mailing services

Multi-Channel Leads Marketers’ Strategies

If you like multi-channel marketing, here is some good news. According to a survey conducted by WoodWing Software, you’re about to get more of it.

In a survey of publishers, advertising agencies, and in-house marketing departments, WoodWing found that in terms of their marketing mix, 59% favor a combination of print, web, mobile, tablet, and social media.

Which channels do publishers look to first?

  • 22% favor a print-first strategy
  • 6% favor a web-first strategy
  • 5% favor a mobile-first approach
  • 2% favor a social-media-first strategy

Respondents’ main reasons for using social media? Brand awareness. When it comes to communicating the marketing message, however, print remains king.

Why does print remain the dominant form of marketing? Perhaps for a reason no more complicated than people still like going to the mailbox. Unlike email inboxes, which can fill up with hundreds of emails in a single day, the mailbox delivers a handful of mail that most people enjoy sorting through. It’s like a treasure hunt. You never know what’s in there.

Unlike an email subject line, envelopes deliver interest and engagement before they are even opened. Colors, windows, and on-envelope messaging and personalization all offer forms of engagement. Then there are the benefits of other mailing formats, such as postcards, trifold mailers, and three-dimensional mail, which offer even more engagement.

The takeaway? For best results, use social media for branding. Tap into email for reminders, follow-ups, and short-term offers. But keep print as the foundation and bedrock of your marketing.

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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

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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The Zip Code Turns 50!

It took an ad campaign to sell Americans on its value

From Time.com – By Josh Sanburn @joshsanburnJuly 01, 20130

1963 was a momentous year in America: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington and, somewhat less heralded by all but the most fervent postal historians, the ZIP code was introduced.

Since its founding in 1775, the post office relied on hand sorting based on local addresses to get mail where it was supposed to go. A piece of mail often went through 10 postal workers before making it to its recipient. But by the 1940s, the then-named Post Office Department realized its sorting system was not keeping pace with the growing population of the country it served.

In 1943, as a way to streamline mail sorting for the biggest American cities, the post office began placing one and two digit numbers between the city and the state to help clerks wade through the increasing volume of mail, which was then around 20 million pieces per year.

By the early 1960s, the post-war population boom and continued western growth led to even greater use of the postal service. Mail volume doubled between 1943 and 1962, putting further pressure on the post office to sort mail efficiently. On July 1, 1963, on the recommendation of an internal advisory board, the post office introduced the Zone Improvement Plan Code, which divided the entire country into coded delivery areas. The first two or three numbers told carriers to which states mail was being sent. More populous regions like New York were given five digit numbers starting with 10-14, for example, whereas less populous areas like Montana received five-digit numbers. These new ZIP codes helped the post office better pinpoint where mail was headed while allowing it to expand machine-based sorting systems that could quickly read digits. But many Americans were reluctant to adopt the new system.

“People were concerned they were being turned into numbers,” says Jennifer Lynch, a U.S. Postal Service historian. “They thought it was depersonalizing them.”

To get people on board, the post office began an extensive marketing campaign centered around Mr. ZIP, a friendly looking cartoon mail carrier. A folk group called The Swingin’ Six sang about ZIP Code usage in a lengthy public service announcement video. “Put ZIP in your mail” ran in magazines across the country, including TIME, while a series of short TV ads showed postal workers drowning in a sea of letters and used slogans like “Only you can put ZIP in your postal system.”

Evidently the ads were persuasive. In 1966, three years after ZIP Codes were introduced, 50% of Americans said they used ZIP Codes. By 1969, 83% said they did, according to a 1969 study conducted by Roper Research Associates.

In 1983, the post office expanded the ZIP Code to nine digits to identify which side of the street the mail was being delivered to, as well as particular office buildings. Today, ZIP codes are translated into “automation-readable barcodes” that are placed on pieces of mail when sorted and contain 31 digits of information that tell the post office everything from whether it was presorted, if the mail is first-class or a periodical, and even which business sent it. It also allows the U.S.P.S. to track virtually every letter and package around the country.

The post office estimates that increased efficiencies for both large mailers and the postal service itself add almost $10 billion of value to the U.S. economy a year.

Today, 50 years after the ZIP code debuted, the postal service’s Office of the Inspector General is recommending that they be linked to digital geographic information systems based on latitude and longitude to further increase delivery accuracy. This time, however, Mr. ZIP will stay in retirement.

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Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Making Drip Marketing Work for You

One of the topics we are hearing a lot about these days is drip marketing. Drip marketing is the practice of conveying your message by sending gentle marketing touches over time rather than trying to hit your customers or prospects with a single offer all at once. Especially when paired with cross-media marketing, the results can knock it out of the park.
Here’s how it works.

One marketer wanted to increase sales to affluent customers, so working closely with its print production and marketing partners, it devised a three-step, cross-channel marketing campaign that would build name recognition, develop trust, and bring in sales.

In its first phase, the company sent an eye-catching, high-gloss trifold mailer that would grab attention inside the mailbox. Once recipients opened the mailer, they were greeted with name personalization, highly relevant text, and a personalized URL that allowed them to enter an email address and download a free, high-value white paper, as well as fill out an optional survey giving the marketer more insight into their individual needs.

The second mailing went only to people who did not respond to the first. This phase capitalized upon the name recognition built by the initial contact, but the styling of the mailer was tweaked to differentiate the two. Like the first mailing, the piece included a personalized URL that allowed recipients to download a white paper and fill out an optional survey.

After the second mailing, the marketer was swamped with responses — so much so that the third mailing was delayed for several weeks so that the response team could keep up.

In the third phase, the names of those who responded to the first two mailings were removed from the list. For this mailer, the marketer used an invitation-style A7 envelope with full-color brochure insert, personalized note, and personalized URL. To sweeten the pot, respondents were offered the chance to win a sporting package or high-end coffee brewing system.

The results? The company exceeded its sales goals by 400% and achieved more than 1400% ROI!
What made this program such a success? This marketer understood that, especially when mailing to a new list and prospect base, sometimes it takes more than one contact to build name recognition and trust. Each piece builds upon the next, and in the end, you gain results not possible with a single marketing touch.
Want to tap into the power of drip marketing to reach new customers and cross-sell to existing ones? Give us call, 215.464.0111 OR EMAIL LFormica@fmidm.com.

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Keeping Great Customers On Board

You’ve sent out a terrific marketing campaign. You’ve received a superb response. You’ve converted prospects to buyers. Now what?
“What do you mean?” you ask.
After all, you got the sale. Customers love you. As long as you continue to provide good products, reasonable prices, and great customer service, they’ll stay your customers as long as you don’t mess things up.
That might sound reasonable, but in today’s competitive world, it doesn’t work that way. You’ve worked hard to get that customer, but just like any relationship, you have to put in effort to make it last.
Think about your car. You can’t just fill it with gas once a week and expect to keep it for 100,000 miles. You need to change the oil. Do routine maintenance. Otherwise, you’ll seize the engine or have to dump in thousands of dollars to fix problems that could have been prevented. Likewise, customers need attention and care if you want to keep them over the long haul. We might call this “customer after-care.”
This is one of the areas where 1:1 print communications can make a huge difference. There are some simple ways to keep customers happy, keep them engaged, and retain them over the long term.
Here are some ideas.
• Customer newsletters. Tell customer stories. Talk about new products. Provide insight they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Speak to them by name and customize the content to be more relevant to their individual needs.
• Customer satisfaction surveys. Ask them how you are doing. It’s a great way to let people know you value their business. Use personalized URLs to make this easy and append the data back into your marketing database automatically.
• Personalized notes and cards. Do you know your customers’ birthdays? How about the date they first became customers? Send them personalized notes and cards as a way to let them know you care.
• Tips & tricks postcards. Once in a while, offer some free advice. If you’re a landscaping company, you might suggest the easiest care perennials for the upcoming season. If you’re a real estate office, you might suggest the best neutral colors for resale.
• Coupons & freebies. Send a coupon for a discount or a freebie “just because.” It continually re-engages your customers and helps them see the value in their relationship with you.
Client retention is critical to your bottom-line success. Be a company that does this well, and you’ll reap the benefits of great brand recognition and long-term customer relationships.

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Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Save 2% on postage March thru April with QR codes

What’s Your Print-to-Mobile Strategy?
In today’s world of print marketing, multi-channel communications are a critical component of success. Taking your marketing message across multiple channels helps you cut through the marketing clutter in your customers’ lives and reinforce your message over time. If you aren’t already, it’s time to pay attention to mobile.

That’s why the post office is offering a 2% discount on direct mail pieces that use a QR code that drives readers to a click to call mobile page or a mobile coupon. The sales runs March 1 thru April 30.

Let’s look at some recent data that shows just how important mobile has become in the lives of even print-loving consumers.
• Smartphones are in the hands of 53% of U.S. mobile phone owners. (Pew Internet & American Life Project November 2012)
• One-third of adults are now mobile-only. They have no landline in their homes at all. (National Health CDC/NCHS National Health Survey 2011)
• Nearly two-thirds (61%) of consumers access the Internet via smartphone. (Accenture 2012)
• 51.1% of mobile users check their email using only a mobile device, 45.3% say they conduct mobile-only Internet searches, and 42.3% connect with friends on Facebook without ever using a PC or laptop. (Prosper Mobile Insights 2012)
• Four out of five smartphone owners use their phones to shop. (comScore MobiLens 2012)

If you are not integrating mobile into your overall print marketing strategy, it’s time to start!

Today’s consumers live on their mobile phones. It’s important to add mobile calls to action to your printed pieces, and QR Codes are the easiest way to do that. For more details on the upcoming postal sales, visit https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=mobilebarcode.

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Friday, January 4th, 2013 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

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