direct mail marketing

5 Updates to Freshen Up Direct Mail

Are you looking for ways to spice up your direct mail campaigns? Even if your response rates remain high, are you looking to freshen things up? Here are a few ways you can update your direct mailings and give them new appeal.

  1. Update the package.

Are you using the same envelopes you have for years? If so, change the color. Change the size. Add a personalized teaser on the front (“John, check this out!”). If you are selling high-value products, consider dimensional mail or novelty envelopes that look like UPS packages or USPS Priority Mail.

  1. Tweak your text.

Still using the same marketing text from last year? Try a new approach. If you’ve been using an informational style, insert some humor. If you’ve been sending punchy one-liners, try adding more educational text.

  1. Freshen up the images.

How long have you been using that same picture of your headquarters? Is your headshot on the back of the postcard from the 1990s? Take a new company photo. Upload a current headshot with a fabulous smile. Or maybe you just want some new images as backgrounds or illustration.

  1. Add a new variable.

If you are personalizing your mailings, why not add a new variable? If you’ve been personalizing by name and gender, add age bracket or income. If you’ve been personalizing by ZIP Code and household income, refine by life stage.

Look for fresh, new ways to relate to customers and increase the relevance of the message.

  1. Try a new offer.

What incentive have you been using to get people to respond? 15% discount? If so, try 10% or 25%. Go crazy and try BOGO. How are you encouraging people to log into their personalized microsite? Entrance into a sweepstakes for a gift card? Try a set of concert tickets instead.

Mixing things up can be a great way to stay fresh and relevant, even when sending to the same audience. So get creative. Step outside the box and see what happens.

Need some ideas? Contact us. We can help!


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Personalized Print Beats Online in 18-34 Demographic

Think you’re being more effective by switching from traditional to digital media? Especially in the 18–34-year-old demographic? Think again! A study from ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting, suggests that 1:1 printing may be more effective even among this coveted age group.

A study titled “Finding the Right Channel Combination: What Drives Channel Choice,” ICOM surveyed over 2500 U.S. and 2200 Canadian households. It found that consumers overwhelmingly preferred to learn about marketing offers via print media than online sources.

While we might expect this from older consumers, this survey targeted 18–34-year-olds. In every category surveyed (with the exception of travel), these younger, more tech-savvy consumers overwhelmingly preferred print over online media for marketing communications.

Why? One reason is trust. According to the survey, 36% of U.S. respondents across all age groups trust the mail more than email. In a previous edition of the survey, 19% said online information “can’t be trusted.” This time, the percentage increased to 25%.

Even personalization cannot overcome this mistrust. While email and online can be personalized, consumers often complain that online advertising is ubiquitous and inescapable. The use of cookies to track their behavior can also result in highly irrelevant suggestions (“Other people who bought Natural Remedies for Headaches also bought Dancing with the Stars Cardio Workout!”). The result is a high level of mistrust and annoyance.

By contrast, the intentional, highly targeted use of personalization in print is non-intrusive and the relevance is clear.

Type of Offer Prefer Mail Prefer Online
Personal care 62% 22%
Food products 66% 23%
Over-the-counter medication 53% 21%.
Insurance services 43% 21%
Financial services 44% 19%
Travel 34% 42%

Source: “Finding the Right Channel Combination: What Drives Channel Choice” (ICOM)


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Friday, February 14th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

InfoTrends Report: Personalization Works!

Looking for proof that personalization works? An InfoTrends study of the marketing communication needs (including printing and variable data) of various businesses finds that marketing efforts featuring a higher level of personalization complexity results in a higher return on investment.

The survey of over 1,000 large businesses across 10 different vertical industries found that more than 60% of respondents’ campaigns were personalized or segmented.  Response rates went up as the campaigns included more channels and become more complex.

Print-only campaigns achieved an average response rate of 6.0%, while print combined with personalized URLs achieved an average response rate of 7.6%.  Adding email increased response rates to 8.2%. Adding mobile increased them to 8.7%. Evidence that more channels = more results!

The report also found that conversion rates were higher in a multi-channel mix. Print alone achieved an average conversion rate of 16.2%, while the combination of print, email, personalized URLs. Mobile achieved an average conversion rate of 19.0%.

The takeaway? If you want better results, personalize your marketing message. If you want outstanding results, use multiple channels to sweep non-responders into the sales funnel and reinforce the message over time.

Campaign Response Rate Conversion Rate
Print Only 6.0% 16.2%
Print and Email 7.6% 18.3%
Print and PURLs 7.6% 15.3%
Print, Email and PURLs 8.2% 16.5%
Print, Email, PURLs and Mobile 8.7% 19.0%
Source: InfoTrends, 2012

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Are You Top of Mind?

Quick! Name a soft drink. Chances are you thought of Coke or Pepsi. These beverage giants have spent millions in advertising with the goal of being top of mind among consumers from age five to ninety-five—and they have been very successful at doing it.

Top-of-mind-awareness, or TOMA, is a traditional measure of marketing effectiveness. It strongly correlates to brand preference, which correlates to increased market share. Here are a few ways to achieve “top of mind” awareness in your product marketplace.

Find your unique selling proposition. Consider what makes your company special. Is it market niche? Exceptional service? Highly targeted products and services? Clearly articulate this value proposition to your prospects, and make this value proposition simple and easy to remember.

Be proactive. While a one-time advertising blitz can get your message out quickly to a large number of prospects, TOMA requires a drip marketing approach — a consistent delivery of messaging over time. So keep it coming.

Use consistent branding. Everything from your customer literature to your e-newsletters should have consistent messaging and similar look and feel. One brand, one message.

Use multiple touches and multiple channels. Stay in front of your audience using multiple channels over time. Awareness is based on repetition.

Be useful. Frequency doesn’t have to mean being annoying. You want your customers to perceive you as a provider of useful information rather than an intrusive pest.  Communicate information frequently, but give your audience genuine value each time.

Never before have consumers had so many choices. TOMA should be a top goal of your marketing efforts. It will help customers notice you in a noisy marketplace, increasing customer retention and response rates.


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Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments


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