Author Archives: jonmccoy858

Are You Doing These 5 Things for Personalization Success?

What is the difference between a great personalized print campaign and a flop? Adhering to best practices.

Knowing today’s best practices can make the difference between a good campaign and a great one. Let’s look at five best practices for 1:1 (personalized) print marketing that you should be using in all of your campaigns.

1.Stay focused.Know — really know — your target audience and the goals you are trying to achieve. This allows you to focus your message and make it more relevant.

  1. Keep it clean. Nothing can make a personalized campaign seem more impersonalthan misspelled names or outdated data. Cleanse and update your mailing list on a regular basis.
  2. Know what’s behind the data. Data is just data — numbers in a spreadsheet. It’s up to you to use that information to create messaging that resonates with the recipient. All the personalization in the world won’t help if the recipients don’t see the relevance of the communication.
  3. Think “integration.”All direct mail campaigns need a great message and creative. If you reinforce this message across multiple channels, such as following up with a personalized email or text, this consistently increases the chances that someone will respond.
  4. Do what works.How do you know your efforts are working? Test different approaches, offers, and variables in the campaign. Test one element at a time against the control. Learn what works best for your audience and what doesn’t.

Success with personalized print doesn’t happen by accident. It takes planning and strategy. By putting these best practices to work, you can get the most out of your next personalized print campaign.

 

 

 

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Pantone’s Color of the Year: Living Coral

Pantone’s Color of the Year: Living Coral

It’s here! Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019. It’s Living Coral, Pantone 16-1546. After considering trends in everything from fashion to décor, Pantone announced this vibrant, yet warm color as it top pick.

In a world filled with uncertainty, Pantone chose Living Coral for its warmth and optimism. After all, what better to represent hope than the beauty of the coral reef, a coastal community teaming with life?

Notes Pantone:

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we [as human beings] are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.[1]

How can you tap into the opportunity?

  • Use Living Coral for borders, backgrounds, and even text.
  • Select images that contain color(s) similar to Living Coral (or that are complementary to it) and incorporate them into your design.
  • Even consider using Living Coral for envelopes. Bring your audience a sense of optimism and cheer as soon as they take the mailer out of the mailbox!

Pantone’s announcement lets you capitalize on this fun and meaningful color that we’ll be seeing a lot of this coming year. So engage your creativity. How will you use Living Coral?

[1]https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/color-of-the-year/color-of-the-year-2019

5 Tips for Value Engineering Your Print Projects

Are you familiar with value engineering? It’s a fancy way of saying that you are scrutinizing every aspect of a project, whether a building renovation or a print campaign and making sure that you are maximizing the value of every dollar. Sometimes less expensive options can get the job done without sacrificing quality. Here are five ways you can value engineer your next print project.

  1. Bump your color down. If you have a three-color project, consider dropping down to two colors. With the creative use of screen tints, you can often create a similar look for a lower cost. If you have been printing simple documents (such as forms) in two colors, consider dropping back to black ink only.
  2. Bump your color up. This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you have a three-color project, it is often more cost-effective to bump to four colors because our press is already set up and running other four-color jobs. If we can include your job in a gang run, you can often save even more.
  3. Measure twice, cut once. This old adage applies to printing, too. Doublecheck your art files and proofread carefully. You can avoid many service charges by making sure you’ve prepared your artwork correctly and caught every typo.
  4. Clean up messy lists. List cleansing is not exactly exciting, but it can reduce your costs dramatically. With a clean list, you aren’t sending mailers to nonexistent addresses or people who don’t live there anymore.
  5. Think outside the format. Just because you have always used a brochure for a particular promotion doesn’t mean it’s the only option. Why not experiment with other formats like postcards and see whether you get the same or better response rate? Testing is the key to effective marketing…and saving money.

Looking for ways to value engineer your print projects? We have lots of ideas. Let us help!

 

Securing Your Customers’ Loyalty

Your customers are a hot commodity. Everybody wants them. So how do you keep them loyal to you? Make your relationship so great that they don’t want to go anywhere else.

  1. Market in the age of “me.”

Know your customers well enough to give them a personalized experience. This goes beyond targeting with basic demographics like gender, age, and household income. Look at the channels your customers respond to, when they make purchases, and what they buy. Acting on this data helps your customers see that you know and care about them. It helps with cross-sells and upsells, too!

  1. Coupons galore!

Consumers have a love affair with coupons, including mobile. According to Juniper Research, mobile coupons are 10x more likely to be used than printed coupons.

  1. Don’t be channel agnostic.

Know which channels your customers are most likely to respond to, then use them. If a customer requires two emails to respond but responds the first time to direct mail, get them on the “mail first” list. If someone else is more likely to respond to an email than a printed newsletter, get them on the “email first” list. Keep your branding, message, and imaging consistent regardless of channel.

  1. Ask their opinion.

Use response cards, personalized URLs, and other survey mechanisms to get your customers’ opinion on products, services, and potential business changes. When one specialty retailer wanted to give its location a facelift, it used a targeted direct mail piece with personalized URLs to ask its customers about products and services they wanted but the company didn’t offer. It got an earful! The retailer incorporated the most popular suggestions, and its sales soared.

  1. Remember to say “thank you.”

Everyone likes to be appreciated. Send a personalized “thank you” letter, postcard, or other mailer once in a while. Attach a no-strings coupon or discount just to engender their goodwill . . . and you will.

Gaining customer loyalty doesn’t have to be rocket science. You just have to put in the effort.

Got Relationship? It’s the Key to Nonprofit Fundraising

Pop quiz: What is the factor most likely to impact a person’s willingness to donate to a nonprofit organization? According to a survey by YouGov, it’s relationship. Key to this relationship is helping donors feel great about their donations and see how their giving is making a difference.

How do you deepen your donors’ relationships with you? Get to know them. Use surveys, third-party data sources, pop-up web forms, and other methods to gather information about your donors that you may not already have. This information can be used to tailor your communications in ways that are most effective.

Say you are providing services to underprivileged children around the world. If your survey reveals that potential donors are in the medical field, for example, you might emphasize the value of their donations to fight disease or provide clean water. If, on the other hand, donors are teachers, you might highlight the ability to give the children good educations. Or you could provide the same messaging to both groups, but use different imagery.

Not everyone wants to take the time out of their day to fill out a survey, so if you are going to ask people to do so, give them something of value in return. “Value” doesn’t have to mean a monetary incentive, such as a gift card or entrance into a drawing. It can be something as simple as exclusive insight into a project you are funding (“Respond to our survey and receive a link to an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of our volunteers at work”).

Donors give because it makes them feel good. The response incentive needs to reflect that motivation, and it will be different for every organization.

Need help creating a donor survey to further the mission of your organization? Give us a call!

 

Does Your Multichannel Strategy Need an Update?

When was the last time your print marketing strategy was freshened up? When was the last time you looked at your creative approach, value proposition, and media mix with fresh eyes? If it’s been a while, maybe now is the time. Here are three areas to consider.

  1. Does each tactic prove its worth?

Technology is cool, but don’t throw new things into the mix just for the sake of doing it. Test, evaluate, and incorporate new components in ways that create results.

Say you make your first contact with a customized postcard, direct mail letter, or self-mailer that drives the reader to a personalized URL.  Offer the option of connecting to the site by either entering a web address or scanning a QR Code.  Track your metrics to see which channel recipients do and do not respond to.

No matter which response mechanisms you use, be sure to look at more than top-line numbers. You might think that a response rate is “low” until you discover that it gets the most responses from a segment of your target audience that is particularly important to you.

  1. Demographics are important — go further. It may be tempting to base your marketing efforts on the most readily available information, such as gender, age, and income. For the best results, however, take it a step further. Seek to understand what your prospects care about.Today’s consumer wants to be an individual, not a segment.
  2. Track and measure your results. Which elements of the campaign do you track? How do you determine a “response rate”? Is it a click or a scan? Is it the completion of a form or a purchase? Connect your marketing goals with clear metrics, so you know which of your marketing efforts are working and which are not.

Marketing is about results, and consumers often respond to different tools and tactics at different times. Track, test, and measure so you can keep up.

 

3 Tips for Maximizing Results with Print + Email

Combine direct mail with email is a great way to increase response rates. Here are three ways to manage the timing to turbocharge your results.

  1. Use email to follow-up to nudge response.

Email makes a great reminder for your direct mail pieces. Drop your postcard or letter. Then, while the piece is still fresh in people’s minds, use email to nudge them to respond. When one manufacturer wanted to invite customers to an in-house seminar, for example, it paired a dimensional mailer with two follow-up emails. The company received an 18% overall response rate.

  1. Use mail tracking to optimize email timing.

Using mail tracking services, you can determine when the mail piece actually arrives at the recipient’s home or office, then time your email to arrive at the time that testing has determined will be most effective.

One B2B marketer split its email blast into two groups and conducted an A/B test. The first blast arrived on a predetermined day regardless of when the mail piece actually arrived. In the second blast, the mail drops were tracked and the email was timed to arrive exactly one day later. The timed follow-ups showed a 4.7% lift in response.

  1. Send email first to save on postage costs.

Did you know that you can optimize your postal costs by sending an email first? Anyone who responds to the email blast can be removed from the direct mail list. This saves you print and postage.

In one alumni campaign, a university sent personalized emails based on area of study and graduation/reunion year.  It followed up with a direct mailer personalized with the same information, but only to people who had not responded to the email. Not only did the university save money on print and postage, but it achieved an 8.5% response rate.

Email makes a terrific partner to direct mail campaigns, whether sent in advance of the mailing or as a follow-up. Looking for ideas for making the ideal one-two punch? Give us a call.