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!
ATLANTA—A study carried out by research company Campbell River on behalf of the non-profit advisory body, Dunham+Company, found that people were more than three times as likely to donate after being contacted by direct mail than by e-mail.
The researchers asked people making a donation what had prompted them to make a contribution to the charity. The portion of people who were donating after receiving a direct mail appeal was 17 percent, more than three times higher than the 5 percent who had been prompted to donate by an e-mail.
Rick Dunham, CEO of Dunham+Company, described the results of the study as “a bit of a shock.” Dunham notes that recipients pay more attention to a physical object that comes into their mailbox than e-mail, which he points out is easily deleted.
According to the study, donors in the 40-59 age categories are the most responsive to direct mail—47 percent of them responded to receiving a letter by making a donation in 2012, which is a dramatic increase from 34 percent in 2010. Donors over the age of 60 also respond well to direct mail—24 percent of them donated in 2012 after receiving a letter, an increase of 6 percent since 2010.
Printing Impressions Magazine, 2012
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!
There is a long standing perception that marketing and sales are at odds with one another. Marketing departments often say “sales people don’t get what we do”. Sales people often say “If marketing would just give us some good leads and materials we could close more sales.”
I consult with and sell marketing technologies and services to marketing departments and agencies. These technologies are designed specifically to integrate marketing channels, track and measure results and deliver qualified leads to sales in real time.
Since this benefits both sales and marketing you’d think it would be the bridge to bring them together. It can be but often the divide between the two is deep and long lived. Both often blame the other when results don’t materialize.
So what’s the solution? Accountability. We should all be accountable for what we do. Accountability diffuses the argument and clearly shows where blame belongs. When all is working it really isn’t important for sales to understand all that marketing does or vice versa. A culture of mutual respect can be built when efforts and results are measured and transparent. This can get all oars moving in the same direction.
How is this done? The technology we have today gives marketing departments the ability to integrate all media channels. Direct mail, Email, Broadcast, Print, Web, Mobile and more can be combined, tracked and measured for accurate determination of ROI. Leads can be qualified and delivered to the sales force in real time as it happens. This empowers everyone and holds all accountable with real numbers and accurate result reporting. It is hard to improve what you don’t measure.
Emerging technologies that track and measure all our marketing and sales efforts are the bridge between sales and marketing. What are your experiences with this subject? What have you seen or done that has worked to bridge the gap between sales and marketing?
Until Next Time,
To Your Success!
Yes you can! It’s not wet but it does bead up on the page and you can feel the bulges.
After the introduction of AccuLink’s 3dUV technology in my last post I have been bombarded by emails wanting to know more, Sooo… here is a Video that better illustrates the process and some of the most common questions I received:
1. Is it thermogrophy? No. It is a patented UV-curable clear polymer that produces raised print effects with variable densities and gradations that add tangible height, texture and dimension to the sheet. It is digitally applied post press using an OPA guided inkjet array. (whew, what a mouth full)
2. How do you achieve the textures and different layers? These effects are set up pre-press then applied all in one pass onto the post-press printed sheet. It can even be set up by your own graphic designer with a bit of knowledge.
3. Are there plates or dies required to create the texture? No. This is a totally digital process that is actually much “greener” and eliminates plates, molds, chemicals and solvents while significantly reducing overall energy usage. Each image can be unique and can include variable print, pURLs, QR Codes and more.
4. What are the max/min thickness it can be applied to? This sheet fed press accepts digital or offset printed sheets ranging from 4pt. to over 50pt. in thickness and can even be applied to lamination.
5. How high can the emboss effect go? This is the best part. It has print capabilities ranging from 20 microns to 70 microns in thickness and can apply a variety of clear polymer patterns in the same pass to easily achieve dual sided and multilevel embossing effects.
6. Where can I get this? Currently AccuLink is the only U.S. manufacturer with a Scodix 1200 UV press.
Check out this Video that better explains the process: Scodix Enhanced Greeting Card Example
These are not the only questions I have received but they were the most common. If you want to know more about 3dUV or would like a sample to see and feel for yourself Contact me.
To Your Success!