Do you sell the kinds of products or services that are ordered on a cyclical basis or that renew according to a regular schedule? If so, you should consider sending simple, calendar-triggered reminders based on the customer’s purchase or service history to keep your revenues flowing.
Auto dealerships use this technique all the time. To boost its service revenues, one Pontiac-Buick dealership decided to slice its customer database (both active and inactive) by type of automotive service, such as emissions checks, tune-ups and brake service. Then, the dealership sorted this data by date of next service, such as all customers with emissions checks coming up within the next 60 days. They used this information to generate weekly alerts to car owners in advance of the recommended service dates for their vehicles.
Using this approach, the dealership saw its service department profits rise to 18% within the first six months of the campaign, compared to 12% in the prior six months.
As auto dealerships know, a simple reminder can be incredibly effective. It works in other markets, too. Software upgrades. Computer service contracts. Gym memberships. Medical appointments. Pet care. Landscaping. Floral arrangements for birthdays and anniversaries. Any market in which the need for products and services is ongoing and cyclical.
Talk to us about how you can combine trigger marketing with personalized alerts and offers to keep your csutomers ordering. Don’t have those critical dates to send those triggers? Ask us about simple data collection. We can help with that, too!
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?
Sometimes, the power of personalization goes beyond the direct sale. A little ingenuity can go a long way. Let’s look at the way one automotive manufacturer combined 1:1 printing with creative marketing to boost its sales significantly.
Buick wanted to boost sales of its vehicles, so it came up with a creative idea. It mailed a series of personalized direct mail pieces that allowed consumers to “design” their own cars. The goal was to get prospective car buyers emotionally invested in the brand and thinking about their ideal vehicle even before they were ready to actually purchase a car.
For the campaign, Buick targeted both current and former Buick owners, as well as owners of competitive makes of vehicles. Over a series of direct mail pieces, Buick asked for feedback on what recipients were looking for. The final brochure incorporated this feedback, including preferred model and features.
While this program started out as “consumer research,” ultimately, Buick sold 20,000 automobiles and acquired $494 million in sales revenue.
The beauty of this campaign is that, long before making any kind of direct sales pitch, Buick used personalized printing to draw consumers in and get them engaged with the brand. They asked questions, valued their feedback, and created a sense of “pre-ownership” during the design process. The sales pitch at the end was made to a well-groomed audience.
This is the value of using personalized printing to engage and speak directly to an audience. You won’t always sell 20,000 automobiles, but done right, you can engage your audience, deepen customer loyalty, and create an atmosphere in which your marketing messages are well received.
Sometimes 1:1 printing isn’t about the direct sale. As Buick found out, sometimes it’s about a long-term courtship, and it can be well worth the wait.
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