Going Postal: News You Need

Targeting High-Value Millennials

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 [1].

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 [3]. 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?

[1] http://hotel-online.com/News/PR2013_2nd/Apr13_MillennialTrends.html

[3] http://mashable.com/2012/04/16/millennial-consumers-study/

 

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Friday, August 26th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Maximizing Your Return on Dimensional Mail

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. Track and measure the results. Establish a realistic benchmark for success.

Need more ideas? Give us a call!

 

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Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

What Are CMOs’ Top Marketing Priorities?

Recently, IBM released a study titled “Redefining Markets: Insights from the C-Suite Study,” which surveyed over 700 CMOs from more than 50 countries. CMO’s number one priority, according to the study? Developing better customer experiences. Nearly two-thirds (63%) cited this as their top priority.

When the researchers looked deeper into what made for a “better customer experience,” they found that this referred to the cumulative impact of the multiple touch points a customer has with a company and the effects that the touches have over time.

This has to be done strategically. IBM also found a huge gap between how companies perceive they are doing with their customers and how they are actually doing. Eighty percent of CEOs believe their companies are delivering exceptional customer experiences, while 78% of customers stated that the average brand doesn’t understand them as individuals at all. That’s a huge disconnect.

Customer experience isn’t a guessing game. You have to be smart and proactive about planning your marketing interactions. This requires understanding and planning across the entire customer journey.

This includes:

  • Understanding the buyer’s motivations.
  • Anticipating the customer’s journey from brand awareness to purchase.
  • Putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
  • Presenting a consistent, positive brand image.
  • Speaking to people using segmented, targeted, and personalized communications that make them feel valued.

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it does require planning. Set up a time to talk to us about creating an integrated multichannel camping that creates a positive customer experience and brings your prospects all the way to a sale.

 

CMO Priorities for the marketing organization

Create better experiences for customers 63%
Increase depth of analytical skills 53%
Improve operations and organizational structures 41%
Enhance social and mobile 38%
Better measures of marketing effectiveness 29%

Source: “Redefining Markets: Insights from the C-Suite Study” (IBM, 2016)

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

How Much Do Bad Addresses Cost You?

You’ve probably heard that bad addresses can kill the ROI on a direct mail campaign. But what are the numbers behind it? Just how costly can bad addresses be?

In a webinar sponsored by Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, the presenter told us just how much impact they can have. Mark Rheaume, national postal affairs director for AccuZIP, provided some eye-opening numbers:

  • On average, 4% of organizations’ mailing lists are undeliverable. (That’s on average. For many companies, this number is higher.)
  • For mail that achieves the five-digit presort rate, the cost is $.383. This means that, for every 1,000 mail pieces returned as Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA), you lose $383.
  • For standard rate mail pieces, minimum postage for presorted full-service mail is $.254. This means that for every 1,000 returned, you lose $254.

If you have endorsements in there, these numbers rise exponentially.

When you send out a direct mail campaign, you want every piece to count. That’s why things like the list, the message, the offer, the call to action, and smart targeting and personalization are so important. When that piece lands in the recipient’s mailbox, you want it to hit its mark.

Make sure that each piece reaches its intended target by regularly cleaning up your mailing list so that every piece arrives at its destination. Talk to us about services like CASS, NCOA, and data enhancement services (such as deceased suppression or apartment append) so that your direct mail delivers maximum results!

(Data taken from “How to Dramatically Increase ROI by Adding Value to Your Existing Direct Mail Piece,” sponsored by Epicomm and hosted by Printing News on May 4, 2016.)

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Is Your Direct Mail Trustworthy?

People don’t just buy from companies they like. They buy from companies they trust. When you send out direct mail campaigns, it’s important to keep this in mind. Let’s look at five ways you can establish trust with your customers.

  1. Use solid, believable content. Leave the extravagant claims and cheesy superlatives to the late night infomercials. Make your headlines and body copy factual and believable. Back up your claims. Be specific so people know that you are representing the product accurately.
  2. Write for your audience. If your marketing copy sounds generic, recipients might not feel that your claims are genuine. It’s hard to trust a company that is willing to sell anything to anybody whether they really need it or not. Target your offers, marketing copy, and calls to action to each target audience specifically so they recognize your claims as true.
  3. Credible design. Marketing copy can be superficial and cheesy, and so can design. If you use five different fonts and clutter the design area with tons of images and an impenetrable sea of text, your piece will look unprofessional. If your design looks unprofessional, your company will too. Avoid super tiny fonts because they make it look as if you are trying to hide something.
  4. Use real people. Customer testimonials are great for establishing credibility, but they have to be from real life people. Use names, locations, and pictures of smiling faces when possible. Assure readers that these are actual people, not customers you made up.
  5. Proofread your text. Spelling and grammar errors don’t make for a professional image. Have a professional editor or proofreader get a final set of eyes on your copy to ensure that there are no mistakes.

When it comes to direct mail, there are no shortcuts. Be sincere. Be credible. Present not just a great product, but a company that people can trust.

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Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

What Should You Know About Your Customers, but Don’t?

Do you have enough data in your marketing list to make your targeting as effective as it can be? If not, you can work with a reputable list provider to add fields that create exponentially more value.

This extra insight can enable better targeting. It can also save on your mailing costs. For example, if you’re a home renovator, you should know whether someone owns or is renting their home. If they own their home, you want to know when it was built. If the house was built in 2015, they aren’t likely to be renovating any time soon.

Most of us know you can refine a marketing list by age, gender, ethnicity, and household income. Here is a list of some of other data types you can use, as well:

If you sell services related to the home:

  • Homeowner or Renter
  • Square footage and lot size
  • Length of residence
  • Estimated home value

If you sell services related to automotive:

  • New or used car
  • Make and model of car
  • Estimated value of car

If you sell services to specific age groups:

  • Presence of children in the home
  • Presence of young adult
  • Presence of an elderly adult

Other consumer services:

  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Home business indicator
  • Business owner indicator
  • Deceased indicator
  • “Green aware” indicator

There are hundreds of different ways to refine data. You can also find out if someone donates to nonprofits, likes to participate in sweepstakes or contests, or even if they are known to respond to direct mail. Some indicators are based on modeling. Others are based on data sources.

Before sending out your next mail campaign, talk to us about your marketing goals and let us help you explore the wealth of data available to greatly enhance your efforts and return even more powerful ROI!

 

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Thursday, June 16th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Survey: Direct Mail on the Rise for Customer Acquisition & Retention

Every year, Target Marketing conducts its Media Usage Survey. In this survey, the magazine asks how readers are allocating their budgets, which channels are increasing and decreasing, and which channels its readers prefer for a variety of marketing activities.

While digital, social, and mobile media continue their astronomic growth trajectory, this year’s survey finds that direct mail is holding its own, and strongly. In particular, direct mail is growing for customer acquisition and retention.

  • In 2015, 54% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer acquisition efforts. In 2016, this rose to 58%.
  • In 2015, 51% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer retention efforts. That has risen to 55% today.

Why is direct mail growing for acquisition and retention, even in the face of consumers’ love affair with digital and mobile media?

  1. Email addresses go out of date very quickly, and mobile phone numbers are not always easy to get. Once you have a physical address, however, you can maintain contact with that customer for a long time. Even if people move and don’t provide a new address, you can get address updates from the U.S. Post Office through the National Change of Address (NCOA) service.
  2. Even when someone has opted out of phone, email, and mobile contact, you can still reach them by postal mail. Direct mail is powerful and proven effective for re-engaging customers who have dropped off your email list.
  3. In a world of electronic media, the physical mailbox is a powerful open door. When a well-designed mail piece shows up in a customer’s or prospect’s mailbox, it doesn’t get lost the way emails in the saturated and highly filtered inbox do. It gets noticed right away—and nearly always read.

Want help using direct mail to break through the clutter and get attention? Give us a call!

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Thursday, May 26th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Tap the Subconscious, Win the Sale!

Want to create direct mail that motivates to action? Take some tips from the advertising industry. These tips are based on human psychology that smart advertisers know.

  1. Don’t miss out! People like to be part of something new. If something exciting is going on, they don’t want to be left behind. “Join the millions of Americans who have discovered…”
  2. Offer exclusivity. Consumers want their lives to be glamorous. They want to feel that they deserve something special. “Not everyone gets this deal, so apply today!” Exclusivity and insider status appeal to readers’ sense of pride and entitlement and can be powerful motivators.
  3. Create value by association. Advertisers will often associate a product or service with something universally accepted as noble or being of great value. Jeep recently tapped this approach with its Super Bowl ads tying Jeep to the gritty images of the faces of America’s soldiers.
  4. Appeal to charity or environmental causes. “Help us take care of America’s lost and abandoned pets. With every purchase, we will donate . . .” Who could say “no” to one of these sad-faced, abandoned creatures? No one, of course.
  5. Give proof positive. Every marketer makes claims about their products, but when you back them up with statistics, those claims carry more punch. A mattress company might appeal to data from studies on sleep, for example (“Did you know that people who sleep soundly are 10% more productive at work?”) or a men’s suit company might talk about the percentage of executives who form opinions of job candidates within the first two seconds.

Consumers are motivated by a wide variety of factors, and many of them are subconscious. Tap into different motivators in your messaging and see which ones are most effective with your target audience.

 

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Thursday, May 12th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Don’t Ditch Your Data — Fix It!

Think you don’t own enough data to do personalized marketing? That might not be the case. Often marketers do own enough data, but that data is not centralized or is incomplete or inaccurate. If you fall into the latter category, the answer isn’t ditching your dreams of personalization. It’s fixing the problems in your data.

The first step is to figure out exactly where you are and what you need to do. This often involves contacting a data specialist who can analyze your data. While this sounds daunting, it’s really no different than taking your car to a repair shop. The mechanic hooks up the car to a machine that spits out a report telling you where the problems are. Data specialists do much the same thing.

One data specialist gives the example of a data profile it created for a Canadian retailer. The retailer had plenty of data and wanted to use it for 1:1 print marketing, so the data specialist ran a data audit. One of the most glaring challenges that immediately came to light was that the retailer had addresses for only 50% of its customers. It did, however, have phone numbers. The data specialist contacted a list house that maps phone numbers to names and addresses provided the retailer with the missing information.

In another example, the data specialist found that each one of the retailer’s stores was gathering customer data in isolation. Each retail customer might have two, three, even five different customer IDs, one for each store in which they shopped. Once again, telephone numbers came to the rescue. The data specialist used each shopper’s telephone number as a common point of contact to consolidate each shopper’s data from each store into a single marketing database.

Seemingly overwhelming problems often have simple solutions. A basic diagnostic test is often half the battle. So if you think your data needs a check-up, don’t panic. Let us coordinate the project so that you get just the solution you need.

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Friday, April 22nd, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

3 Ways to Make More of Your Data

One of the biggest misconceptions about 1:1 (personalized) printing is that marketers don’t have enough of the data to create personalized, highly relevant campaigns. This might be true in some cases, but you might also be overlooking ways to do more with the data you already have.

Here are three ways to maximize the use of existing data:

  1. Revive existing customer relationships.

Find those customers that used to order frequently but who might have dropped off the map. Send them a note telling them you missed them. Ask them to fill out a survey (to find out why) and offer a coupon encouraging them to come back.

  1. Cross-sell and upsell.

While prospecting is an important part of marketing, your most profitable relationships are the customers who already buy from you. Take advantage of these relationships by proactively cross-selling and upselling relevant products of use to them. If you are an auto dealer and know a customer’s lease is about to expire on a Toyota Corolla, for example, send a personalized brochure appealing to all of the benefits of upgrading to a Toyota Camry.

  1. Start a loyalty program.

Ask existing customers to join a loyalty program. These programs encourage customers to maintain their relationship with you based on deals. Buy nine, get the tenth free. Earn discounts and free stuff based on shopping frequency or referrals. Sometimes loyalty program benefits are discounts and free merchandise, but especially for luxury items, exclusive access and insider information can be powerful incentives, too. If you are a local winery, ask tour visitors to sign up for a wine club. Offer insider “deals” like exclusive wine tastings and access to lectures from local celebrities.

Need help maximizing your existing customer data? We’ve got great ideas. Just ask!

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Thursday, April 14th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

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