical) metrics to keep in mind.
1. Cost per lead. Typically, marketers are used to thinking about cost per piece, and with traditional direct mail in the $.10 range, it’s hard for 1:1 print marketing to compete on a cost basis. But everything changes when you look at what your program costs per lead rather than per piece.
If you mail 100,000 postcards at $.25 each (including postage), that’s a project cost of $25,000. If that campaign achieves a 1% response rate, that’s 250 leads at a cost of $100 per lead. On the other hand, if you mail 25,000 1:1 postcards at a cost of $1.00 each, that is still a project cost of $25,000. But if you achieve a 12% response rate, that’s 3,000 leads. Now your cost per lead drops to $8.33!
2. Cost per sale. Not all leads translate into sales. Divide the number of people who actually make a purchase into your total costs and this will give you the cost per sale. If only 33% of respondents to these hypothetical campaigns make a purchase, your cost per sale is $300 for the static campaign, while for the 1:1 campaign, it is $25.00.
3. Lifetime customer value. The value of the sale often goes beyond the initial purchase. If 1:1 personalization woos the buyer of one make of car to another, and if that customer becomes loyal to that brand, the return on investment from that piece includes the value of every car purchased by that customer over his or her lifetime. This is an important metric for marketers of long-term purchases, such as automobiles, financial products, and insurance.

The bottom line? Before you measure your results in any print campaign, make sure you understand all of the available measuring sticks, then use the one(s) that are the most impactful for you. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development 

I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded.  In fact, if anything, I am the prod.
Winston Churchhill

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Multi-Channel Leads Marketers’ Strategies

If you like multi-channel marketing, here is some good news. According to a survey conducted by WoodWing Software, you’re about to get more of it.
In a survey of publishers, advertising agencies, and in-house marketing departments, WoodWing found that in terms of their marketing mix, 59% favor a combination of print, web, mobile, tablet, and social media.  
Which channels do publishers look to first?
·        22% favor a print-first strategy
·        6% favor a web-first strategy
·        5% favor a mobile-first approach
·        2% favor a social-media-first strategy
Respondents’ main reasons for using social media? Brand awareness. When it comes to communicating the marketing message, however, print remains king.
Why does print remain the dominant form of marketing? Perhaps for a reason no more complicated than people still like going to the mailbox. Unlike email inboxes, which can fill up with hundreds of emails in a single day, the mailbox delivers a handful of mail that most people enjoy sorting through. It’s like a treasure hunt. You never know what’s in there.
Unlike an email subject line, envelopes deliver interest and engagement before they are even opened. Colors, windows, and on-envelope messaging and personalization all offer forms of engagement. Then there are the benefits of other mailing formats, such as postcards, trifold mailers, and three-dimensional mail, which offer even more engagement.

The takeaway? For best results, use social media for branding. Tap into email for reminders, follow-ups, and short-term offers. But keep print as the foundation and bedrock of your marketing. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.
Mark Twain

Friday, March 28, 2014

Using the “Describe and Predict” Model

Want to knock your 1:1 (personalized) printing campaign out of the park? Do more than personalize the document. Use your data to describe and predict.
The process starts with understanding what your customers look like. Do a basic database analysis. What is their mix of ages, incomes, genders, and races? Where do they live? Then filter this customer information through general demographic and psychographic patterns to predict their behavior. Let’s look at a simplified example.
Say you are an auto dealership and discover that your lease customers fall into three basic categories: young singles, families, and retirees.
Because these are all current customers, you know their ages, incomes and ages of their children (if any) at the time of initial lease. You know their current vehicles and the options selected. This allows you to match appropriate upsells and cross-sells based on the likely needs of each group.
  • In the young singles category, for example, it would be reasonable to assume that, after five years, they might have higher earning power. At the end of a five-year lease, you might be able to trade them up to the next class of vehicle with more options.
  • In the families with young children category, you might assume that, after five years, they might have had more children. If they currently lease a sedan, they might need to move into something larger like a minivan or crossover vehicle. Families with older children might need to move into a vehicle with greater towing and storage capacity.
  • In the retiree category, customers might be looking to downsize. Those with higher levels of disposable income might be looking for sportier cars or luxury vehicles.
In all cases, you know when the customer will act—at the end of the lease period. This information in hand, you can craft marketing campaigns with appropriate messages, offers and incentives.

Your customer base might look different than the one described here, of course, but you can use this process against your own customer mix. Just remember the letters “d” and “p”: describe, then predict.

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
John Wooden

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Best Practices in 1:1 Printing

If you want great marketing results, it’s important to personalize text, images, and other content based on what you know about the recipient. But just dropping in data-driven content doesn’t guarantee success. Sometimes other factors can dull your results. Maybe the offer is great, but the design is so uninteresting that nobody reads it. Or the headline is snappy and the design is great, but there is no incentive for people to respond.
Let’s look at three best practices that need to be the foundation of any 1:1 print marketing campaign.
  • Traditional marketing rules apply. 1:1 might be personalized marketing, but traditional rules hold firm. Ultimately, all of the elements — creative, message (including personalization), offer, segmentation, call to action, and incentive —need to come together to determine success. 
  • Focus on relevance, not “personalization.” It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant, it is worthless. Take the shoe market. Clearly, you don’t want to market orthopedic shoes to teenagers. You can deck out the mailer with text messaging terms, pictures of X-Games, and use all the contemporary lingo, but it’s not a relevant message unless a teen needs to purchase a birthday present for grandpa.
  • Know your customers, then market to what you know. When the National Hockey League began 1:1 communication with its customers, it asked them to fill out a survey that indicated that 40% of the of NHL’s fan base lives outside their favorite team’s home market. That means these fans can’t easily go to games or access highlights. Imagine the opportunity for the league! So ask yourself, what don’t you know about your customers now that might allow you to create relevance in a more powerful way later? Do a customer mail or email survey. Use what you find out to speak directly to the needs and interests of your customers.

Investing in your marketing database and developing an intimate understanding of your customers takes time, dedicated resources, and manpower, but it is one of the most important investments you can make. Personalization is a powerful tool, but to get the big pay-off, it cannot work alone.

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
Vince Lombardi


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Setting Expectations for Personalized Print

There is not doubt — we love personalized print. We love it because it works. What’s important, however, is understanding why it works. Personalized print doesn’t boost response rates simply because it’s driven by data.
When you look at the case studies and Webinars for these campaigns, you will often see phenomenal response rates.  In one report, they ranged from 6% to 75%, with an average of 21%. These are some powerful numbers. However, in order to understand why and how individual campaigns achieve such high numbers and whether yours is likely to do the same, you need to ask certain questions.
  • What was the application? Different applications tend to bring different response rates.
  • What kind of mailing list did the marketer start with? Highly targeted, moderately targeted, or undifferentiated lists will yield different results.
  • Did recipients have a previous relationship with the company?
  • What is the value of the product?
  • Did per-order value go up with personalization, and if so, by how much?
  • How is the marketer evaluating success (on a campaign-by-campaign basis or lifetime customer value)?
The answers to such questions can have a dramatic impact on ROI. For example, if you are asking respondents to log into a personalized URL to fill out a survey or provide information to a company they already do business with, you can expect higher response rates than if you are doing a prospecting campaign.

So before setting your expectations for your next personalized print mailing, talk to us about your goals, your expectations, and the data you are working with. Setting realistic expectations is a critical component to making your 1:1 print program a success.

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

If you try to do something and fail, you are vastly better off than if you had tried nothing and succeeded
Anonymous

Thursday, February 13, 2014

With E-mail, Who Needs Print?

It’s true—e-mail is inexpensive, easy to personalize and highly trackable. The trend however is toward cross media, with marketers using the best of multiple media to reinforce one another. But with the success of e-mail, some marketers might be tempted to jettison print altogether. Is this the right choice?

As you allocate your marketing resources, here are some things to consider.

1. Differences in e-mail databases. People change e-mail addresses more frequently than they do physical addresses. Thus, you must keep e-mail addresses up to date much more often, especially in the B2B marketplace. Data mining experts indicate that predictive analysis also tends to be more accurate for direct mail than for e-mail, and customer retention rates tend to be higher.

2. Direct mail tends to generate higher revenues. Although there are exceptions, more multi-media campaigns include e-mail as a marketing component than direct mail (79.1% for e-mail vs. 75.4% for direct mail). However, direct mail generated 29% of the revenue, compared to 21.6% for e-mail.

3. Print mail sticks around. The 1:1 industry abounds with stories of marketers who send out smart personalized campaigns, and while recipients to the campaign might not need the product or service immediately, they keep the mailer for future reference. They might wait for a year or more, but when they are ready, they act on it. When was the last time you heard that about an e-mail?

Perhaps this is why, despite the proliferation of e-mail, direct mail continues to grow.


So don’t over-emphasize e-mail to the exclusion of print . When evaluating the metrics of both options, compare apples to apples. Put more weight on measurements, such as cost per lead, dollars generated per sale and ROI than on more generic measurements. You might find that the most cost-effective solution isn’t always what it might seem.

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.
Colin Powell


Friday, January 24, 2014

Old Trail Printing wins 17 awards for Print Excellence

Old Trail Printing is proud to announce it was recently awarded seventeen (17) 2014 Print Excellence Awards from the Printing Industries of Ohio / N. Kentucky.
Printing Industries Association President, Jim Cunningham stated how impressed this year’s judges were with the overall quality of all of the entries.  “Paul and Glenn are experienced judges and printers whose combined expertise spans more than 75 years of print.  Yet, even they were impressed with our members’ incredible work.  It’s easy in today’s fast paced world to just get the job done, but our Association members continue to demonstrate the pride and dedication to their craft that has made Ohio and northern Kentucky printers some of the best in the world!”

Each year, Printing Industries of Ohio / N. Kentucky holds its Print Excellence Awards Competition to reward Ohio and northern Kentucky printers that demonstrate excellence in 34 categories.  This year member companies submitted over 500 printed pieces and two out-of-state expert judges ranked them in a regional competition.  This year’s judges were Paul Schmitz, Schmitz Printing Inc. and Glenn Petry.

Each of the gold award winners in the regional competition are entered in an association-wide competition for Best of Category and Best of Show prizes that will be awarded in September 2014 at the Grand Ceremony being held in Columbus, Ohio.

Old Trail Printing won the following awards:
            11 Gold Awards
            6 Silver Awards


Founded in 1928 and one of the largest woman owned printers in the Midwest, Old Trail Printing has a rich history of servicing clients across the country. Our combination of offset and digital presses means we have the right equipment to handle a variety of projects. In addition to being recognized as an award winning printer, we have invested in technology tools that enable our customers to streamline their procurement processes, increase efficiencies, reduce waste and gain a higher return on investment with their printed communications. With our comprehensive list of services our customers benefit from using Old Trail as their single source for creative, printing, mailing, fulfillment and more.

Printing Industries of Ohio / N.Kentucky serves nearly 300 commercial printing companies and suppliers to the industry in its service area. The Association provides a broad range of products and services to its membership, including workers’ compensation and product discounts. Printing Industries of Ohio / N.Kentucky is an affiliate of the national Printing Industries of America, the largest graphic arts association in the world. For complete information on Printing Industries of Ohio / N.Kentucky and Printing Industries of America, please visit www.pianko.org.  

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”  
 Maya Angelou