What makes 1:1 printing work? What turns an average marketing campaign into an outstanding success? Is it the graphic design? Is it the mailing list? Is it selecting just the right variables like income, age, or gender? Those things are important, but there is one ingredient that trumps them all. Relationship.
At its core, 1:1 printing is “relationship marketing.” Relationship marketing is an approach that focuses on nurturing long-term customer relationships rather than focusing exclusively on the short-term sale.
What might this look like in your business?
Say you are a local, family-owned hardware store. Normally, a customer walks in, does his shopping, and you make yourself available to answer questions and recommend products. You hope that great service, quality merchandise, and your employees’ wealth of project expertise will hold their loyalty. You might have special promotions or discounted merchandise in a bin at the front of the counter.
But what might this look like if you decide to implement a proactive relationship-marketing program using 1:1 printing?
When a customer walks in, you smile and greet them, but you also ask if they would like to be on your mailing list for your newsletter, “Tips for Shop & Home.” If they say yes, you collect their name, address, and critical information for personalizing content, such as whether they rent or own, whether they have children and their ages, and any specific home needs such as a garden, pool, or workshop.
Once a month, you send out a personalized newsletter addressing each customer by name. You also customize the content, providing weatherizing tips, suggestions for ongoing home maintenance, and relevant offers based on what you know about their property. If they garden, you might offer planting tips and discounts on seeds, berry bushes, or garden mulch. If they have a pool, you might offer maintenance tips and discounts on pool supplies.
Because relationships are about interaction, you may want to create excuses to open dialogs with your customers. This might include an occasional customer survey, feedback form, or customer contest (such as best recipe using home-grown vegetables or best home workshop project). This creates an interaction between you and your customers that makes each person feel valued and gives them a stake in their relationship with you. At the same time, it gives you more information to further personalize future mailings!
That’s relationship marketing—and it’s one of the factors that makes 1:1 printing great.
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 .
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 . 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?
If your mailing is fat, over-sized, or three-dimensional, it stands out. People want to pick it up and see what’s inside. Results of dimensional mailings can be spectacular. However, they also cost more to produce, assemble, and mail. Dimensional mailings work, but you want to be smart about using them.
Let’s look at some techniques for maximizing the effectiveness of dimensional mail.
- Narrow down and target the recipients carefully. Dimensional mailings are not best for undifferentiated mass mailings. They are best suited for generating sales of higher value products and services, such as long-term contracts or donor relationships, insurance or financial services, and real estate transactions.
- Don’t frighten a recipient with an unmarked package. If you want to keep the package plain, one way to handle this is to integrate a marketing message on the outside.
- Keep it relevant. The gift or incentive should be practical (a product sample) or relate directly to the marketing message in some way. Bewilderment is not the sort of attention you want.
- Research production and mailing costs carefully. Case studies can provide guidance and offer an idea of the response rates obtained by the kind of campaign you are considering.
- Ensure that it can be mailed. Consult with the USPS to ensure that you are not violating postal regulations or mailing something they (or other carrier) would deem unshippable.
- Test for integrity in the postal stream. Mail test samples to yourself or to colleagues to gauge the impact on the package itself. Does it get damaged as it is wedged into small mailboxes? Does it survive the mail stream?
- Track and measure the results. Establish a realistic benchmark for success.
Need more ideas? Give us a call!
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