Category Archives: Marketing

Did You Know Personalized Printing Is Green Printing?

When you think about personalization, do you think about lower cost per lead, higher per order values, and increased ROI? You should. But you should also get excited about how personalized printing helps you go green.

Here are three reasons why:

  • Targeting means you send out fewer pieces of mail—saving trees, chemicals, and fossil fuels.
  • A cleaner database means that your recipients deliver fewer pieces right to the trash can.
  • Digital production has many green benefits, including no plates, no chemicals, and no spray powders.

Say you are a small college printing four-color catalogs to mail to prospective students. Each catalog is 252 pages, covering the full range of disciplines and activities. As a result, only 25% of the material is relevant to the prospective student. Now, instead of printing 252 pages, you print 64 pages of material relevant to each student. Not only does this increase the effectiveness of each booklet, but you’ve just reduced your consumption of paper, ink, and chemicals by 75%.

As another example, in a static mail campaign, you might send out 15,000 postcards to a generic list. With personalized mail, you are likely to select only a percentage of that list. This might be the top 10% of your customers, customers who are most likely to purchase certain products or customers who, based on defined triggers (such as an expiring auto lease), are most likely to be in the market for a new purchase. Now, instead of mailing 15,000 pieces, you might mail only 1,500. Not only are these offers more targeted and relevant, but you’ve just reduced your printing and mailing volume by 90%, a huge slash in your carbon footprint.

It pays to be green. Not only should you consider green alternatives because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good business. Consumers want to do business with companies that are good stewards of the environment.

So double marketing dip

3 Tips for Optimizing Your Multichannel Marketing

Want to energize your print campaign? Combine print with other media to amplify its effect.

The most common channel pairing with print these days is email, but you might also want to consider text messaging, banner ads, social media (such as Facebook), and search engine advertising, as well. Each channel has different benefits depending on your marketing goals and the target audience you are trying to reach.

No matter which channels you choose, here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Maintain consistent branding across all channels.

Different media have different requirements, so you can’t maintain 100% cross-channel consistency all the time. But whenever possible, use the same images, color schemes, primary messaging, and offers to maintain a consistent brand image and a consistent brand message.

  1. Think strategically.

Know what role each channel is supposed to play. If you are going to combine email with print, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to create awareness and anticipation of the print piece? Are you using email as a reminder to respond? Maybe if you’re driving traffic to a campaign-specific website, you might want to consider banner advertising in demographic hot spots.

  1. Create appropriate channel-audience pairings.

Ensure that you are selecting the best combination of channels to communicate with your target audience. You’re not going to reach as many retirees with text marketing as you are Millennials, for example, and social media preferences vary, as well. Sixty-five percent of GenXers and Baby Boomers say their favorite social media network is Facebook, and while Millennials overall prefer Facebook, too, among younger Millennials (ages 18-24), the favored social media network is Instagram.

There is a learning curve associated with multichannel marketing, but the ability to amplify and reinforce your marketing message can be invaluable. Need help matching your channels to your marketing goals? Just ask!

 

Effective Marketing Copy Made Easy

Whether you are writing copy for direct mail, email, in-store or exterior signage, or any other type of marketing material, a few simple tricks will increase your ability to grab your audience’s attention and communicate your message more effectively. Here are some fundamental principles of writing great copy that will help you command attention:

  • Be imaginative. It’s easy to say the same thing in the same way all the time. Break out of the mold. Look for unconventional ways to communicate your message.
  • Be a salesman. Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere by itself. Your copy still has to motivate recipients to action. Be creative, but also be clear. Sell benefits. Give an overt call to action.
  • Put the customer front and center. Make the customer the center of the message. Talk about their problems, their challenges, and their Let them identify with the message, then talk about how your products and services can solve their problems.
  • Build trust. Part of building a brand and gaining repeat customers is establishing loyalty and trust. Represent your products in a way that is accurate, helpful, and maintains your customers’ confidence.
  • Hire a professional editor. Make sure your copy meets professional standards. Someone who is “good at grammar” isn’t sufficient. When it comes to marketing, there are rules for punctuation, capitalization, and usage that only professionals know.

Of course, there are other elements to great print marketing, as well. Good layout. Interesting graphics. Compelling offer. But great copy ties it all together.

 

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.

Get Ready for the New USPS Promotions in 2016

Get ready for great USPS promotions in 2016! Just like in 2015, the USPS will offer a 2% discount on qualifying promotions that use interactive technologies that make your mail pieces more effective and cost-efficient, too.

The new promotional categories for 2016 are as follows:

Emerging and Advanced Technology/Video in Print Promotion (March – August 2016): As in 2015, the promotion encourages mailers to incorporate mobile and other print technologies into their mail pieces. In 2016, this includes Near Field Communications (NFC) and Video in Print, as well. The 2016 promotion also adds an A/B Testing option. To receive the 2% discount, mailers must use A/B testing protocols and provide results to the Postal Service, which will share data with other marketers. Shared data will not identify participating mailers.

Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Mail Piece Engagement Promotion (March – August 2016): This promotion is new to the USPS and will offer a 2% discount to mailers who incorporate advanced print innovations in paper and substrates, finishing techniques, and inks.

Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion: This is an extension of the 2015 promotion that encourages mailers to keep Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) envelopes and cards in their outgoing mail pieces. Qualifying mailers will receive a two-cent postage credit for each BRM and CRM piece returned during the promotion period. Mailers who participated in the 2015 Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion and either meet or increase their volume of qualifying BRM/CRM pieces will receive an additional one-cent (three cents total) for each returned BRM and CRM piece.

Mobile Shopping Promotion (July – December 2016): As in 2015, this promotion will encourage mailers to integrate mobile technology into their direct mail. The 2016 promotion will include a new social media component under which consumers will be able to connect with “Buy Now” features available on most major social media platforms.

Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion (July – December 2016): This is a continuation of the 2015 promotion that encourages mails of bills and statements that use color messaging to either address the recipient by name or use information relevant and specific to the recipient. The promotion applies only to bills and statements.

There has never been a better time to use postal mail. Give us a call — let’s get mailing!

Snatch Customers Before Your Competitors Do!

Investing in direct mail for customer acquisition? Your competitors are! As their efforts become more proactive and strategic, how do you plan to attract those same customers before your competitors do? Here are three proven strategies for grabbing attention in the mailbox.

  1. Use dimensional mail.

In a stack of envelopes, a padded envelope, a package, or some other three-dimensional mailer gets attention. Usually, these are opened first. While dimensional mailers cost more than flat mailers, they get response rates that can make your mouth water. According to the Direct Marketing Association, dimensional mailers receive response rates 200% – 300% higher than flat mailers. So when your marketing ideas take shape, make it a literal shape!

  1. Try out unusual finishes, folds, and bindings.

Tangible elements are what make the print channel stand out. Consider using some of the many spot coatings, textured coatings, die cuts, pop-outs, and foldouts that your customers don’t see every day. If you have been meaning to investigate fresh new options and still haven’t had an excuse to do it, now you do.

  1. Try new mailing formats.

Not all mailing formats are created equal. There are many different formats available: postcards, folded mailers, mailers placed into envelopes, envelopes that are personalized, envelopes that are not personalized, window envelopes, and more. Envelopes and mailers can be different sizes, thicknesses, and colors. Experiment with colored substrates, clear envelopes, and on-envelope personalization.

It’s time to get noticed! If you need some ideas or want to test new formats, substrates, and finishing options, just ask.

 

Want More Sales? Drip It!

What is drip marketing? It is a powerful form of marketing in which marketers gradually “drip” content out to customers and prospects over time. Drip marketing includes a wide variety of channels, including direct mail, email, newsletters, and social media. It can be used for brand building, product introduction, cross-sells, and a variety of other marketing goals.

Let’s look at how one marketer used drip marketing with direct mail to get 1400% ROI.

Phase #1: Step one was sending an eye-catching, high-gloss trifold mailer that grabbed instant attention inside the mailbox. Once the mailer was opened, recipients were greeted with name personalization, relevant text, and a personalized URL that allowed them to enter an email address and download a free, high-value white paper. They were also encouraged to fill out an optional survey to provide the marketer with more insight into their individual needs.

Phase #2: Step two was a follow-up mailing to nonresponders. This mailing built on the name recognition built by the first mailing, but it was tweaked to differentiate the two. The piece also included a personalized URL.

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.

Phase #3: The third mailing went to people who had not responded to the first two mailings. 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? The marketer understood that sometimes it takes more than one contact to build name recognition and trust. In a drip campaign, 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? Give us call!