Combining 1:1 with Ingenuity = More Sales

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.


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

Colors Equal More Direct Mail Opens

Studies have shown that using color on the outside of your direct mail envelope equals higher open rates. In fact, one study found that 69% of people are more likely to open a mail piece with color text and graphics on the front than they are when the envelope is plain.*

Adding color can make a huge difference in your bottom line. Even if your conversion rate remains the same, by doubling the number of people who open your direct mail letter or package, you double the sales from that campaign.

How can you add color to your envelopes?

  • Graphics and images
  • Color banners
  • Company logos
  • Patterned backgrounds
  • Brightly colored indicia
  • Outlines of the state in which they live

These are simple changes that can yield big results. Why not try color on your next envelope and see what a difference it makes for you?


*Leflein Associates Mail Openability Study

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Are Your Response Incentives and Marketing Goals Properly Matched?

When prospecting, many marketers use some kind of incentive to boost response. But let’s face it. Not all incentives are created equal. To be successful, you need to put as much thought into the incentive as you do into your list, your creative and your message. You also need to match the value of the incentive to how much the response is worth to you.

When one company wanted to add more value-added resellers, for example (something in which even bringing on one more could bring in millions over time), it offered a sweepstakes featuring a trip to the Caribbean. When another wanted to access high-level executives, it offered remote control cars personalized with the recipient’s name.

Just because your incentive has a high dollar value, however, doesn’t mean that it’s the right incentive. For example, you might not want to give away free digital cameras to a camera-savvy audience that most likely already has one — or three. Instead, you might want to offer something more unusual, such as a digital picture frame that attaches to a key ring.

Also keep in mind that an incentive doesn’t need to cost a lot to be highly motivating. One marketer used the “hook” during its Christmastime promotion of allowing respondents to help select the charity to receive its end-of-year donation. Others have given away free saplings to environmentally conscious prospects around Earth Day. The point is to match the incentive to your specific audience. One size doesn’t fit all.

Need some help with incentive ideas? Talk to us about getting the right match for your next campaign.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Multichannel Marketing Means Mobile Optimization

According to data from Campaign Monitor, more email is now opened on a mobile phone than any other device.  Here is a look at email activity in 2013:

41% mobile
28% desktop
22% webmail

This data is based on more than 1.8 billion email opens with nearly 22 billion email recipients. Hubspot also […] Continue Reading…

Thursday, January 8th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Unusual Twists on Nonprofit Fundraising

Print newsletters are the default communications tactic for nonprofits. But other elements can yield tremendous benefits for nonprofits, as well.

If the goal is community engagement and advocacy, you might produce an annual report or a community report card. If the goal is promotional, you might use postcards, flyers, invitations […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Switching from Static to Personalized Makes Results Soar

With consumers squarely in charge of product research long before they ever contact your company, content marketing is more important than ever. One of the most important forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter—and more and more are moving to personalized editorial.

What happens to results if you switch […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

4 Steps to Deepening Customer Loyalty

Your customers are your most precious assets, so here are some great ideas for hanging onto them. In this post, we want to look specifically at how 1:1 printing can be used to increase customer loyalty and achieve your marketing goals.

Get to know your customers.

The more you […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Highlight Color Brings in the Dollars

While color is a powerhouse in any type of marketing, you don’t always have to use four-color process to improve your response rates. In fact, the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) shows that strategically placed highlight color can result in huge bottom line benefits, too.

The California FTB […] Continue Reading…

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Design Campaigns Like Award-Winners!

Have you ever wondered what goes into an award-winning marketing campaign? Sometimes it’s crackerjack copy. Sometimes it’s stunning images. Increasingly, however, it’s the smart integration of multiple elements, from creative to media selection. Let’s look at five components of award-winning campaigns here.

Multiple media, including print. Marketing campaigns using […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Have You “Touched” Your Customers Recently?

How often do you reach out and “touch” your customers with some kind of marketing contact? Only when you are selling something? Or when it’s time to send a bill? If so, then you need to rethink your strategy. Successful marketers have regular contact with their customers, whether they […] Continue Reading…

Friday, November 7th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments


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