Avoid the Pitfalls of Lifetime Customer Value

Over the last several years, much has been written about the benefits of measuring lifetime customer value (LCV). The theory is that if you can determine the revenue potential of all of your customers, you can direct your marketing resources to the accounts that have the highest potential yield and thereby maximize the ROI of your marketing dollars.

Understanding LCV can yield some great benefits. However, there are limitations to this practice that, if not avoided, can produce negative results.

Perhaps the biggest danger is over-investing in programs and initiatives that seek to capture profits only or primarily from the most active, highest spending customers. This ignores opportunities from customers with growth potential and from prospects and former customers who represent attractive profits if they can be cultivated into active customers.

It is said that companies will lose 50% of their customers in any given five-year span. Consequently, the need to focus your marketing efforts on new customer acquisition cannot be ignored. While using an LCV model will lead to an increase in profits from high-value customers, over-reliance on LCV can lead to a steady decrease in your pool of customers and overall profit if not balanced with customer acquisition.

It’s important to communicate with a wide variety of customers through all the various stages of the prospect/customer lifecycle. Having a range of marketing materials targeting different segments can significantly increase the ROI of your marketing efforts. With today’s database and print technologies, it’s never been easier.

Need ideas for creating the right target segments? Give us a call!

Friday, November 20th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

The Reply Card: Art or Afterthought?

The sales letter, lift letter, and brochure tucked inside your direct mail package all share one purpose – to compel the reader to complete and return the reply card. While most cards may never be returned, every card that is returned represents an interested prospect. The value far outweighs the cost of printing and insertion. When you look at it this way, you begin to view this thin, rectangular piece not as an afterthought, but as an integral component of your direct mail strategy.

Creating an effective reply card is an art. Within the defined space of a few inches, you must capture interest and summarize your selling proposition while leaving room for the respondent’s contact information, your return address, and postage. Graphics should be subtle to avoid confusing or distracting the reader. Coated cardstock won’t work because the respondent needs to write on the piece.

Well-conceived reply cards have several things in common:

  • They get straight to the point about what is being offered and what the reader needs to do.
  • Checkboxes are included with a positive call to action and often an incentive as well: “YES! I accept your free trial offer!”
  • Additional avenues for responding are featured prominently, such as a toll-free telephone number, QR Code, and links to social media.
  • An expiration date is included to create a sense of urgency.

Studies have shown that response rates can be greatly increased when response devices are personalized. In this age of identity theft, however, you must be sensitive to the amount of information that is traveling through the mail on a postcard. If your business requires personal data like date of birth or a credit card number, be sure to include a reply envelope. Whatever approach you take, make sure your piece meets U.S. Postal Service standards for cost-effective processing.

A reply card is arguably the most important piece inside your direct mail package. Rethink the role this seemingly simple piece plays in your overall direct mail plan.


Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

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 46% 69%
Prefer content in the form of articles 69% 91%
Find research reports helpful 30% 65%
Find white papers helpful 12% 37%
Favor video content 21% 12%
Prefer other multimedia such as infographics 12% 24%
Spend at least four hours per week perusing business content 31% 57%

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.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

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 […] Continue Reading…

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

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 […] Continue Reading…

Sunday, September 27th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Personalization Is Easier Than You Think

Whether it’s in print, email, or online, customers expect a personalized marketing experience. According to InfoTrends, 60% of Boomers and beyond (ages 55+) want a personalized experience. Among Millennials (ages 13-34) and Gen-Xers (ages 35-54), this rises to 67%.

But while “personalization” can carry the connotation of complex and expensive, […] Continue Reading…

Thursday, September 17th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

More Reasons to Love Color

We all know the value of color images in your marketing mix, but what about the messaging? Study after study shows that when messages are in color, they have a powerful impact on your bottom line. Among the benefits:

Helping readers find information more easily (great for insurance policies, contracts, […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Better Copy Gets Better Results

When writing marketing copy for your direct mail, email, and other marketing communications, do you focus on features and benefits? If so, you might want to think again. Increasingly, marketers are using emotional and psychological triggers instead.

One of the gurus of marketing copywriting is Denny Hatch. In his e-book […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Promote Your Brand by Promoting Your Customers

Everyone wants to be appreciated, especially customers. Why not try using simple print and email techniques to recognize your customers publicly? By doing so, you can reinforce their loyalty, promote your brand, and encourage them spread your message virally.

There are lots of ways to recognize your customers. You can […] Continue Reading…

Monday, August 10th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Snatch Customers Before Your Competitors Do!

Investing in direct mail for customer acquisition? Your competitors are! As their efforts become more proactive and strategic, how do you plan to attract those same customers before your competitors do? Here are three proven strategies for grabbing attention in the mailbox.

Use dimensional mail.

In a stack of […] Continue Reading…

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments


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