Archive for category QR Codes

10 Tips | Email Marketing

10 Email Marketing Tipsemail-marketingTips

      1. Provide Multiple Channels of Communication

Make sure you are reaching your audience wherever they are. Place a sign up form or guest book at a convenient location within your business. Add a button to your website and Facebook page to join your mailing list.  You could even use a QR code which allows a customer to join a list by scanning the code – add this to a business card, flyer or point-of-sale sign. Your customers are connected through multiple social media channels, make it easy for them to connect with you.

      2. Take the Pressure Off

Don’t require customers to give you too much information. Especially if they are joining using a mobile device, ask them for only the information you truly need. If you need a geographic location, perhaps ask only for a zip code instead of a street address or phone number. While an email address is really all you need, additional information will aid you in more targeted marketing. Just don’t expect a consumer to give you their life story in data; be respectful of their time and effort in connecting with you.

      3. Subject Lines of Email Messages: Be Clear and to the Point

The very best subject lines-the ones that get opened the most every time-are the ones that tell exactly what’s in the email. A good subject line should be as brief as possible (maybe 50 characters, including spaces), accurately reflect what is inside and motivate the recipient to open the message. If this were in your email box, would you be likely to open it?

     4. Keep Your Writing Simple

While good writing does matter, email does allow you to speak in a more casual voice – just like any other social media. Your customers are people too, write like a human and drop all the sales jargon and techno babble. You can be funny and loose and still get your message across.

    5. Give a Clear Call-To-Action

The body of the email should include a clear call to action.  Make sure your message contains relevant content and has a compelling reason to act.  Include links and make sure they are tracked so that you can continue to market to people who have shown interest in the past.

    6. Be Mobile Aware

No that some of your customers will access your email via a mobile device. Make sure you know how your email is delivered and displayed on various different mobile devices. Targeting by location is a great tool for mobile marketing.

     7. Send the Right Message to the Right Person

Make sure your list is kept up to date and clean. It is irritating to receive a message with someone else’s name, location or buying history. Customers only interested in one product or part of your business may not be interested in hearing every message you send. Maintaining separate lists by customer interest or preference helps you tailor email messages and campaigns.

    8. Use Surveys to Gather Data Quickly

If you need more customer data to properly segment lists, use a survey as a quick way to get people’s opinions or interests. For customers, it’s visual, it’s interesting, and it takes just a second to answer. Once you’ve got a good pool of responses, you can create new lists based on your results.

    9. Test: Don’t Spray and Pray

Spray and pray emails will never perform as well as tailored emails to particular customer segments.” Segmentation allows you to create targeted email campaigns based on behavioral information or other contact data you know about each recipient. Surveys also help to determine the right tactic for each customer group. This can be done through A/B testing, which tracks the performance of two or more entirely different versions of an email message. Try a soft-sell message to your active subscribers and offer a significant discount to those that are less active or haven’t clicked lately.

   10. Enrich the Contact Data

As you gain more data – and more insight – about your customers, update to manage customer segmentation. Utilize purchase history, click through rates, and additional data gathered through previous marketing campaigns.  Test new messages, new formats and even new segmentations as you improve on your data list.

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Increase ROI with Direct Mail Design | Top 10 Recommendations

Often I am asked by novice direct mailers what elements to include on their mail piece. They are simply looking to design the best mailer possible to yield a high ROI.

Here are my Top 10 recommendations                        (in no particular order)

  1. Make sure your list, mail piece and message are all targeted to the correct audience. What is your goal – lead generation, customer retention, a new product roll out?
  2. A clear, provocative call to action and a nice incentive.
  3. A compelling message – don’t forget, most people want to know “What’s in it for Me?”
  4. A First Class mail permit.  Don’t skimp on standard mail postage. 10% of your mailing list may never receive the mail piece and you’d be surprised how many people simply disregard any piece of mail with a standard permit.
  5. Add a PURL, or Personalized URL. This will tie your printed piece with an online experience. Make sure the PURL ties in with your theme.
  6. As long as we’re adding hot new technology with that PURL, let’s add a QR, or Quick Response, code. You’ve probably been seeing a lot of QR codes on all kinds or marketing – from billboards to pizza boxes. We’ll talk more about QR codes and using them effectively in an upcoming blog.
  7. Use a fresh, unexpected image and a memorable tag line. You only have seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
  8. You’ve probably heard it said a million times, and it’s true, your response rate is only as good as your list. We will delve into list effectiveness in future blogs.
  9. Include a follow up on the call to action. Perhaps include an expiration date. This also makes room for a second communication (perhaps an email?).
  10. Since we repeated the call to action, repeat the PURL as well. Remind them how to respond to that call to action!
Tell us, what are your thoughts on creating the ideal direct mail piece?  We’d love to hear your suggestions!

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USPS Promo | Using Variable Data Personalization?

Using Variable Data Personalization?

Take advantage of this current USPS promotion “Mail and Digital Personalization Program”.

USPSpromoMay 1 through June 30, 2014 USPS is allowing mailers using personalization such as personal URLs, web pages or mobile applications linked to the mailpiece a 2% discount on eligible postage.
Message and content of the mailpiece must be relevant and highly personalized to qualify. Personalized content must contain or be based on factual or behavioral information specific to the recipient. An address block alone does not qualify.

Each mailpiece must contain a pURL, or mobile technology such as QR codes, that direct recipients to an active, unique website. Unique URLs allow the mailer to track and measure individual web activity.

Eligible mail classes include First Class presort and automation letters, cards and flats as well as Standard Mail letters and flats. Postage payment may be permit imprint, or precancelled stamp permit. Some mailings using meter imprint may qualify – check with your local BMEU. Mailing must be presented between May 1 and June 30, 2014.

You can learn more about this variable data promotion by visiting Postal Explorer. A range of documents, including an FAQ can be found here – https://ribbs.usps.gov/mailingpromotions/documents/tech_guides/MailandDigitalPersonalizationPromotion.htm

 

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Tips to Manage Postage Rate Increase

Tips to Manage Postage Rate Increase

Now that the Postal Service has raised rates again (this is the largest rate hike in the past 11 years), it seems like a good time to review steps you can take to help manage your postage costs.

  1. Take advantage of a local mailhouse or presort vendor.  Presorting your mail lets you take advantage of reduced postage rates. There are many ways you can work with a vendor; they can manage your data, print your mailpiece and mail it for you or perhaps all you need is a daily pick up of your already prepared mail. Either way, savings are there for you. uspostagerateincrease
  2. Keep a clean, healthy database.  Make sure all of your addresses are complete, correct and updated.  When you receive Undeliverable As Addressed mail back from USPS make sure you update your data accordingly. No sense in mailing people who have moved or are deceased.
  3. Dedupe your data.  If your data includes multiple contacts with similar sounding titles within a company, can you mail to just one of those people? Are you seeing duplicates such as John Sample and John Q Sample at the same address? Check for duplicates both by name and address.
  4. Personalize and target your mailing.  Studies have shown that the more personalized and targeted your offer is, the greater response you will receive. Build and manage data such as last purchase, date of last service or purchase, geographic area or household income. The list of ways to segment and create relevant messages/offers is endless. 
  5. Use multichannel marketing.  Follow up your mailed promotion with email. Try to keep the same look and feel of your mailpiece. Include a link to your website, other marketing page or survey if appropriate. You can use a QR code or pURL on your mailpiece to drive recipients to your website.

Postage rate increases are uncomfortable for mailers. The USPS points out that the increases over the past few years have kept pace with inflation. The change is intended to generate $2 billion in annual revenue for the Postal Service.

As a reminder, below are the new full pay, retail rates.

  • 1 ounce First Class letter – $0.49
  • Each additional ounce $0.21
  • Postcards $0.34
  • 1 ounce letters to all International destinations $1.15

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Strahm Holiday Card – QR Code – pURL – Freemium!!!!

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly – Falalalalalalalala

deckthehallsWe mailed our annual holiday cards this week and followed up with an email. We like to take a moment to show our appreciation to all of our customers and friends for their business over the past year.

Keep your eyes out for these cards and emails; we’ve included a special QR code and pURL you can use to order a (free!!) personalized 3D Cube or Accordion picture display perfect for your desk or home.

Not sure what to get your friends/family – or even a treat for yourself – these personalized picture displays make a great gift!

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you.

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How Data Drives Marketing

How Data Drives Marketing | Engaging with Digital Consumers

datapeopleInfosys recently released a study “Engaging with Digital Consumers” which offered valuable insight into what consumers want and how your data driven marketing plays a role.

  • 57% said they would be “more likely” to make a purchase from a retailer again if the retailer kept them updated on new offers and services through social media.
  • 78% of consumers said they would be “more likely” to purchase again if provided with offers targeted to their specific interests and needs.
  • 45% said they would be willing to trade “some privacy” for offers specific to their individual shopping needs.
  • 43% said they wouldn’t mind if retailers’ apps tracked their phone’s or tablet’s location if it meant they would receive ads or promotions targeted to their local area.

Data is so important to driving your marketing campaign. As marketing continues to move toward multi-channel applications, you have increased opportunity to gather data from digital marketing and apply it to printed pieces and vice versa.

Here are a few ways you can use digital and print both to build your marketing database.

Beef up your data and help make consumers “more likely” to buy from you and continue to buy from you in the future.

Have questions about data driven multi-channel marketing? Contact us at sales@strahm.com or (816) 756-2733 and one of our qualified Customer Service Representatives will be glad to help!

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Got Freemium?

FREEMIUMS! GET YOUR STRAHM FREEMIUMS!

SF-Enjoy-LongThe term freemium is coined using two powerful words ‘Free’ and ‘Premium’.

What is Strahm offering? Click here to find out!

From time to time, we like to ask customers if we’re delivering the highest level of quality on jobs and service. As part of the Freemium program, we’ve put together a quick, three question survey.

Once you complete the survey you will then be given access to our online store. Here you can choose your favorite Freemium, Accordion Pix or the 3-D Cube. They both allow you to upload your personal images to display and showoff on your desk!

SF-ApixAccordion Pix: An irresistibly fun way to display your photos at work. Accordion Pix allows you to upload seven images so you can show off all your favorites!

SF-3Dcube3-D Cube: A playful alternative to the traditional ways of displaying your photos at work. With this 3-D Cube you can display five images so you’ll have more of your favorites in view. Customize and express yourself in 3D!

(Ask how Strahm can help you with a Freemium Appreciation for your clients)

On Thursday, September 19th Strahm sent out a self-mailer to everyone on our mailing list. The self-mailer contains a QR code to scan, and a pURL you can use in your web browser.

On Monday, September 23rd Strahm sent out a blast email to all of our email contacts. The email contains a link to their pURL. They will simply click on it and go to their personalized page.

Make sure you’re on Strahm’s mailing list to take part in our next Freemium. Visit our website to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, or just send an email with all your contact information to webmaster@strahm.com.

Today is your chance to participate! Act fast, only 500 Freemiums available!!!! CLICK HERE NOW and check out the Strahm Freemium campaign for yourself … Enjoy!

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Increase ROI with Direct Mail Design

Often I am asked by novice direct mailers what elements to include on their mail piece. They are simply looking to design the best mailer possible to yield a high ROI.directmail

Here Are My Top 10 Recommendations

(In no particular order)

  1. Make sure your list, mail piece and message are all targeted to the correct audience. What is your goal – lead generation, customer retention, a new product roll out?
  2. A clear, provocative call to action and a nice incentive.
  3. A compelling message – don’t forget, most people want to know “What’s in it for Me?”
  4. A First Class mail permit.  Don’t skimp on standard mail postage. 10% of your mailing list may never receive the mail piece and you’d be surprised how many people simply disregard any piece of mail with a standard permit.
  5. Add a PURL, or Personalized URL. This will tie your printed piece with an online experience. Make sure the PURL ties in with your theme.
  6. As long as we’re adding hot new technology with that PURL, let’s add a QR, or Quick Response, code. You’ve probably been seeing a lot of QR codes on all kinds or marketing – from billboards to pizza boxes. We’ll talk more about QR codes and using them effectively in an upcoming blog.
  7. Use a fresh, unexpected image and a memorable tag line. You only have seconds to grab the reader’s attention.
  8. You’ve probably heard it said a million times, and it’s true, your response rate is only as good as your list. We will delve into list effectiveness in future blogs.
  9. Include a follow up on the call to action. Perhaps include an expiration date. This also makes room for a second communication (perhaps an email?).
  10. Since we repeated the call to action, repeat the PURL as well.  Remind them how to respond to that call to action!

Tell us, what are your thoughts on creating the ideal direct mail piece?  We’d love to hear your suggestions!

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USPS Promotions | Direct Mail Mobile

USPS Promotions – Direct Mail Mobile

Program Period:  March 1 – April 30, 2013

Registration Period:  January 15 – April 30, 2013

Discount Amount:  2% of eligible postage

Eligible Mail Classes: Standard Mail letters and flats, Nonprofit Standard Mail letters and flats, First Class Mail presort and automation letters, cards and flats.

Registration Requirements: Must register on the Business Customer Gateway via the Incentive Program service and agree to promotion terms. Must specify which permits and/or CRIDs will be participating in the program. It is recommended that mailers register several days in advance of the qualifying mailing. As part of terms of agreement, mailer will complete a survey about their participation in the promotion.USPSMobile

Promotion Descriptions

Mobile Coupon

The promotion expands on previous initiatives and continues the Postal Service’s strategy encouraging mailers to tie direct mail with mobile technology. Business mailers are being offered two ways to participate and increase value in their mail.

Mailers will use a mobile barcode or other technology to drive the recipient to a digital coupon or lead them to a site that initiates a one-touch phone call on the mobile device.

Growth in digital coupons is expected to continue as internet and smart phone usage expand. Consumers are more comfortable with technology than ever.

This promotion will encourage mailers to integrate hard-copy coupons in the mail with mobile devices, without facilitating a digital relationship between businesses and consumers as an alternative to mail.

Components of Mobile Coupon

  1. The physical mailpiece must be a coupon
    • The coupon is a voucher or code entitling the holder to a discount off the price of a particular product or service
    • Discount is offered only to mailpiece recipients and is not a discount or sale price on a product/service available to all consumers
  2. Coupon mailpiece must contain one of the following print-mobile technologies
    • 2D barcode, RFID chip, NFC Smart Tag on the mailpiece that can be scanned or read by a mobile device linking to a mobile coupon that can then be stored on the mobile device
    • A  short number to be used to initiate text message communication. The text message triggers an SMS/EMS or MMS message with a one-time coupon or coupon code. Texts that allow a consumer to sign up for ongoing coupon delivery via text are not eligible.
  3. Coupon Redemption
    • Coupon mailpiece must be redeemable at retail locations by both methods described below.
      1. The mailpiece coupon can be presented at a retail location to receive discount
      2. The print-mobile technology allows the customer to store the coupon on a mobile device which can be presented at the retail location for discount
    • Mailers who sell exclusively online or do not have a retail location where physical coupons can be redeemed must meet the following requirements
      1. Mailpiece must contain a code that can be used to receive the discount online or through a call center
      2. Coupon discount is offered only to mailpiece recipients
      3. Mailpiece must contain a mobile-print technology such as mobile barcode, RFID chip or smart tag.
      4. The whole of the shopping experience and path to purchase must be mobile optimized

The USPS FAQ can be found here:  https://ribbs.usps.gov/mobilebarcode/documents/tech_guides/upcoming/MobileCouponandClicktoCallFAQs.pdf

We encourage you to be creative and have fun with this promotion!  If there are any questions we can answer or you need additional information, please call one of our Customer Service Representatives at (816) 756-2733.

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USPS | 2013 Promos and Incentives

USPS Promotions and Incentives Announced for 2013

promosFirst Class and Standard mailers have six (6) new USPS promotions/incentives to take advantage of at various times throughout 2013.  The objective is to increase mail volumes from mailers.

The USPS was so successful with the Mobile Barcode incentives over the past two years, that similar incentives are offered and new incentives are being rolled out.

 

All programs will require the use of Intelligent Mail barcodes and electronic documentation submission.

Mobile Coupon/Click to Call

March 1 – April 30, 2013 (registration January 15 – April 30, 2013)

This promotion is based on showing the value of direct mail by encouraging customers to integrate printed coupons in the mail with mobile accessibility to redeem the coupon.  An upfront 2% postage discount is offered.

Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion

April 1 – June 30, 2013 (registration January 1 – March 31, 2013)

First Class Mail Business Reply and Courtesy Reply mailers will receive a $0.02 postage credit for each piece of Business Reply Mail (BRM) or Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) piece that is scanned in the postal network.  This promotion encourages mailers to provide a reply mechanism that would utilize the USPS as a service provider for consumer replies.

Emerging Technologies

August 1 – September 30, 2013 (registration June 15 – September 30, 2013)

Designed to promote awareness of new technologies such as Near-Field Communication, Augmented Reality and Authentication, this promotion builds on the success of past Mobile Barcode promotions.  Mailers receive an upfront 2% postage discount.

Picture Permit

August 1 – September 30, 2013 (registration June 15 – September 30, 2013)

The Picture Permit promotion is designed to increase the use of picture permit indicia, which improves a mailpiece’s visibility and impact as a marketing tool.  First Class letters and postcards will receive a $0.01 discount per piece, and Standard Mail letters will be discounted $0.02 per piece.

Product Samples

August 1 – September 30, 2013 (registration May 1 – September 30, 2013)

The Product Samples promotion rewards mailers with a 5% upfront postage discount on qualifying mail that contains product samples.  The objective is to re-invigorate product sampling through the mail.

Mobile Buy-It-Now

November 1 – December 31, 2013 (registration September 15 – December 31, 2013)

An upfront 2% postage discount to mailers adopting and investing in technologies that enhance and engage consumers with mail.  Objective is to show how direct mail combined with mobile technology can be a convenient method for consumers to do their holiday shopping.

Details of each program in a handy, downloadable guide – https://ribbs.usps.gov/mobilebarcode/documents/tech_guides/FY13PromotionsCalendar.pdf

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