CRYSTAL BALL TO DIRECT MAIL
Do You Have a Crystal Ball?
Direct Mail is not going away any time soon, but there is no question that it is changing. Over the next several years, we can expect that direct mail will allow us to greatly increase the connections we build today. We will engage our audiences in ways we never realized.
Our focus on changes in the industry is usually based on what the market is asking for. Henry Ford once said as he was building his first automobile, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” He didn’t see any faster horses in his crystal ball.
There’s one thing you can count on in our industry; the pace of change will only accelerate faster from here. The direct mail industry is undergoing constant change; you can bet that industry mail leaders will continue to avail themselves with every available tool to deliver the most dynamic, most welcome, and most personal communications possible.
That said, when I look into my crystal ball, here’s what I see:
- Every mail piece will start as a plain piece of white paper, and every component, from the envelope, letter and insert, will be digitally printed and assembled as part of a single in-line operation. Software advancements will make it possible to make automatic real-time decisions on content and page layout based on the recipients’ potential ROI.
- Marketers already recognize that direct mail is a visual media – but the most compelling sales pitches will utilize bold, personalized imagery. Mailers will take advantage of more relevant, more targeted messaging and imagery on envelopes—with equally convincing relevant content inside that designed to please the recipient.
- With the volume of available data doubling every 18 months, analytics will take center stage in targeting. Direct mailers will be crunching data right up until the moment a mail piece is produced—continually fine-tuning models to pinpoint most likely responders. Tracking information will feed directly into centralized communication dashboards, providing the insights to make instant adjustments that will improve ROI.
- Mail will be linked to online experiences—through widgets and apps that have not even been invented yet—they will serve to increase the impact of mail. The explosion of digital communications will extend the life and value of a printed mail piece in many ways, opening the door to an infinite array of videos, online content, demos and information—each tailored, customized and targeted to the individual mail recipient.
- Targeted mail lists are already getting smaller. We can look forward to a day when single-piece jobs may well become the norm.
- All of these capabilities will provide for a new level of intimacy with prospects and customers as mailings can be produced and delivered in direct response to actions and events.
In conclusion, some of you will view the next few years as a time of challenges and frustrations. Others will see innovation, growth and higher profitability.
So the question is: What’s in your crystal ball?
Until next time!
To Your Success!
This is a re-post from “Eds Tips” by Ed Glaser
Direct Mail vs. E-Mail in the Current Environment
The purpose of this Tip is not to pit email against direct mail, but to explain why this is a particularly good time to lead off a multi-touch cross media marketing campaign with direct mail. As a cross media evangelist, I take every opportunity to further the principle that multi-touch cross media marketing campaigns are much more successful than any “one and done” campaign, no matter which media is chosen for such a campaign.
I believe that the time is right because of the proliferation of email these days, from 2007 to 2011 – email volume increased by 61%. I’m sure that you can see this in your own inbox. As the volume of emails reaching the inbox increases, the likelihood that recipients are opening and interacting with emails starts to diminish. How many emails do you delete without opening? This explains the slow and steady decline of email open rates over the last few years. The click rate for emails currently stands at only .12% according to the DMA’s recent 2012 response rate report. Also, please remember that “click rates” are not a reliable measurement of the success of an email campaign (see Ed’s Tip of 7-11-12).
Because of this glut of emails, many postal mail boxes have become uncluttered and the receptivity of direct mail by consumers is on the rise. Many companies believe that they are saving money by opting for emails in place of direct mail. Sure it costs less to send an email, but are they really getting their money’s worth? You would need to send a large number of emails as opposed to a very small number of highly targeted direct mails to accomplish the same result. As opposed to a .12% click rate, direct mail boasts an impressive 4.4% purchase or other significant activity response rate according to the same DMA Report.
Cross media campaigns that start with direct mail will “push” the recipient to a website or to a landing page more often than an email. Those that do not respond quickly, if they are properly identified as having a relevant interest in the offer, should be contacted by email to see if they will respond to that medium. If still unsuccessful, at least one more round of contacts, direct mail followed up by email, should occur. You need to remember, timing can always be an issue as to when the audience is triggered to action and ready to make a purchase decision.
This is the perfect time to send an email alerting the audience that their ideal offer is about to arrive in their postal box and also alert the sender to prepare to hear from their audience.
If you are interested in learning more about mail piece tracking, or cross media campaigns give me a call and we’ll talk about enhancing the value of your next campaign!
Until next time!
To Your Success!
With social media and video marketing when a campaign goes “viral” it is considered marketing nirvana. How is this possible with direct mail though considering the personal nature of the medium? This personal nature is one reason direct mail can be so effective. It is the only marketing channel that lets you so precisely target your audience and put something in their hand.
The keys to success in this medium are the same as ever: a good target list, good offer and relevant messaging. So how do you make a direct mail campaign go viral?
First consider this. There are more marketing channels available today than at any time in history. Use them to make your message shareable then make your message share worthy.
Incorporate as many relevant marketing mediums and channels into your campaign as possible:
On the mail piece you can include:
- Personalized variable print or images
- pURLs (Personalized URLs) a website that welcomes the responder by name and can include survey, contest entry or reply fields to gather more data
- QR CODE (2D bar codes that when scanned by a mobile device makes the experience interactive)
On the web response form include:
- Social media sharing (include links that allow recipients to share your offer with others)
- Video (post a video and link it to your web page for better engagement)
- A Survey form to capture more data and better qualify the prospect.
Be sure to capture other contact info like email and phone/cell number for lower cost future marketing efforts.
By using all relevant channels available you can increase the effectiveness and share-ability of your message and potentially create a viral campaign. Just remember to make your message resonate with the recipient.
Here is a helpful document if you are new to direct mail Direct Mail 101
Here is a great video that shows a new mail format and how it can include other channels Video
I am always glad to help marketers plan campaigns to maximize and measure results. Feel free to contact me as you consider your next marketing move.
Until next time!
To Your Success!
Your customers and prospects have never seen anything like this! You thought it was just an envelope but…
Incredible, intelligent and attention grabbing. InteliMailer is used as a stand alone mail piece or integrated into complete cross media marketing campaigns that feature full color personalized letter packages, pURLS, custom landing pages, QR codes, mobile messaging and more. Watch this and see for yourself.
Contact me to learn more.
Until next time!
To Your Success!
As we venture into the new normal of doing business we find ourselves relying more on computers and the internet than one may have ever imagined 30 years ago. The way we communicate research and buy is forever changed from those days. The scary thing is it is only changing faster. So fast it can be really hard to keep up and can be extremely intimidating. It can also be a real time saver and this translates into money savings.
Embrace this change and reap its benefits. Ignore it and be passed by your competitors. I have been in the graphic communications industry for more than 20 years and a lot has changed. I find myself acting more as a consultant and educator than in the old days when I was a just a print salesman. With so many more tools and options available now it truly does take an expert to review your needs and goals then work with you to craft the most effective and economical solutions.
I recently had a client that utilized a QR CODE on a direct mail campaign after I introduced him to the technology. He did some research online and found a free site to generate the code then tested it on his iPhone with success. He printed and mailed one version without letting me know he was using a QR code. When I saw the QR code I was surprised since he had not mentioned it to me. I scanned one with my Blackberry and it would not read. Alarmed I had several others in our plant try their phones. No luck. I only had success with a Droid. Oh no I thought. I immediately contacted my client and told him the bad news. He was concerned and asked me why it wouldn’t scan consistently. In this case it was generated with his organizations identity colors. There just was not enough contrast for most readers to resolve the code. I reminded him that we are more than just a print and mail provider we are also a technology and marketing solutions provider. He agreed to consult with me on future uses of new technologies in his campaign at the creative stage.
I really enjoy discovering the possibilities brought about by new technology. I love learning about new tools and uses that are being created. My favorite part is when I am working with a client with a seemingly insurmountable problem and I am a part of crafting the solution.
Learn all you can and don’t be afraid to try new things but don’t forget to consult with those that may have already traveled that new road and can help you avoid the pitfalls that may lay in your path.
Until next time…
To Your Success!
In these times of tightening budgets it is more important than ever to target our marketing dollars. This is made even more challenging with the splintering of our society across so many mediums both old and new.
Campaigns that reach out to a highly targeted audience then invite a response via the web and gather more information on the prospect result in more personal engagement and in turn higher conversion. The information gathered in this type of outbound/inbound campaign allow for multiple touches across multiple media and result in better qualified prospects.
The marketing toolbox available to us is fuller than ever. When creating a campaign consider your goals and the data you have on your prospects then select the tools for the job accordingly to build the best campaign to reach those goals. Tightly define your ideal prospect then surgically target them with a relevant message and offer that elicits engagement.
We have produced cross media campaigns like this that incorporate direct mail, email, personalized web sites with survey pages, referral links and social media sharing that resulted in a ten fold or better return on investment. Many of the tools are familiar some are new. The key today is to leverage them all in the most appropriate way to build effective campaigns that engage your prospects across multiple media and discover the communication channel(s) preferred by each individual. Through this you will close a higher percentage of your target and can even gain new targets.
I would be glad to discuss specifics if you wish : email@example.com
here is a video where I discuss this type of marketing: http://youtu.be/OgsQC7b-Wj4
How are you marketing your business?
Chris Daniels of AccuLink explains cross media marketing and how to incorporate print, direct mail, email, pURLs and QR codes to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that delivers results with measurable ROI.
Feed your sales force with pre-qualified leads. Build loyalty of existing customers. Offer new channels of two way communication that build your business and strengthen relationships.
Watch the video at this link: